Honey! Let’s talk honey! Sugars are detrimental to someone with Fatty Liver. Yet, honey is often touted as a healthier sugar substitute in general. Is that true though? Is Honey really a viable substitute for sugar for those who suffer from Fatty Liver (NAFLD).
In this article, I am going to focus on the science of honey and fatty liver along with my personal experience consuming honey while reversing my fatty liver.
Please note that this article is only for people who suffer from Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) without any other complications such as diabetes. If you have diabetes or any other complications along with NAFLD, most of the research referenced in this article may not apply to you.
Let’s start with a quick numbers comparison.
Sugar/Carb Content Honey vs Sugar
If you look purely from the sugar content perspective, honey comes out as a red flag for a Fatty Liver diet. As you can see, the sugar/carb content is almost as high as sugar.
|Carbohydrates||100 g||82 g|
This however does not really give us the full picture. Honey along with high sugar content also has tremendous healing, antioxidant and liver-healing properties that cannot be ignored.
Can you Eat Honey with a Fatty Liver?
The answer, I am afraid is not a clear Yes or No. Before really answering this question convincingly you must understand the bad and the good part of eating honey. Let’s start with the bad and move on to the good.
Why Is Honey Bad For NAFLD?
Simple: Look at the sugar content! Honey is almost all sugar. Consuming high amounts of honey can cause serious damage to your already unwell liver. While Honey is known to have healing properties after a certain quantity, the tradeoff between good and bad is not worth it.
Please understand though that honey can be good for a fatty liver diet, however, there are important caveats that you need to fully understand.
Is Honey Really Good For Fatty Liver?
Let me reiterate here:
If you have diabetes or a condition other than Fatty Liver, then the below details may not apply to you.
Since ancient times, honey is famous for its healing, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. In not so distant past, honey was applied directly to the wounds to heal them faster. But how does honey help with the liver? There are several studies that have shown the benefits of honey for fatty liver disease. While that is the case, do not jump immediately and start consuming honey yet!
To really make honey part of your diet, you must be disciplined about:
- What kind of honey is best for Fatty Liver Diet
- How much honey can you really eat when you have NAFLD
- How frequently can you eat honey given that you have Fatty Liver
Without a disciplined approach that encompasses all the above three guidelines, you will end up harming yourself.
Honey Protects From Liver Damage
Did you know that liver helps digest the food with the help of bile? However, if anything blocks the bile duct in the body, it can result in severe liver damage. In a study published in 2008, honey actually prevented liver damage from such situations.
This liver-protecting property of honey can be beneficial for people suffering from NAFLD as well.
Honey Helps In Blood Sugar Level Control
A recent study by Duke Health researchers has shown that high levels of blood sugar result in increased swelling of liver cells i.e. worsening Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
Also, honey naturally contains Flavonoids that have positive effects on insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress all of this benefit the liver. Actually, Flavonoids have been used for the treatment of NAFLD. Along with the flavonoids, honey has a balanced composition of glucose and fructose, providing optimal glycogen storage conditions in liver cells resulting in better blood sugar control.
Honey Protects Liver From Toxic Chemicals
Studies have shown that honey can protect the liver from toxic chemicals, thus avoiding liver stress and damage.
Honey Helps With Digestion
Honey is a powerhouse of good bacteria that helps with digestion. The high amount of good gut bacteria helps the liver tremendously by protecting it against stress and damage. Raw honey has been known to contain as many as 10 different species of these healthy bacteria.
Now that we have established the potential benefits of honey for the liver, let’s now figure out how to make honey work for us in improving our fatty liver!
While honey is great, you cannot eat a lot of it either. In the next section, let us focus on how we can make honey a part of a fatty liver friendly diet.
What Is The Best Honey For Fatty Liver?
Not all honey is made equal. In fact, most store-bought honey is processed and contains too much added sugars, and hence, can be just put into the garbage. The most important thing you must look for while buying honey is: It must be raw honey. Raw honey does not contain any added sugars and has not been processed, boiled or pasteurized etc. Ideally, Raw honey is just the honey that is packed immediately after getting it from the bees.
Which Honey Brands To Buy For NAFLD Diet
There was a time when raw honey was almost nowhere to be found in stores. However, many stores have now started selling raw honey. However, if like me, you are an amazon prime customer, then you like your items delivered. Here are a couple of honey brands that I recommend (affiliate links):
- Nature Nate’s 100% Pure Organic, Raw & Unfiltered
- By Buzzz Raw Organic Unfiltered Certified Australian Manuka Honey
- Wedderspoon Raw Organic Manuka Honey Genuine New Zealand Honey
How Much Honey Is Safe To Eat with a Fatty Liver?
I am sure that you must be excited about eating honey by now. We know the benefits of eating honey. We also know the right kind of honey to buy. However, without knowing how much honey is safe to eat, you may end up eating too much and actually causing harm to your liver. This is because – while a little honey benefits us – even a smidgen more than that is not good – honey is mostly composed of sugar after all.
Too much honey is also known to cause other gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, indigestion, and even diarrhea. So I recommend no more than 1/2 – 1 teaspoon in a day. No more than 5 times a week. Personally, I eat much less than that in a day because I just do not want to risk the sugar harming me.
Eat the right kind of honey, no more than 1/2 – 1 teaspoon a day, for maximum 5 days a week. I eat lot less – about a quarter of a teaspoon a day and no more than thrice a week.
Also note that whatever honey you consume, you should count towards your daily carb and sugar consumption. There is no separate “honey” quota of sugar in your body. In the end, overall sugar consumption should remain very small to help heal your fatty liver.
Is Honey Safe For Fatty Liver? Only when you eat the right kind in the right amount and at the right frequency. Beyond that, the sugar content of honey is just too high. In fact, if you have even the slightest tendency to overdo it, you can just ignore honey.
Finally, In my opinion – honey can be eaten more like a medicine than a sugar alternative. There are some really beneficial sugar substitutes for fatty liver and I highly recommend you take a look at them.
Verdict: Yes, Honey can be eaten safely with fatty liver but only when you eat the right kind in the right amount and at the right frequency. For me, it has helped to think of honey as a medicine rather than a sugar substitute (this helps me from overeating it).
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