When it comes to diabetes, the belief is that anything sweet is banned from your diet. That may not necessarily be true. Clinical studies have shown that pure honey is a healthier choice for diabetics than sugar and other sweeteners. Since honey has a lower glycemic index, it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly as sugar. It also requires lower levels of insulin compared to regular white sugar and has the added benefits of antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, which are not present in table sugar.

When substituting honey for sugar, less is often required because honey is sweeter than sugar. It also is a liquid and a humectant, so baked items stay moist longer. However, honey contains more calories and carbohydrates than sugar, so don’t overdo it. If in doubt, consult a physician or dietician.

Here’s how to substitute honey for sugar in recipes:

• In baked goods, use 1⁄2 to 3/4 cup of honey for every cup of sugar required.

• For every cup of honey used, reduce other liquids in the recipe by 1⁄4 cup.

• Add 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda for every 1 cup of honey used.

• In cookie recipes using eggs or recipes with no other liquids, increase the flour by 2 tablespoons for each cup of honey.

• Avoid overbrowning by reducing the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

• If granulated sugar plays a critical role (creaming, holding air in a batter, etc.), substitute 1⁄2 of the sugar with honey.