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Can You Have Honey On Keto?

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FACT CHECKED
  Published on June 30th, 2021
  Reading time: 3 minutes
  Last modified June 29th, 2021
honey on keto

Who doesn’t like the sweet taste of honey? Honey not only tastes great but also comes loaded with plenty of nutritional/ health benefits because of its high antioxidant content.  It is considered a healthier alternative to sugar and a more natural alternative to artificial sweeteners.  But, can you eat honey on keto?

Don’t fret if you have just stepped into the territory of the keto diet and still exploring what fits this diet the best. Keep scrolling down to find the answer to the question.

What's the Difference Between Honey and Sugar?

You need to consider plenty of factors when it comes to comparing cane sugar and raw honey.

Honey is not sugar-free. Both sucrose (white sugar) and honey are made from glucose and fructose. Both of these sugar molecules are simple sugars that spike blood sugar levels and trigger insulin release.

 

glucose and fructose

Unlike sucrose, however, honey does contain a small amount of amylase. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates in the body. Raw honey actually contains over 500 enzymes, some of which have been shown to assist in glucose oxidation and breaking down carbohydrates. [1]

Honey also has a slightly lower glycemic index, when compared to sugar.

amylase

Does Honey Have Calories?

The question has its own relevance and significance if you’re considering having honey on a keto diet. While one spoon of white sugar contains 46 calories, the same amount of raw honey has 64 calories in total. 

That means honey has a higher quantity of calories and is sweeter than normal white sugar. Table sugar takes much of its sweetness during manufacturing or processing.

Can You Have Honey on Keto?

To answer the question precisely, no, you can’t. It is because honey is too high in carbohydrates and is not a keto-friendly option to add to your diet. 

One tablespoon of honey has 17 to 18g of net carbs, similar to the 16g of carbohydrates from white sugar. Plus, it has no fat or dietary fiber, and a minimal quantity of protein. The nutrition facts of honey make it a high-carb food that has typically no place in your keto diet.

Does Eating Honey on Keto Kick You Out of Ketosis?

When starting the ketogenic diet, the goal is to enter a metabolic state of ketosis. The keto diet restricted carbohydrate consumption to around 20-25g of total carbs per day (may vary from person to person).

However, if you’re an extremely active person or endurance athlete, you may be able to consume a higher quantity of carbohydrates and still stay in ketosis. For example, some individuals may consume up to 50g of carbs a day, while it has been reported that some may even be able to consume to up 100g a day. This is a rare case, however, and not a standard amount.

If you really like honey and want to add it to your diet, you could choose between the following:

  • Targeted Ketogenic Diet: The diet type allows you to eat 15 to 20g of extra carbs before your workout. Athletes could eat one spoon of honey pre-workout.
  • Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: The diet type follows a conventional low-carb or keto diet for six days, followed by one day of carb backloading. That means for 24 to 48 hours you can replenish glycogen stores with a high amount of carbs. It is usually recommended for athletes who require a higher amount of carbs to give a performance.
what is a targeted ketogenic diet?

Concluding Thoughts About Consuming Honey on Keto

Honey should be avoided on the ketogenic diet. It is high in carbohydrates and can kick you out of ketosis. The only exception would be if you are an athlete that its ability to consume a higher quantity of carbohydrates. However, if you‘re a beginner or just the average adult, it is better to not have honey on keto for the best results.

References

1.

Rossano, R., Larocca, M., Polito, T., Perna, A. M., Padula, M. C., Martelli, G., & Riccio, P. (2012). What are the proteolytic enzymes of honey and what they do tell us? A fingerprint analysis by 2-D zymography of unifloral honeys. PloS one7(11), e49164. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0049164

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