May 22, 2021 · Written by Foodtolive Team

Is Honey Good for You, or Bad?

Is Honey Good for You, or Bad

What is honey?

Honey is a thick liquid produced by bees from flower’s nectar, with sugar serving as its main component. The high content of sweetness is determined by the significant level of fructose. The flavor of honey differs depending on the flower the nectar was collected from.

What are the varieties of honey?

Flower sources normally define the type of honey.

Types of honey

Properties

Linden HoneyLight yellow, transparent, with a delicate aroma of lime blossom.
Clover HoneySweet taste without bitterness, light yellow with a greenish tinge.
Acacia HoneyWatery-transparent, delicate taste and aroma.
Wildflower HoneyThe color ranges from light to dark brown. Wildflower honey taste and color are related; the darker the color, the stronger the flavor.
Alfalfa HoneyDelicate flavor that isn’t overpowering and often tastes slightly grassy with hints of vanilla. [1]
Dandelion HoneyStrong, pungent, moderately-sweet flavor with a definite aftertaste that some call bitter. [2]
Buckwheat HoneyDark brown with a reddish tinge, opaque, with a strong aroma, a bit bitter.
Orange Blossom HoneyWith hints of citrus and a light, refreshing sweetness.
Sage HoneySweet, clover-like with a floral aftertaste.
Lavender HoneyFlowery, pleasant, well balanced and rounded, very fine honey aroma and the delicate floral scent with an evident Lavender component. It has a very persistent medium sweet taste that grows with the finish. In some cases it has slightly sour notes. [3]

 

Is Honey Good for You, or Bad

What is the nutrition value of raw honey?

Honey is an extremely nutritious product since it contains such valuable components as carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes.

Natural honey is composed of 82.4% carbohydrates, 38.5% fructose, 31% glucose, 12.9% other sugars, 17.1% water, 0.5% protein, organic acids, multiminerals, amino acids, vitamins, phenols, and a myriad of other minor compounds. [4]

In addition, honey has wonderful antibacterial activities. In fact, bees regurgitate the nectar from their mouths into the combs to make honey, this enzyme mixes with the nectar, breaking it down into two by-products: gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. For this reason, honey is a great remedy against wound infections. [5]

Honey also relieves symptoms of common cold and cough.

  • Note: Whenever you have any symptoms of cold or other disease, please, consult with a physician before consuming honey or any other product.

One more benefit of raw honey is its property that assists in cholesterol levels improvement. Generally, it’s a great source of nutrients that can boost your immune system. The daily consumption of honey brings a lot of energy, so one tablespoon added to your dishes or tea will be enough to receive all necessary minerals.

  • Note: If you are allergic to honey, do NOT add it to your daily diet.

Is honey better than regular sugar?

Honey is as much of a high-calorie product as sugar, so the caloric content of both is high. However, in terms of nutrition value, honey has more benefits.

  • Note: The overconsumption of honey can cause overweight, obesity, or diabetes.

Are there any side effects?

Eating too much honey can cause weight gain, allergies, increase the level of sugar; In children, honey also may cause botulism or diarrhea. It is not recommended to give honey to small children.

Is honey a vegan product or not?

This is quite a controversial question and there has been no precise answer thus far. Nevertheless, we will try to understand the contradictions that arise around this issue.

There are vegans who eat honey and vegans who don’t consume it. All depends on what the motivation of a person is – whether they doesn’t consume the products of animal origin at all – like cheese or milk or they do. Honey is the product of a different class. That is to say, honey doesn’t go bad like milk or cottage cheese.

Producing honey is inherent for bees and they cannot live without that process. Bees produce much more honey than their organisms require. In order to prove this, you can look at how bees live in nature – they find a nest, for example, a hollow in a tree, and begin to build a beehive – they pull out wax frames, which are then filled with honey. After a while (depending on the size of the bee colony and the size of the hive itself), they fill their house with honey to such an extent that they have nowhere to put new honey, and their nature is such that honey must be collected and added. And if there is nowhere to put it, then they have to leave the hive and look for a new one. Once other animals find the hive, they eat honey and as a result, they free the hive for a new bee colony. This is a natural cycle. Therefore, some people consider honey as a vegan product as there is no animal exploitation during its production whereas others have an opposite point of view.

Is Honey Good for You, or Bad

How to choose honey?

Raw honey is the very first criterion you should consider while choosing one. Raw honey is not pasteurized or processed in anyway. According to healthline.com, it’s better to buy honey from a local beekeeper, as they are far less likely to be ultrafiltered. [6]

How should we store honey?

Honey is stored in a glass container or container made of food-grade sealed plastic. Don’t keep it in a refrigerator. A dark, dry place at room temperature is the best variant to keep honey.

Conclusion

Honey is not only tasty but also healthy. It contains fructose and glucose, as well as a significant amount of minerals: magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, sodium, chlorine and sulfur. If honey hasn’t undergone technological processing, it won’t contain any chemicals. Therefore, only raw honey preserves all nutrients of the natural product. Honey positively affect brain functioning, so by regular and proper consumption, you can improve your memory. Moreover, it reduces fatigue and contains many enzymes necessary for normal digestion. In addition, honey is often used for cosmetic purposes to make various masks for skin and hair.

Honey is a great sugar substitute, but be careful because once you taste the sweet honey, you might want more.

References:

  1. https://beeswiki.com/alfalfa-honey/
  2. https://diethive.com/dandelion-honey/#:~:text=Dandelion%20honey%20has%20a%20strong,but%20others%20describe%20as%20pleasant
  3. https://www.honeytraveler.com/single-flower-honey/lavender-honey/#:~:text=Lavender%20honey%20is%20a%20premium,it%20has%20slightly%20sour%20notes
  4. Ferreres F., García-Viguera C., Tomás-Lorente F., Tomás-Barberán F. A. Hesperetin: a marker of the floral origin of citrus honey. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 1993;61(1):121–123. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.2740610119. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  5. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-science-behind-honeys-eternal-shelf-life-1218690/
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raw-honey-vs-regular#TOC_TITLE_HDR_7