The life’s work of 12 bee’s will provide about 1 teaspoon of honey. That is a whole lot of investment into this sweet golden nectar. But the real question, is honey healthy?
When asking the question of whether something is healthy for you, sometimes you have to look past the raw nutritional data. On the surface honey is over 80% pure sugar, with about half of that being fructose. Fructose is of course an awful addition to any food product, but when it occurs naturally in fruits and in this case honey, it seems to act quite differently.
The Raw Nutritional Facts of Honey Health
Honey raises blood sugar, but much less than a dextrose would.
Honey reduces C-reactive proteins; A marker of Inflammation in the body.
Honey will lower LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol. (Lowering bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol.)
Honey lowers homocysteine levels in the body; A marker in the blood associated with disease.
Which Honey Is Healthiest
While honey has many health benefits, but not all honey is made the same.
Varying wildly depending on the how the honey was processed and even which flowers were closest to the beehive. The composition of the nectar the bees collect changes depending on which flowers the honey bees are feeding on. This will have an impact on the amount of antioxidants, the ratio of fructose to glucose and its impact on its glycemic index.
In general Buckwheat honey is a much healthier option than typical relatively clear in color table honeys. Buckwheat is often less processed, it is darker in color (a good way to judge how healthy the honey is; darker is better) and contains richer reserves of antioxidants.
Some Health Benefits of Honey
Honey is really a remarkable food, capable of shrugging off the effects of time. Jars of honey have been found thousands of years later, still just as edible as the day they were collected.
In terms of your health and beauty, honey has a few more tricks up its sleeve. Such as its ability to raise the antioxidant level in your blood, helping prevent disease and infection.
Topical use of honey is due to its ability to kill bacteria and even speed the healing of wounds. Many facial scrubs, skin creams and products contain this sweet liquid. Often when used cosmetically it is much more effective to mix your own with a high quality, antioxidant rich buckwheat honey.
So Is Honey Healthy
As a rule it is best to avoid sugar whenever possible. However this is impractical for many, who can avoid sugar completely? So when you decide to indulge with a sweet treat or require some sugar in a recipe it is very beneficial to choose the right sugar.
Using honey in the stead of sugar is a great way to maximize the benefits while minimizing the health hindering side effects of sugar. Other healthier alternatives are coconut sugar and an alcohol based sugar known as Xylitol.