Is Honey Good or Bad for You?
Honey is often regarded as a healthy alternative to regular sugar.
The many health benefits that come with it as well as its antioxidant properties are some of the reasons why it’s a healthy alternative.
It can be claimed that honey is a nutritious and tasty way of satisfying your sweet tooth. Yet, others may totally dismiss this claim, arguing that it’s little more than an indulgence in some sugar.
Honey is a syrup-like substance produced from nectar by bees. Nectar is produced by flowering plants.
The nectar is consumed by the bees that collect it. It is thereafter digested and regurgitated for the production of honey within beehives.
Honeycombs are used by bees for the storage of honey. Humans also gather these wax-like structures through beekeeping.
There exist many types of honey. These types differ based on extraction methods, the plant source and whether it has undergone pasteurisation or it’s raw.
Common types of honey include:
- Avocado honey
- Clover honey
- Sage honey
- Buckwheat honey
- Orange blossom honey
- Blueberry honey
- Eucalyptus honey
- Alfalfa honeyThe nutrition profile of honey is usually dependent on the type. It varies from one type to another. 17 grams of carbs and 64 calories are ordinarily found within one tablespoon (21 grams). Little or no fibre, fat and protein are contained within a single tablespoon.
Micronutrients including iron, potassium and zinc are also present in honey, although in trace amounts. The Reference Daily Intake of it amounts to less than 1%.
Rich in Antioxidants
Several key antioxidants can be found in high-quality honey. It can be rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids that are good for the body’s health.
Antioxidants work by helping in the reduction of oxidative cell damage risks. This is achieved when these compounds offer assistance in combating disease-causing free radicals.
A critical role is taken up by these compounds in the health and disease fields. Some research is pointing towards the possibility that these compounds may help with chronic conditions including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Furthermore, some studies have suggested that your blood’s antioxidant status can be increased through the consumption of certain types of honey. The buckwheat variety is one such type.
Promotion of Heart Health
The inclusion of high-quality honey rather than regular sugar within your diet may promote various heart health aspects. The consumption of honey has been linked to the reduction of various heart disease risk factors.
For instance, honey was found to increase “good” HDL cholesterol whilst decreasing “bad” LDL cholesterol levels within the body. This was according to one 30-day study done that comprised 55 participants. The study compared the effects of honey and table sugar.
Triglyceride levels were also reduced by up to 19%.
Moreover, animal studies have shown that systolic blood pressure reduced through honey supplementation. This is another significant heart disease risk factor.
High in Sugar
Honey comes with a high sugar content notwithstanding the health benefits linked to it. This high content of sugar can be harmful to your health.
Studies have even linked obesity, liver issues, insulin resistance, inflammation and heart disease to high-sugar diets.
The likelihood of dementia, depression and some cancer types can be tied to the consumption of excess sugar.
Consequently, go for a high-quality brand to benefit from the potential benefits of honey. This can substitute unhealthy sweeteners within your diet including refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
Nonetheless, make sure you keep your intake in check. Exercise moderation and consume honey sparingly. This minimises any health risks that you may face as side effects.
The Bottom Line
Even so, too much intake can be detrimental to your health because of its high calorie and sugar content.
Honey can, therefore, be used as a replacement of other sugar forms as it’s enjoyed in moderation.
Still, with moderation and the selection of a high-quality product, honey can form a well-rounded healthy diet.
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