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Medicinal Uses of Honey

What researchers are learning about honey's possible health benefits.

Honey and Diabetes

Even if honey is natural, it is no better than ordinary white or brown sugar for dieters or people with diabetes, says dietitian Toby Smithson, RD, CDE, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and founder of the web site, Diabetes Everyday.

A tablespoon of honey, in fact, has more carbohydrates and calories than granulated white or brown sugar.

"One of my favorite quotes is that 'a sugar is a sugar' when it comes to diabetes," Smithson says. "I think it's a widespread myth that honey is better for diabetes. Some patients don't classify honey as a sugar.''

Smithson, who has type 1 diabetes, says she prefers getting carbs from a cup of fresh berries or a carton of yogurt because they have about the same number of carbs as a tablespoon of honey -- but less sugar.

"There are some minerals and vitamins and antioxidant properties in honey -- the darker the honey, the higher the level of antioxidants -- but with yogurt, you can also get those benefits. When you have diabetes, you have to be picky and choosy about carbs and calories.''

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Reviewed on December 20, 2011

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