The Health Benefits Of Honey
Honey is the first known sweetener to be used by man, with its history dating back to 2100 B.C. The reported health benefits and medicinal uses of honey also go back to ancient times. Its antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties made honey a popular treatment for wounds and make it a natural remedy still widely studied today for its medicinal properties.
Honey also has nutritional value, containing minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. And it has anti-inflammatory properties. What’s more, by consuming local honey, you receive a boost of antioxidants that can help strengthen your immune system to seasonal allergies. Honey has also been used to treat and soothe a sore throat.
Honey has been recommended as an alternative sweetener for those diagnosed with diabetes because of its ability to help control insulin spikes and blood sugar. With a score of 55, honey has a lower GI than both table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Additionally, honey tastes sweeter than table sugar, allowing you to use less of it. However, one tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, which is slightly higher than an equal amount of table sugar.
Since honey is made by bees, it is not considered vegan creating a potential drawback for those who are on a completely plant-based diet.
But First Some Science
To understand the difference between bad sugars and better sugars, first its important to note the difference between fructose, glucose, and sucrose.
Better sugarsincluding maple syrup, coconut sugar, and date syrupscore low on the glycemic index and have lower amounts of fructose. Sucrose and glucose are what cause insulin levels to spike, whereas fructose does not.
Fructose is whats found in fruit . However, too much fructose can be challenging for the liver to metabolize. The recommended quantity of fructose per day should not exceed 50 grams. Over this quantity, the metabolism of fructose in the liver starts to produce free radicals.
All of the best sugars score lower on the glycemic index than table sugar, which means they wont cause your insulin levels to spike.
In essence, what youre looking for in a better sugar is both a low glycemic index, a fructose content that is not too high, and additional nutrients that cane sugar does not offer.
Whether youre looking for sugar substitutes for baking, cooking or to sweeten your morning coffee, heres a list of the best natural sweeteners you can use and why.
Lemon And Honey For Weight Loss
An excellent way of using honey for weight loss is by consuming half a teaspoon of it with a glass of warm water and the juice of half a lemon. Drinking this mixture first thing in the morning will help you detox the body and energize the organs. You will also feel less bloated and more active throughout the day. To see enhanced effects of this combination, you can also add these ingredients to your water bottle and sip on this mixture throughout the day. This mixture will also serve as a delicious and refreshing way to drink water and enhance the bodys metabolism.
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Is Honey Good For You Or Bad
Honey is often marketed as a healthy alternative to regular sugar.
This is largely due to the numerous health benefits associated with it and its antioxidant content.
However, while some claim that honey can be a delicious and nutritious way to help satisfy your sweet tooth, others dismiss it as little more than a high-sugar indulgence.
This article tells you whether honey is good or bad for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Honey
Honey is higher in fructose than glucose. Fructose is sweeter than glucose, so you may be able to use a smaller amount of honey in your food or drink without sacrificing sweetness.
The trace amounts of vitamins and minerals found in honey may also have added health benefits. However, these amounts are extremely small.
Raw, unpasteurized honey contains trace amounts of local pollen, which may help desensitize allergic reactions.
Honey also provides additional health benefits:
- It may help kill off germs because it has antimicrobial properties.
- When used as a salve in gel form, it may help promote healing of wounds and minor burns.
- It may help ease coughing and sore throats.
Overall, honey goes through less processing than sugar does. It requires pasteurization only to become table-ready. Honey can also be eaten raw.
The Answer Might Make You Give Up On The World
Excuse me, can you replace this with brown sugar please, he said. Handing back to the waiter, a packet of white.
Green tea with a teaspoon of honey please, she said. Feeling proud that today, shes made a healthier choice.
Can you please deposit another gazillion dollars into my bank account please, the marketeer said. Knowing that today, once again, hed made a billion people buy slightly brown-er shit, for slightly more money.
But I get ahead of myself. Lets begin with some basics. Quick concepts well need to answer this question.
Different Honeys May Have Slightly Different Nutritional And Anti
Ordinary granulated sugar may hardly differ from one brand to the next, but honey can vary due to the differing properties of the flora from which the bees gather the honey. For example, the properties of Manuka honey may be different from those of say, honey from bees that were foraging on garden flowers, orchards, oil seed rape, wildflowers, clover and so on.
