Can I use honey instead of sugar?
Honey has just as many carbohydrates and calories as sugar. Both of these sweeteners will have a similar effect on someone with diabetes. The carbohydrate in these sweeteners is digested quickly so they will raise blood glucose quickly. Sugar and honey are safe for someone with diabetes to have, but they need to be worked into your meal plan in the appropriate portion size.
It may be easier when meal planning and for your blood glucose to use artificial sweeteners to sweeten foods and drinks when you can. There are several different artificial sweeteners that you can buy in stores under various brand names: stevia, aspartame, acesulfame-K, saccharin, or sucralose. Artificial sweeteners are very low-calorie and have fewer carbs than honey or sugar.
Here is a comparison of a few sweeteners:
- 1 tablespoon honey = 64 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrate
- 1 tablespoon white or granulated sugar = 48 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrate
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar = 52 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrate
- 1 packet of artificial sweetener = 4 calories, <1 gram of carbohydrate
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