Is Honey good or bad for Diabetes, Pregnancy, Children?
How much honey should you consume every day?
For children who are lesser than one year old, it is recommended that they should not be given honey unless it has been certified that it is free of spores.
It is better not to give honey to children under one year since they will be sensitive to specific microorganisms which might be present in honey. In certain rare cases, these organisms might cause serious problems to which adults would be immune to.
For children between the age of one and three, we can give two to four small spoons of honey a day. For children between three and six years, we can give four to six small spoons per day.
Children over 6 years should consume up to 5 small teaspoons of honey per day and teenagers must consume up to 8-10 teaspoons of honey per day (approximately to 50-70g)
Honey has the similar characteristics to that of sugar – such as the sweetness and chemical structure. Hence, the suggested serving quantity of honey is the same as that of normal sugar. One serving equals one tablespoon - it is not advised to take more than 10 tablespoon per day. This recommendation takes into account even added sugars - including what is present in packaged foods.
Honey is prescribed as a curative and a prophylactic method - if it is consumed at the following quantity – per day dose of 80 grams which could be increased up to 120 grams.
Note - Darker honeys such as Dandelion honey, Buckwheat honey, red gum, rewarewa is better than the lighter honey.
Can a Diabetic Eat Honey?
It has been scientifically proven that pure honey is a better choice for diabetic patients than regular sugar or other sweeteners. Honey has a lower Glycaemic Index than sugar, which means that honey does not increase the sugar levels in blood as fast as normal sugar. Honey also involves lower levels of insulin when compared to common white sugar.
Nevertheless, the most important concern is the total carbohydrates in one’s diet and not the quantity of sugar. A tablespoon of honey has roughly 17 grams of carbohydrates. Honey is sweeter than normal sugar and also has higher calories. Hence, one can add lesser amount of honey in order to get the same sweetness.
Caution: One should use pure and unadulterated honey.
Honey in Pregnancy
Ingesting honey with garlic towards the end of pregnancy is a good way to avert group B strep and to increase one’s immunity. Honey used for this purpose should be local and raw; if the honey contains propolis it is much better.
Pregnant women can consume honey safely. An adult’s intestine is more acidic than that of a baby's. An adult intestine contains certain useful bacteria that prevent the spores from emerging into botulism-causing bacteria. Any adult (even pregnant women) are commonly exposed to botulism spores without getting sick. Any botulism spores that honey could contain will be killed in a pregnant woman's intestines. Hence these spores will not reach the bloodstream nor will they be passed on to the unborn baby.
Caution: It is advisable that pregnant woman do not consume unpasteurized honey in order to reduce the risk of getting exposed to the botulism spores.
Risk in consuming too much Honey
If one consumes more than 10 tablespoons, it could lead to gastric problems such as bloating, stomach cramps and even diarrhea. Due to honey's fructose content, too much of it could interfere with the ability of one’s small intestine to absorb nutrients. This could lead to abdominal discomfort until the honey is eliminated from the system.