Honey on Keto Diet: Is It Good for You?

Natural honey contains higher amount of calories. It is also usually sweeter than sugar.

Honey on a wooden bowl

Anyone with a sweet tooth surely has a sweet spot for honey. It’s a great substitute for sugar in many things as a means to cut down on calories and regulate blood sugar. Keto dieters are looking into the argument that honey on a keto diet may not be as good and beneficial. It is a pure and natural sweetener, but is it any different from sugar then?

What’s in your honey?

Honey has been a part of human consumption for years as beekeeping and honey harvesting was already a thing that existed since 7000 BC when Romans used it to heal wounds from battles. Greeks and Ancient Egyptians used it to sweeten food and bake honey cakes to offer to their gods and even used it as part of their embalming fluid by the Egyptians. Honey was considered an important food that was often gifted due to its natural healing powers. 

Today, honey is an indispensable pantry ingredient in many households. In its raw form, honey is known as a healthier substitute for sugar because it carries a lot of nutritional benefits compared to sugar. Cane sugar and raw honey come from different origins, but both consist of sugar molecules, fructose as well as glucose. The difference lies in how our bodies digest them. Honey bees introduce a certain enzyme to honey that allows the sugar molecules to be used immediately by the body for energy. However, sugar requires our body to break down the sugar molecules to be able to store them for energy. 

A tablespoon of raw honey packs 17 grams of carbs. — with 16 gms of it coming from sugar. However, natural, honey contains a higher amount of calories. It is also usually sweeter than sugar. The sugar we use daily has been stripped of its natural cane sweetness after it has been processed leaving the body with nothing much to benefit from.

Honey is indeed a healthier alternative to a heaping teaspoon of sugar in your daily beverage of choice, There is an abundance of various micronutrients in honey that your body can benefit from such as niacin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, zinc, riboflavin, phosphorous, vitamin B5 and thiamin. 

That being said — on its own, you can benefit from honey even if you’re not on a keto diet. It can help with weight loss just as much, provide a healthy source of energy and antioxidants as well as it can aid in healing wounds with its antibacterial properties. 

Is honey good for the keto diet?

The Keto diet works on the goal of consuming low calorie, low carb, and high-fat protein food to be able to keep the body in a state of ketosis and use ketones as a source of energy in place of glucose. In principle, an individual on a keto diet can eat 25 – 50 grams of carbs daily and still keep the body in a state of ketosis. Some people who maintain an active and sporty lifestyle can consume up to 100 gms of carbs a day and remain in ketosis. 

Containing 17 grams of carbs from sugar with zero fat and just a tenth of a gram of protein in every tablespoon — this only goes to show that honey is considered high carb food. Does this mean the honey has no place in keto diet?  

Consistency remains to be the key ingredient in any form of diet. Consistently consuming large quantities of honey or consuming honey frequently in every meal will keep your body from producing ketones and hinder ketosis as a result. But then, having one tablespoon a day won’t affect your results. 

Not known to many — the keto diet also has many other subs – diets you can choose from with which you can include honey depending on the level of activity you have. The secret is moderation. However, newbie keto dieters may need to hold off on honey until they get the swing of things. 

Which Keto diet is good with honey?

There are many reasons why people choose to go on a keto diet. Other than losing weight, keto diets also help in reducing inflammation, mental clarity, and increased energy. Some people go on keto diets due to health issues such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and even managing autism symptoms. Weightlifters and marathon athletes benefit much from this diet to build muscle and reduce fat. 

There are four basic keto diet types. These can help in determining your macronutrient count based on the lifestyle you live, your state of health and other medical concerns, Either 

1. Standard Ketogenic Diet

This the basic and most common keto diet version that can be a jumpstart point for newbies. Those seeking to lose weight and have underlying medical concerns can use this. The daily macronutrient count is 75% fat moderate intake of protein at 20% and minimal carbohydrates of 5%. The total daily carb count is 20 -50 net grams.

2. Targeted Ketogenic Diet 

Pretty much identical to the standard version, but carb intake should be targeted before scheduled workouts. Individuals who are into a daily exercise routine find this more appealing as they can condense their carb allowance for the day around the time they schedule their exercise. Their daily macronutrient percentage may vary or maybe just the same as the standard version but carbs are consumed within 30-60 minutes before working out. 

3. Cyclical Ketogenic Diet 

This version is quite different from the others and surprisingly known as “carb-loading.” Sounds like a dream for carb addicts, right? Yes, but only for those who do a lot of high impact exercises.With the CKD — one has to follow the standard version for 5-6 days a week and then load up on a higher amount of carbohydrates for 2 days. This will kick your body out of ketosis if you do not engage in high-intensity workouts. This only works for those doing CKD because the body uses glucose for energy instead of storing it. Seasoned endurance athletes and bodybuilders do well with this with daily macronutrient percentages similar to SKD for 5-6 days and high carbs for 2 days. 

4. High Protein Ketogenic Diet

Almost identical to the SKD version but this will require higher consumption of protein. This benefits those who need more protein in their diets and require the same due to medical reasons and health goals. The daily macronutrient percentages for this version are a high intake of 60 % fat, with an increased percentage of protein to 35 % and 5% for carbohydrates.

Following the Targeted ketogenic Diet and the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet allows the body to stay in ketosis with a moderate inclusion of honey in the diet. You simply just need to work hard for that honey pot!

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