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Honey Net Carbs: Is Honey Keto Friendly or Low Carb?

Latest updates by: Hassan Thwaini
Custom KetoDiet Plan

Bzzz, Bzzz…

Honey is created by those tiny busy bees you undoubtedly shriek at on a hot summer’s day.

These little insects may appear to be a nuisance during the summer, yet they are one of the most valuable organisms in the world!

Bees pollinate plants, assisting in the fertilization of approximately 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of wild plants.

How cool is that?

Raw Honey offers several health benefits. It contains a lot of antioxidants and is a healthier alternative to sugar.

But do you actually know how many carbohydrates are in Honey?

On top of that, is honey keto?

Let’s find out…

It’s All About the Honey-Honey

image of honey keto friendly

We know this might sound silly but did you know, Honey has been around for 150 million years, with the oldest beekeeping records going back to 7,000 BC [*].

No wonder many people call honey nature’s liquid gold…

Honey, in its natural state, is a viscous, golden liquid. It is a pure, unfiltered natural sweetener made by bees from the nectar of certain flowers. Nectar is a sugary sweet syrup that bees collect from flowers and store in their stomachs.

Another interesting fact about our little honey monsters is that they have two stomachs, one for consuming and the other for transporting nectar back to the colony [*].

What Is the Difference Between Honey and White Sugar?

There are several variables to consider when comparing raw Honey to cane sugar. Both are made up of two sugar molecules: glucose and fructose.

However, honey and sugar digest in various ways. A specific enzyme is added to raw Honey by the honey bee. This breaks down the two sugar molecules so that they may be utilized for energy right away [*].

When it comes to table sugar, your body performs the work: it must use enzymes to break up the sugar molecules before you can store them as energy.

Health benefits of Honey:

Besides being delightfully tasty, eating Honey has other advantages.

For example, if you eat Honey instead of table sugar, you might experience:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy
  • An increase in antioxidants discovered and dispersed throughout the body are all benefits of this supplement.
  • A good night’s sleep
  • Wound healing
  • Antibacterial effects
  • And a decreased risk of acquiring diabetes

How Many Calories are there in Honey?

Brace yourself…

A tablespoon of table sugar has 46 calories, while a tablespoon of raw Honey has 64 calories [*]. Because table sugar is stripped of most of its inherent sweetness during processing, Honey is higher in total calories but generally sweeter than ordinary sugar.

Nutrients in Raw Honey

It’s a no-brainer that Honey is healthier than white sugar. Raw Honey has a high concentration of micronutrients such as vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus [*].

Now, for the million-dollar question, is honey keto?

Is Honey Keto or Low Carb?

image of Is Ho ney Keto or Low Carb

Is honey keto-friendly? No, Honey isn’t keto-friendly, unfortunately.

Let’s break it down even further…

A tablespoon of raw Honey has 17 grams of net carbohydrates, 16 of which are simple sugars. It has no fat, no dietary fiber, and just a tenth of a gram of protein.

As you might have suspected from its nutrition data, Honey is high in carbs and is not suitable to eat on the keto diet.

Will Honey Kick You Out of Ketosis?

Keep in mind that ketosis is a metabolic phase that could assist with losing weight. The keto diet gives you suggestions to help you get into ketosis. The typical individual can stay in ketosis by consuming 25-50 grams of total carbohydrates per day.

Active people and endurance athletes reported being able to consume up to 100 grams of carbs per day while being in ketosis. Technically, you could stay in ketosis by eating a high-carb meal like Honey.

Consuming significant amounts of Honey, on the other hand, isn’t healthy and will prevent you from reaching ketosis and will reverse your progress.

When is Honey Keto Friendly?

We know, we said Honey is not allowed on the keto diet. But rules are meant to be broken!

Let’s dive right in; when can you have Honey on a keto diet…

Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD):

The TKD allows for an extra 20-50 grams of carbs up to an hour pre or post-training session. If you are an athlete, one spoon of raw Honey before or after your workout may be beneficial.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD):

Now, this is interesting…

For five days, the CKD follows a standard low-carb diet, followed by two days of carb backloading. This implies that you replace your glycogen stores with more carbohydrates over the week for 24 to 48 hours.

This is usually only suggested for endurance athletes who require a lot of carbohydrates to function well. If you can maintain ketosis with a greater carb consumption, Honey may be a completely appropriate element of your diet – as long as you consume it in moderation.

For those who are new to the keto diet, we advise you to stay clear from the golden liquid.

