If you’re familiar with the ketogenic diet, the question, “Is honey ketogenic?” isn’t hard to answer. The answer is no.
From a calorie and carbohydrate standpoint, honey is not much different from table sugar. Sugar is keto kryptonite.
Not only does high sugar intake suppress a fat-burning state called ketosis, it can also trigger a host of health problems.Fortunately, you can choose Keto-Friendly Sweeteners instead.
We’ll discuss these low-carb options later. First, let’s talk about honey, sugar, and the ketogenic diet.
honey and sugar
Honey is often marketed as a healthy sugar substitute. Because of this, many people think they can avoid the dangers of sugar by exchanging honey.
This makes sense.For example, raw honey contains bee pollen, royal jelly, and propolis — compounds that preliminary research suggests may Relieve allergies and improve immune function.
Honey also contains antioxidants (called flavonoids) that may Helps regulate blood sugar, wound healing and immunity. These compounds are not present in refined sugar.
But aside from the beneficial compounds, honey is mostly a combination of the simple sugars glucose and fructose. In other words, honey is similar to refined sugars like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.
High intakes of these refined sugars are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline, liver disease, kidney disease, and other degenerate conditions. Honey does not, but similar sugars do.
Why Honey Isn’t Keto
To understand why honey is not in ketosis, you need to understand ketosis. Let’s start there.
Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body burns fat and produces molecules called ketones. Normally, your body runs mainly on glucose (sugar), but in ketosis, your body runs mainly on fat.
There are multiple routes to ketosis, but the easiest route to achieve is through carbohydrate restriction. This is where the ketogenic diet comes in.
When you eat a ketogenic diet, you limit carbohydrates to Less than 10% of daily caloriesKeeping carbs low keeps blood sugar low, which keeps the hormone insulin low, which signals the liver to burn fat and produce ketone bodies. This is a concise version of how ketones work.
Honey is 100% carbohydrate, so it is not part of a ketogenic diet plan.For reference, a tablespoon of honey contains 17.2 grams sugar.
Honey is a great way to get yourself out of ketosis. But what about other “healthy” sugar substitutes?
5 High-Carb Sugar Alternatives
Honey isn’t the only sugary sweetener advertised as healthy. Let’s review five high-carb sweeteners with similar characteristics.
1: maple syrup
Like honey, maple syrup is rich in antioxidants.Actually there may be more Antioxidants than honey.
Maple syrup is also rich in oligosaccharides.In rats, these prebiotic sugar molecules have been shown to improve blood sugar regulation.
So should you start pouring maple syrup on everything? Not if you want to limit your sugar intake. Like refined sugar, maple syrup is just glucose and fructose.
Is maple syrup keto? of course not.
2: agave syrup
Now let’s introduce agave syrup. Is it agave ketone?
nor.Agave is about 85% fructose, the rest is glucose. It’s just another name for sugar.
High fructose content is particularly undesirable. Why? Because humans naturally store fructose as fat.
Thousands of years ago, the most efficient hominids (early primates or humans) to convert fructose to fat were primitive survived. We all have these genes.
3: Coconut Candy
Coconut sugar is a carbohydrate made from coconut water.It contains antioxidants, various minerals and a fiber called inulin, which can be fed beneficial gut bacteria.
However, coconut sugar is comparable in calories to table sugar. In other words, it’s sugar with some extra nutrients.
Like coconut sugar, molasses contains more minerals than table sugar. It’s rich in magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese — all necessary for health and longevity.
But while it may be unrefined, molasses is still sugar. After all, you make molasses by boiling sugar cane.
5: Yacon Syrup
Ever heard of yacon syrup? This is a sweet gum made from the yacon plant, a daisy native to South America.
Yacon is sweetened with sugar and a calorie-free carbohydrate called fructooligosaccharides (FOS).Eating fructooligosaccharides may help control appetite, but gas is a common side effects.
Yacon has about one-third the calories of sugar, so it’s better for keto than honey, maple syrup, molasses, or agave. But when you take it seriously, it still has way too many carbs for keto.
For a keto-friendly sweetener, it should have zero (or close to zero) calories from carbohydrates. This way, you can use as much as you want without compromising your health goals.
Keto-approved sweeteners should also:
● Safe for human consumption
● Taste and texture similar to sugar
● Minimal impact on blood sugar levels (glycemic index zero)
Four natural sweeteners –Allulose, erythritol, stevia, and mangosteen—meet these criteria. All are calorie-free, glycemic-free, safe and sweet.
So they’re definitely keto-friendly, and that’s before you consider the potential health benefits. think about it:
● Consumption of allulose with carbohydrates has been shown to Improve blood sugar response and increase fat burning.
How can you incorporate these keto sweeteners into your diet? simple. Just use them wherever you use sugar.
To make this super easy, have a look at Splenda Stevia Sweetener, Splenda Monk Fruit Sweetener, Splenda Magic Baker Sweetenerand Splenda Allulose Sweetener. They’re all 1:1 sugar swaps, so you can skip the annoying conversions in all your favorite recipes.
Honey or not honey?
The right amount of honey is not necessarily bad for you. It may even have health benefits. However, you have to consume a lot of honey to get these benefits. That’s a lot of sugar.
But if you’re following a low-carb or ketogenic diet, you’ll want to steer clear. Honey is made from sugar, and sugar is the nemesis of ketosis.
Satisfy your sweet tooth by indulging in keto-friendly sweeteners. They do the same thing as honey without any downsides.
All this is good. When that happens, we love it.
By: Brian Stanton, author of Keto Intermittent Fasting, a certified health coach and authority on the keto diet. Visit Brian’s website to follow his work: brianjstanton.com.