Not only are there some variations depending on where the bees have been foraging, but also, depending on how the honey has been processed. Raw honey may be different from soft set honey.
During my research, I have used several data sources, and those sources of information were obviously based on different batches of honey.
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Tips For Cutting Down On Sweeteners
Many people reach for sugar and honey out of habit. We get used to the taste in our beverages and food and miss that jolt of sweetness when we forgo them. Rather than eliminate either one completely, it may help to reduce your intake.
Try using half a teaspoon of honey in tea or half a packet of sugar in coffee instead of a full serving. You can try the same trick with breakfast cereal and yogurt. If you use sugar in baking, reducing the amount by one-third may have less impact on taste than you might expect.
Honey Makes You Fat Right Or Myth
Honey is a healthy alternative to most artificial sweeteners. Because of its taste, sweeter than sugar, there is a belief that bee honey fattens, is that true?
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How To Use Honey For Weight Loss
Many people add a teaspoon of sugar in their daily cups of tea or coffee without realizing how it can impact their health in the long run. Using honey for fast weight loss is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy, fit and active. Honey can also be used as a substitute in desserts, or as an alternative to different syrups and sweeteners. One of the best ways to consume honey for weight loss is by having a teaspoon of honey before bedtime. Doing so will help the body burn more fat during the early hours of your sleep.Honey is also known to have the power of suppressing the appetite. Most people tend to overeat throughout the day, and this is one of the major reasons for weight gain. While one must not starve themselves, being cautious about the portion size of food is important. An advantage of using honey for weight loss is that it helps to curb small hunger pangs throughout the day. This will, in turn, help you in avoiding unnecessary snacking by keeping you satiated.
Honey Vs Sugar: A Comparison
Honey vs sugar: which is the best? Is honey better than sugar, are there any health benefits of eating honey, and if so, should we try and substitute honey for sugar?
Here is a comparison of honey and sugar based on nutritional values and calorie content expressed as aPercentage of the Ideal Daily Value and based on a typical daily calorie intake of 2000. I think this is the best way to put honey in perspective, so that we can really see where honey holds its value in our diet.
In particular, in our comparison of honey vs sugar we’ll take a look at:
- calorie and carbohydrate comparison of honey vs sugar, including carbohydrate type
- Vitamin Content
- Protein and Amino Acids Content
- Mineral Content
I have compiled the results into separate nutritional tables . Only when armed with the facts can we really consider whether honey is healthier than sugar!
In order to add further perspective, I added in a further food : actually an apple!
Why an apple? Well why not? Especially where minerals are concerned, I thought it would be a good idea to compare honey with an additional every-day, healthy food.
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Can You Eat Honey If You Have Diabetes
Experts used to recommend that people with diabetes avoid all foods with added sugar. Now some say itâs OK to eat them in small amounts as part of a healthy diet. But if you take insulin, itâs very important to count the number of carbohydrates that you take each day. That helps you determine the correct dose of insulin you should take.
Staying on top of the number of carbohydrates and fiber you eat can also help you keep your blood sugar from going too high. Even if you take insulin, high blood sugar can lead to health problems over time. Thatâs why itâs a good idea to limit honey. Talk to your diabetes educator, doctor, or a dietitian who specializes in diabetes to figure out how much is safe for you.
Is It Possible To Reduce Weight Through A Honey
Honey cannot make your weight disappear magically but it still makes for a great choice for those trying to get in shape. It has a distinct edge over the empty calories of refined sugar. This nectar can speed up a sluggish metabolism and satisfy sweet cravings. Through a proper combination with a healthy diet and proper exercises, it can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight.
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Tips For Cutting Back On Sweeteners:
Glycemic Index Of Honey Vs Sugar
The glycemic index, or GI, of a food indicates how quickly or slowly it will raise blood sugar levels once consumed the higher a food ranks on the GI scale the more rapidly it will increase blood sugar levels. Sugar ranks higher on the glycemic index scale than honey, meaning it will raise blood sugar levels more quickly. This is due to the higher concentration of fructose in sugar. Sugar ranks at 65 on the glycemic index scale, while the exact glycemic ranking of honey varies because the composition of honey can vary, however, on average honey ranks at 61. Overall, the difference is minimal.
