There’s something magical about honey. Since prehistoric times, it has worked both as a medicine and food source. It has been long regarded as a healthier alternative to modern sweeteners.
It has remarkable anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. With all these benefits, it’s tempting to assume that you can eat it whenever you want, as much as possible. But is it, really, and is honey keto?
It’s definitely not vegan, so it’s out of my reach, that’s for sure. But let’s try digging deeper.
Do you have a particular question about honey and keto? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
Honey on keto vs. sugar on keto
Real sugar comes in various shapes and appearances: brown, white, coconut sugar, date sugar, etc. It is a double molecule composed of 50% fructose and 50% glucose.
Unfortunately, this means that it contains mainly carbs and will affect your blood glucose, insulin response, and weight loss efforts. So it’s definitely a no go on keto.
As for the honey, it’s a natural substance made by bees from plant secretions. Besides the fact that it tastes great, it confers several nutritional benefits owing to its high antioxidant content.
Honey has a high-carb high-fructose content, so it’s unsuitable for a keto diet just like your ordinary sugar.
The actual amount of net carbs you can eat to stay in ketosis varies from one individual to another. Still, it is usually advised that you limit your intake to 50 grams. Many will stick to 30, 20, or even 10g of net carbs per day.
There are still some carbs in veggies (that I strongly recommend keeping in your regimen). So sugar and honey would probably be the last things you need to eat to keep your keto clean and efficient.
Are there carbs in honey?
While a tablespoon of refined sugar contains 11g of carbs, there are about 17g net carbs in honey (per tablespoon). The good news is that it’s sweeter, so you need less of it to get the same sweetness level as refined sugar.
The bad news is that since it has so many carbohydrates and no fat, fiber, or protein. So, again, honey is not suitable for a keto diet.
Can you have honey on keto?
The truth is honey is not keto-friendly. That said, if you ever wondered, “Can I have a little honey on Keto?” the answer is “Yes.” If we are talking tiny serving size.
Just remember to keep your total carb intake within the proper daily limit (50g) for a Ketogenic diet, and you should be fine.
Keto honey substitute
There are some alternatives made specifically with honey enthusiasts in mind. Among these is Harmless Hunny by Pyure. And it’s probably the closest (read the best) keto honey substitute available. It’s made from high-quality USDA-approved organic Stevia, and the non-GMO project verifies all its other ingredients. And to my personal relief, it’s not only keto but also vegan friendly. However, you should keep something in mind with all those “substitutes.” Although it comes from nature, most stevia sweeteners contain ingredients sourced from GMO tainted produce. Furthermore, Stevia has a bitter aftertaste. And it may also raise insulin levels, so you should only use it if it’s absolutely necessary.
Keto honey options
Raw honey and keto
Natural honey hasn’t been pasteurized. It’s only strained before packaging. It contains more nutrients and antioxidants than refined honey and is slightly better for Keto in this regard. But it still too high in carbs. So can’t be called a real option for keto.
Is manuka honey keto-friendly?
Manuka honey comes from Australia and New Zealand. Bees make it after they pollinate the indigenous Manuka bush.
Manuka honey is famous for its effectiveness at wound management. It is also antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
These qualities make it an effective treatment for a wide range of ailments such as gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, periodontal disease, and gastric ulcers.
Unfortunately, like other honey, it has a high carb content (17g of carbs per tablespoon), so it’s not keto-friendly.
Best keto honey
Organic Harmless Hunny is practically the only decent vegan and keto-friendly honey substitute, which mimics its taste.
However, it does have a few drawbacks. It has an unpleasant chemical aftertaste. And it may raise glucose and insulin levels in some individuals (that what Stevia does). With all these caveats, you’re probably better off sticking with monk fruit and erythritol as sweeteners. They may not have the consistency and texture of honey, but they are sweet and keto-friendly.
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