Which is better: Honey or Sugar?

A lot of the time, when dieting or reading various dietary articles, we get told to replace sugar with Honey. Supposedly, this is mean to help us lose weight.

However, how true is this? Well, why won’t we find out the truth behind this controversial statement?

Both sugar and Honey are made up of the same components – mainly glucose and fructose. However, one of the main differentiating factors between the two is that they are digested differently.

When bees make Honey, they add an enzyme that helps break down both glucose and fructose, which in turn makes Honey into a wonderful instant energy source, allowing us to absorb it quicker. Sugar, on the other hand, takes a while for us to digest.

During sugar digestion, our body needs to metabolize glucose and fructose using our own enzymes – as opposed to the ones kindly offered by the bees. And so, the main difference between the two is that Honey is easier to digest and provides quick energy but contains more calories.

People often make the mistake of assuming that Honey is better than sugar for weight loss. However, this is not true.

Yes, Honey does have some significantly better health advantages, but it will not save you from developing diabetes in the long run.

Honey Keto Substitute:

The best way to get some form of sweetness into your ketogenic diet is by the incorporation of a natural sweetener, as mentioned throughout our various articles. Two of the most popular natural sweeteners used in the keto diet are:

  • Monk Fruit – Monk fruit sweetener is often chosen over stevia since it does not have a harsh aftertaste. It also has a glycemic index of zero and is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Because it’s low carb, it’s ideal for anyone on a keto diet!
  • Stevia – Stevia is a sweetener produced from the plant Stevia rebaudiana. This natural sweetener contains no calories, ranks zero on the glycemic index, and is 200-300 times sweeter than regular sugar.

You can often find a mix of these natural sweeteners. They are most commonly used as sweeteners for tea and coffee, but if you are feeling adventurous, you can even try them out in various baking recipes.

Avoid these on Keto Diet

Whilst there are several low-carb sweeteners that you can enjoy on a ketogenic diet, there are many others that aren’t recommended on a low-carb diet.

The following alternatives will most likely increase your carb intake and should be avoided on a keto diet:

1. Maltodextrin:

This highly processed sweetener is made from starchy plants such as rice, corn, or wheat and has the same number of calories and carbohydrates as normal sugar (*). Just like Honey, this will add to your total carbs and is not keto-friendly.

2. Coconut sugar:

Made from the sap of the coconut palm, coconut sugar is absorbed more slowly than regular sugar. However, it’s also high in fructose, which can contribute to impaired blood sugar control (*).

3. Dates: 

This dried fruit is frequently used to sweeten dishes naturally. Dates include a significant quantity of carbs in addition to a small amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals (*).

4. Agave nectar: 

Agave nectar contains around 85 percent fructose, reducing insulin sensitivity and contributing to metabolic syndrome, making it harder for your body to control blood sugar levels, especially (*).

5. Maple syrup: 

Each serving of maple syrup contains micronutrients such as manganese and zinc. Still, it is also rich in sugar and carbohydrates (*) therefore, you should not eat food containing maple syrup while on a low carb or keto diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There a Keto-Friendly Honey?

Straight to the point, no. Honey is heavy in carbs, which are healthy and acceptable sources of fuel for your body in moderation, but the keto diet calls for practically no carbs at all.

What Honey has the Least Sugar?

According to several studies, black Honey contains more antioxidants than light Honey. Honey is also less processed than sugar because it is often simply pasteurized before consumption.

Is a Teaspoon of Honey a day Healthy?

Honey is a naturally occurring sweetener. However, this does not imply that we may eat it without restriction, especially whilst on keto.

The Verdict…

While raw Honey has more health advantages than most standard sweeteners, it is too high in carbs and natural sugars to be a safe option for the keto diet.

Yes, you can maybe add one teaspoon of Honey a day into your low-carb meal and still safely stay under your net carb allowance. Still, you really need to consider whether or not you are willing to take the risk and sacrifice your potential to ingest some more delicious and nutritious carbs.

Although Honey does have a wonderful array of health benefits, eating just one teaspoon of Honey per day is probably not enough.

image of is ho ney keto-friendly

 

 

Up Next: Bean Sprout Net Carbs: Are Bean Sprouts Keto-friendly?


Hassan Thwaini

Hassan Thwaini is a qualified pharmacist and hospital specialist at the University of Sunderland. His main focus is to help people utilize their environment and develop a Keto-based diet to help give everybody a healthy lifestyle.


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