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US Honeys Varying in Glucose and Fructose Content Elicit Similar Glycemic Indexes


      The glycemic index of honey may vary, depending upon its floral variety and fructose-to-glucose ratio. We determined the glycemic index of four US honey varieties in 12 healthy adult men and women with a mean (±standard error) age of 24.5±1.5 years. The glycemic index of 250-mL solution servings of clover, buckwheat, cotton, and tupelo honeys providing 50 g carbohydrate were assessed relative to triplicate feedings of 50 g carbohydrate as a glucose solution. Fructose-to-glucose ratios were 1.09, 1.12, 1.03, 1.54, for clover, buckwheat, cotton, and tupelo, respectively. Blood was collected after an overnight fast and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after intake. Ten minutes were allowed for food consumption. Areas under the glycemic response curves for each honey were expressed as percent means of each participant’s average response to glucose feedings. The means (±standard error) of the glycemic index were 69.2±8.1, 73.4±6.4, 73.6±6.6, 74.1±8.2 for clover, buckwheat, cotton, and tupelo honeys, respectively. No statistically significant differences between the honeys were apparent, nor was a relationship between glycemic index and the fructose-to-glucose ratio detected, indicating that small differences in fructose-to-glucose ratios do not substantially impact honey glycemic index.
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      J. I. Ischayek is a research associate and M. Kern is an associate professor, Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA.