Does Honey Keto? | Everyday health
Life is sweeter with honey, but if you’re on a keto diet, you’re probably avoiding most sweeteners. Still, you may crave a treat, even if you’re focused on fat these days. So although you’re giving up sugar, is it okay to indulge in a bit of Natural sugar? Here’s what the experts have to say about whether you can eat honey on keto.
Honey Nutrition Facts
Honey is a type of sugar that people mix into yogurt, which they use to naturally sweeten their coffee, add to salad dressings and marinades, and more.
Here is the nutritional information for 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of raw honey, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):
Macronutrients in honey
- Carbohydrates in honey 17 grams (g)
- Net carbs in honey 17g
Net carbs are a measurement determined by total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols, according to Atkins. Net carbs are the amount of carbohydrates that are digested and affect blood sugar, according to the American Diabetes Association. (The assumption is that fiber and sugar alcohols aren’t fully digested, although that’s not always true.)
Net carbs aren’t an official macronutrient, but those on keto often use this number as a guide to help them stay within their carb range. As you can see, since honey contains no fiber, net carbs are the same as total carbs.
- fat in honey 0g
- Protein in honey 0g
Other Nutrients in Honey
Honey contains vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and potassium, among others, notes previous research. “There are well-documented and studied benefits of honey outside of the energy it gives,” says Scott Keatley, RDN, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy in New York City.
For one thing, honey contains plant compounds called polyphenols, which may have anti-inflammatory properties, points out a January 2021 review in BMC Medicine and Complementary Therapies.
Can You Eat Honey on Keto?
Short answer: no, honey is not allowed on the keto diet. And really, if you’re on a low-carb diet, you might want to limit honey.
“Honey probably won’t help you stay in ketosis,” says Diana Rodgers, RD, of Sustainable Dish in Concord, Massachusetts. Although honey can be called a “natural” sugar, it’s still not appropriate for someone on a keto diet. “Whether it’s table sugar, high fructose corn syrup or honey, sugar is sugar,” adds Keatley.
Because of the carb content, “if you’re on a keto diet, there’s pretty much no place for honey,” he says.
Is honey healthy?
Although honey contains more vitamins and minerals than white table sugar, it’s important to remember that you typically eat small amounts of honey and therefore consume very little of these nutrients. Because honey is a sugar, eating larger amounts could add lots of extra calories to your daily diet. On keto, it is important to limit sugar intake.
What to eat instead of honey
If you’re looking for something sweet, non-nutritive sweeteners can be an alternative, and many can be used in cooking and baking. (Read package directions for proper ratios and how to use them in recipes.) Nonnutritive sweeteners don’t contain calories, but they may contain carbohydrates. Here are some viable honey alternatives for trying keto, says Keatley:
- Stevia One packet contains 0 calories and 1 g of carbohydrates.
- monk fruit Often mixed with erythritol, a sugar alcohol, 2 teaspoons (tsp) contains 8g of carbohydrates (all from erythritol).
- Nutrisweet One packet contains 0 calories and 1 g of carbohydrates.
- soft and low This sugar substitute contains 0 calories and 1 g of carbohydrates per packet.
Because honey is a sugar and contains a lot of carbs, eating honey can get you out of ketosis. On keto, you should limit carbohydrate intake in general. For this reason, it is not recommended to consume honey if you are following a keto diet.