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Ask Dr. Gourmet

If I can't have white sugar or white flours, is honey OK for those with high blood sugar?

My blood sugar has been creeping upwards and I've been cautioned against eating white sugar, white breads, and white rice. Is honey OK, and what fruits are permissible?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a green pear casting a shadow on a plain white table

It's great that you are working at making changes. For those with higher blood sugars, avoiding processed foods and foods with a lot of sugar is key. The examples you give of table sugar, white bread, and white rice are a good start. Working at getting more fiber in your diet by having whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, beans, and veggies will help control your weight and your blood sugar.

While honey is somewhat sweeter than sugar, both are still sweeteners. A tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories while a tablespoon of sugar only 49. While it is somewhat sweeter and you might need less, your body will ultimately see the honey the same way as sugar, so you want to be cautious. Limiting sugar, honey, corn syrup and other sweeteners is a good idea for all of us.

That leaves fruit. If you want something sweet, this is a great choice for you. Because of the type of sugars that are in fruit, your blood sugar will likely not spike. Likewise, getting all that sweetness wrapped up with fiber and vitamins makes apples, pears, grapes, berries and peaches a fantastic choice.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet