Does Honey Make You Gain Weight
Honey is high in calories and sugar and may contribute to weight gain over time.
We’re all guilty of it at some point or another — we eat something on the way home from work that’s not quite lunch but isn’t quite dinner either, then proceed to snack your way through the rest of your evening without a second thought. The culprit? That sneaky little jar of honey you bought at the grocery store for $2.99.
It’s easy to see how this might happen. Honey has long been touted as an alternative sweetener because of its low glycemic index (GI) rating, meaning it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels nearly as much as table sugar does. What many people don’t realize though is that there are two types of “natural” sugars found in honey, fructose and glucose, with the latter being what actually contributes to insulin spikes when consumed in large quantities. In fact, if you consume more than 3 tablespoons of pure glucose per day — which would be equivalent to one tablespoon each of honey and maple syrup combined — you could potentially increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 30 percent.
But why do so many people insist on pouring a whole cup of honey onto their morning cereal? Because honey tastes good! But honey also happens to contain antioxidants called phenols, which have shown promise against cancer and heart disease. Additionally, honey contains several minerals like calcium, iron and potassium — plus vitamin B6, manganese, chromium, copper, molybdenum and selenium. So while it can certainly help satiate your sweet tooth in between meals, it probably won’t hurt your health. After all, just because honey is natural doesn’t mean it’s completely safe to eat every single day.
The bottom line is honey shouldn’t replace healthy foods like fruits and vegetables; instead, use it as a tasty treat after a meal to satisfy your sweet cravings. Just remember to keep portions small and stay away from anything labeled “100% Pure.”
So what exactly makes honey bad for you? Read on to find out.
What Are Phenols?
Phenols are chemicals present in plants. They’ve received attention lately for their potential benefits to human health, including antioxidant properties that may protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules created during normal metabolism and environmental exposure. They can cause cell membranes to deteriorate, leading to chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals before they wreak havoc inside our bodies. A major source of phenol compounds are grapes, berries and other plant-based foods.
Why Is Honey Bad For Me?
While honey naturally contains phenols and other nutrients that may provide health benefits, eating too much can lead to problems. We’re referring specifically to fructose, the main ingredient in honey. Unlike glucose, which is broken down into energy easily, fructose requires enzymes to break it down. When these enzymes aren’t able to process the sugar quickly enough, sugar gets stuck in the bloodstream and raises blood sugar levels. This causes pancreatic cells to become overwhelmed and secrete excessive amounts of insulin, leaving us vulnerable to insulin resistance and Type II diabetes.
In addition to increasing the risk of diabetes, excess consumption of refined carbohydrates also promotes obesity. Fructose is metabolized differently than glucose, making it harder for the body to turn off fat storage once nutritional needs are fulfilled. It takes about three times longer for the liver to clear fructose compared to glucose, and prolonged elevated levels of circulating fructose promote lipid production in adipose tissue (fat). Researchers believe this is why overweight people who drink soda regularly tend to weigh more than those who prefer water.
How Much Do I Have To Eat Each Day To Be At Risk Of Diabetes?
According to Harvard University researchers, consuming less than 36 grams of added sugar daily — which includes both glucose and fructose — should pose no threat to overall health. However, anyone who consumes more than 45 grams of added sugar daily runs the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which increases the likelihood of coronary heart disease and diabetes. If you want to know your own personal sweet balance, visit http://www.metaboliceffect.com/calculator/.
Sugar Balance Calculator
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