“Be busy like a bee and sweet like honey!” But isn’t the sweetness harmful in PCOS? Your diet undoubtedly impacts your condition of PCOS. Honey is considered a healthier alternative to sugar due to its many health benefits. But you must wonder, is honey good for PCOS? Keep reading to understand the benefits and risks of consuming honey in PCOS.Contents:
Honey is a natural sweetener made from plant nectar by a long process performed by the bees. There are multiple varieties of honey that exist around the world, depending on the nectar of the flower it is made from, which may vary in taste, colour and even smell.
With zero fat content and a negligible amount of protein and fibre present, honey mainly consists of sugars.
The nutritional value of 100 g of honey is as below:
Source: United States Department of Agriculture (Food Central)
Though beneficial for your overall health, is honey good for PCOS patients? Yes, honey can be beneficial for PCOS when consumed in moderation. Some of the ways honey benefits PCOS patients include:
Honey is a rich source of plant-based beneficial compounds known as polyphenols. It is also high in antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic acids which can prevent oxidative damage which can often lead to inflammation in PCOS, premature ageing, Type 2 Diabetes, and heart diseases.
The high amount of antioxidants in honey may help lower insulin resistance in your cells, which is common in most women with PCOS. This can help improve your blood sugar levels and lower the amount of insulin produced in your body. For the same reason, the antioxidants in honey may also help reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes in women who have PCOS.
Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes due to increased insulin resistance in PCOS. Though it raises your blood sugar levels just like any other form of sugar, the antioxidant content in honey may help protect you against Type 2 Diabetes.
Also, honey comes with a glycaemic index lower than that of regular white sugar. This means it will cause a slower rise in your blood sugar levels and not a sudden spike.
Excess weight gain is another common symptom of PCOS due to the increased production of androgens (male hormones). Therefore, it is important for women with PCOS to keep a track of their food intake and physical activity to prevent sudden weight gain. Some studies suggest that the consumption of honey may lead to a reduction in fat and body weight.
Depression and anxiety can be other complications caused due to the mood swings in PCOS. As per studies, honey comes with antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties that can help elevate your mood and alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
The best time to take honey for PCOS is before going to bed at night. This keeps your blood sugar levels stable throughout the night and aids in weight loss by speeding up the fat-burning process. Also, honey may also help in improving your sleep quality if you have PCOS, as many patients often experience disturbed due to hormonal imbalance.
For safe consumption of honey in PCOS, it is best to limit your consumption to not more than 1 teaspoon (6 to 7 g) of honey mixed with a glass of water in one day.
It is best to consume honey in moderation to avoid any spikes in your blood sugar levels and to prevent weight gain, as sugar is the main constituent of honey.
Every food when consumed in excess can lead to side-effects. Some of the risks of overconsumption of honey in PCOS include:
Some of the other health benefits of honey include:
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