With the ketogenic diet becoming increasingly popular, many wonder: Is honey keto-friendly? The answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as you may think. While honey contains some carbohydrates and a small amount of sugar, it also has several benefits that make it a sensible sugar option for ketogenic diets.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of including honey in a ketogenic diet and advise using it wisely. So if you’re wondering if honey is keto-friendly, keep reading.
If you’re interested in sweets, look at our post about keto chocolate, another healthy superfood.
Short answer: No, honey is not a keto-friendly food because it contains too much sugar and is too high in net carbohydrates.
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What is Honey Anyway?
Honey is a food product that has been around for millions of years. It’s made by millions of worker bees that go out into the world and collect nectar to bring back to the hive and convert into honey. This nectar comes from thousands of different plants, and the combination could be unique to the area where the bees work. Honey is a super sweet, golden, thick gel-like substance packed with nutrients. Honey is considered a superfood by most nutritionists due to its nutritional content.
Is Honey Keto? Let’s talk a little bit more about how honey is made first. If you want to get a bit gross, honey is bee vomit. Yes, that is right, delicious and nutritious vomit. When the bees feast on the various flowers and plants’ nectar, they use their saliva enzymes to turn it into honey. They then store this honey in combs within their beehives. The constant movement of the bees’ wings promotes moisture evaporation and yields the thick syrup we enjoy.
Honey has been used for years to treat various ailments in many civilizations. It’s considered one of the oldest medicines known to man. It has been used to treat gastrointestinal distress, skin ailments, urinary disorders, ulcers, wounds, and respiratory diseases. All of this is great, but it still begs the question: Is honey keto?
Is Honey a Healthy Food?
Some honey is heavily processed during the manufacturing process. In this process, much of the nutritional value of the honey is lost. That’s why many people recommend raw and natural honey. You’re probably still wondering if it is honey keto, but let’s discuss the benefits of consuming honey first.
Honey contains many vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can benefit the body’s health. It also contains a decent amount of pure water from the bees’ saliva. If you get raw honey, it will still contain some of the pollen the bees gather when gathering nectar. This pollen contains valuable amino acids. Some honey can have as many as 20 different types of amino acids.
We mentioned above that honey contains several minerals. These minerals include Sodium, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Chromium, and Zinc. The vitamins found in honey are Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6), Folic Acid (B9), Ascorbic Acid (C), and Phyllochinon (K). Honey also contains important antioxidants like catalase, chrysin, pinobanksin, pinocembrin, and vitamin C.
What are the Benefits of Honey?
Honey has been used successfully in weight loss because of its low rating on the glycemic index. This means honey doesn’t spike blood sugar as quickly as other sweeteners. It helps improve fat metabolism and improves overall health than white sugar. Honey has also been known to boost energy in many people. It contains many more calories than simple sugar and can help provide a boost throughout the day. Many people say it can increase athletic performance.
Honey contains polyphenols that can significantly improve the memory-related functions of the brain. It can help prevent memory recall deficits and induce brain memory formation. Honey is also a natural cough suppressant because it coats the throat. It’s a healthy way to stop a cough.
Honey has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It has been used by many cultures to treat wounds as a natural antiseptic for centuries. It contains nutraceuticals that help to remove free radicals from the body. Reducing free radicals can help protect the body against many chronic health conditions. This is due to various compounds, including phenolics, peptides, Maillard reaction products, organic acids, enzymes, and other minor components.
Honey has been used to boost skin and hair beauty. A combination of milk and honey is often used for various reasons. It has been studied in treating dermatitis and dandruff and has shown promising results. Finally, honey may have anti-cancer properties. There have been reviews published that suggest that honey can be effective in warding off cancer and maybe even a low-cost option for cancer care in developing nations.
Is Honey Keto?
Well, unfortunately, the short answer is no. Honey has many health benefits but may not fit into a keto diet. That’s because honey contains about 17 grams of carbs, all or most sugar. So if you are looking for a low-carb sweetener on your keto diet, honey is not the answer. As mentioned above, honey is lower on the glycemic index than sugar. So technically, it produces less of a spike in blood sugar, but it still contains too many carbs for a keto diet. Hopefully, we answered the question: Is honey keto?
Are there any keto-friendly honey alternatives?
Several keto-friendly honey alternatives include monk fruit sweetener, erythritol, stevia, and xylitol. Monk fruit sweetener is extracted from the monk fruit plant and is about 150 times sweeter than sugar; small amounts can go a long way. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol with about 70% of the sweetness of sugar.
Stevia is a plant-based sweetener about 200 times sweeter than sugar, so a little bit goes a long way. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol derived from birch tree bark that is about as sweet as sugar but has fewer calories. These alternative sweeteners have minimal impact on blood sugar or insulin levels, making them ideal for anyone following a keto diet.
There are also some keto-friendly “honey” products available.
ChocZero Sugar-Free Honey
Wholesome Yum Keto Honey Substitute
Wholesome Yum Keto Honey Substitute is a low-carb, sugar-free, and vegan-friendly alternative to traditional honey. This sweetener is made from allulose, a natural sweetener that is low in calories and does not affect blood sugar levels. It has a similar taste and texture to honey and can be used in recipes as a replacement for honey. It can also be used in baking, beverages, and more. The keto honey substitute is perfect for those on the ketogenic diet, as it is low in carbs, non-GMO, and free of artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.
All-u-Lose Honey Natural Flavor 1:1 Honey Substitute
All-u-Lose Honey Natural Flavor 1:1 Honey Substitute is a natural honey alternative that reduces sugar intake. This honey substitute is made with fructose, monk fruit extract, and natural flavorings, giving it a sweet taste as close to pure honey as possible. This honey alternative has zero calories and zero grams of sugar, making it a great choice for those watching their sugar intake.
It is also a great choice for people with diabetes as it is 100% sugar-free. All-u-Lose Honey Natural Flavor 1:1 Honey Substitute is also a great option for those looking for a vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free alternative to regular honey, as it is dairy-free, wheat-free, and vegan-friendly. This honey alternative has a light and delicious flavor that can be used in baking, cooking, and as a topping for toast and oatmeal.
Sweet Nature Birch Xylitol Sugar-Free Honey
Sweet Nature Birch Xylitol Sugar-Free Honey is a sweetener made from birch tree sap. It is a natural sweetener with a low glycemic index and is suitable for people with diabetes. It is a great-tasting, sugar-free alternative to traditional honey and can be used as a substitute in recipes or as a sweetener for beverages and desserts. Because it is derived from a natural source, Sweet Nature Birch Xylitol Sugar-Free Honey has a mild, sweet flavor and is a healthy alternative to sugar.
It is also a great source of xylitol, which has been found to have health benefits, such as reducing cavities, improving digestive health, and even helping to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Sweet Nature Birch Xylitol Sugar-Free Honey is an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their sugar intake and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The keto diet is not always easy to follow, but with creativity and a few alternatives, it can be a satisfying way to eat. Honey is a great sweetener but is off-limits on a ketogenic diet. Fortunately, several keto alternatives to honey can help satisfy your sweet tooth. Coconut nectar, stevia, and monk fruit extract are just a few options available. You can find the perfect keto-friendly sweetener with a little experimentation.