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What Is The Nutritional Value Of Honey
Honey is a natural sweetening agent, which makes it an excellent substitute for calorie-dense sugar. Speaking nutritionally, one tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose, but no fiber, fat or protein. One of the main benefits of substituting sugar with honey is that the latter has a lower GI value, meaning that it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly as sugar does. Honey is also sweeter than sugar, meaning that even a little amount goes a long way in satisfying sweet cravings.Honey is rich in antioxidants, including organic compounds and phenolic compounds like flavonoids. Being rich in antioxidants, the nutritional value of honey can help prevent heart ailments, as well as improve eye health. Studies have also shown that using honey for weight loss can help in maintaining blood pressure levels and manage cholesterol.
Risk Of Infant Botulism
It is not safe to give honey to infants younger than 12 months. Honeyâs bacterial spores can cause infant botulism, a rare but potentially life-threatening disease.
The spores that cause botulism in infants are harmless in older children and adults. Symptoms of infant botulism include:
All these forms of sugar comprise glucose and fructose, which bond to form the sugar known as sucrose.
Sugar has no added nutrients. However, brown sugar, which is a blend of white sugar and the byproduct of sugar manufacturing known as molasses, may have some trace minerals.
The main benefits associated with sugar use include:
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Better Than Refined Sugar
Though honey is high in sugar and calories, its still a better choice than refined sugar.
While refined sugar brings little to the table in terms of nutrition, honey provides antioxidants including phenolic acids and flavonoids .
Plus, one study in 48 people with type 2 diabetes showed that though honey increases blood sugar levels, it may not be to the same extent as sugar .
Studies also suggest that using honey instead of table sugar may decrease triglycerides, as well as total and bad LDL cholesterol to support your heart health .
However, while honey may be a better option than refined sugar, it should still be consumed in moderation to prevent adverse effects on your health.
Honey provides several antioxidants, such as phenolic acids and flavonoids. When used in place of sugar, it may not increase your blood sugar levels as much and may help lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
While this may not seem like much, even a few servings per day can cause the calories to stack up.
Over time, this could lead to weight gain especially if other dietary modifications are not made to account for these extra calories.
Honey is also high in sugar, which is digested rapidly and can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and crash resulting in increased hunger and potential long-term weight gain .
Whats more, research consistently associates a higher intake of added sugar with a higher risk of weight gain and obesity (
Shopping For The Sweet Stuff
Unfortunately, a lot of honey in the market is also cut with cheaper sweeteners like sugar or corn syrup, Sharpe says, so its important to know the source of the product.
You also want to ideally look for honey with the pollen visible, which we know is what carries a lot of the health properties.
She recommends honey from a farmers market where you can speak to the producers to make sure youre getting a high-quality product. I also prefer to use raw honey, which means the honey hasnt been heated or filtered and the pollen is often visible in the jar.
Tong adds the risk of raw honey is it can contain bacteria that causes botulism, which can lead to weakness or blurred vision.
Raw honey should not be consumed by babies, infants, pregnant women, or anyone who is immuno-compromised, she said. Regular honey, on the other hand, has undergone pasteurization. However, due to this heating process, it does not contain as many health benefits as raw honey.
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Which Is Healthier
From a calorie and sugar content perspective, the differences between sugar and honey are minimal, however, overall, honey contains slightly more health benefits than table sugar from its potential antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Honey also contains trace amounts of B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6, vitamin C, and minerals calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, chromium, and manganese. However, it would require such large volumes of honey, and therefore sugar, to obtain any significant amount of these trace minerals that it would likely negate the added benefits.
When To Use It
And if you do prefer using honey over white sugar, Sharp says it works well as a sweetener in drinks and baking because it has more moisture than white sugar.
For every cup of honey youre using in baking in place of white sugar, subtract 1/4 cup of the other liquids, she notes. Honey does add a lot more flavour, however you may be able to get away with using less in your cooking, baking and drinks.
Tony says it can be used in salad dressings or marinade as well.
Again, portion control is key.
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Is Honey Good For You
Honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar and is suitable for diabetics. It doesnt contain additives and preservatives, and it has more flavor than sugar. Honey also has a higher value of fructose in terms of quality and quantity than sugar so it can be used less to taste just as sweet.
Sugar contains zero nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, a fact that makes it a strict no-no in the case of diabetic and blood pressure patients. However, honey too has a limitation that it cannot be used in warm liquids like water and milk, and this reduces its scope of application.