Are all honeys equal?

The glycemic index is a measure of a food’s effects on blood sugar.

San Diego State University researchers who investigated claims that some honeys have a better glycemic index than others have found that one honey may be just as good as another. The study, funded by the National Honey Board, appears in the August issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

The glycemic index is a measure of a food’s effects on blood sugar. High glycemic index foods — starches, for example — are not good for people with diabetes, or for people trying to lose weight.

Jennifer Ilana Ischayek, R.D., and Mark Kern, Ph.D., R.D., analyzed four kinds of honey. They examined buckwheat honey and clover honey from Oregon, cotton honey from California and tupelo honey from Florida.

Unlike some earlier studies, they compared apples to apples — that is, they made sure each honey sample contained the same amount of carbohydrates. They found very little difference in the honeys’ glycemic indices. They ranged from 69.13 to 74.14 and all were very close to table sugar’s glycemic index of 68.

However, the researchers suggest that honey is probably better for us, overall, than table sugar, because it is sweeter, so you can use less and thus consume fewer calories. They also found that honey has healthful antioxidant and prebiotic properties.


Sources: Ischayek, J. and Kern, M.. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, August 2006; vol 106: pp 1260-1262.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 5, October/November 2006.

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