Life is sweeter with honey — but if you’re following a keto diet, you’re probably avoiding most sweeteners. Still, you may have a hankering for a treat, despite focusing on fat these days. So, although you’re swearing off sugar, is it okay to indulge in a little bit of natural sugar? Here’s what experts have to say about whether you can eat honey on keto.
Honey Nutrition Facts
Honey is a type of sugar that people stir into yogurt, use to naturally sweeten their coffee, add to dressings and marinades, and more.
Here is the nutrition information for 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of raw honey, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):
Macronutrients in Honey
Carbs in honey 17 grams (g)Net carbs in honey 17 g
Net carbs is 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 fiber and sugar alcohols aren’t entirely digested, though that’s not always true.)
Net carbs are not an official macronutrient, but those on keto often use this number as a guide to help them stay in their carb range. As you can see, because honey has no fiber, the net carbs are the same as total carbs.
Fat in honey 0 gProtein in honey 0 g
Other Nutrients in Honey
Honey contains vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and potassium, among others, notes past research. “There are well-documented and researched benefits of honey outside of the energy it gives,” says Scott Keatley, RDN, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy in New York City.
For one, honey contains plant compounds called polyphenols, which may have anti-inflammatory properties, points out a January 2021 review in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies.
Can You Eat Honey on Keto?
Short answer: No, honey isn’t allowed on the keto diet. And really, if you’re on any low-carb diet, you may want to limit honey.
“Honey is probably not going to help you stay in ketosis,” says Diana Rodgers, RD, of Sustainable Dish in Concord, Massachusetts. Although honey might be dubbed a…