Personally, I have loved honey for many years. When I first started formulating the recipes for Batchez, I knew that honey would be a key ingredient. However, honey can be misunderstood because it is a sweetener. To help better understand honey, and truly appreciate its value to your body, I have listed my top three healthy reasons to love honey.
Honey is not a normal “sugar”. The proportions of glucose and fructose in honey and granulated sugar are different. Granulated sugar is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. Honey on average contains 40 percent fructose and 30 percent glucose.
Granulated sugar is high on the glycemic index 70-80 (glycemic index being how fast your body converts the carbs in a food into glucose). The lower the number, the better. Raw honey can be as low as 50 on the glycemic index, which puts raw honey in the mid to low level of the glycemic index.
The second reason to love honey is that your body can receive many health benefits from all of the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are in honey. Antioxidants are important for our bodies to fight free radicals and reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and some types of cancer. Antioxidants have also been linked to helping to lower blood pressure.
The third big reason to love honey is that unlike granulated sugar, honey can actually aide digestion. For many years honey has been used as a home remedy for certain digestion problems. While the science here is less than thorough, it is now pretty widely accepted that honey is easier than sugar on the digestive system. Much of this is due in part to honey’s composition. Regular sugar has to be ingested before being broken down while in honey, bees add enzymes that partially break down the sugars making it easier to digest.
So now that you know my top three reasons to love honey, what can you do to include honey in your nutrition planning?
The biggest suggestion that I can make is to be sure and look for pure honey. Just like any food product, some honey is going to be pure and good for you, and others may be processed. Look for pure honey that is not blended with anything like fructose, glucose, or even water. All of these additives will affect the benefits of honey.
Once you know that you have your hands on good honey, just think about all the places where a little sweetness might enhance your daily foods like yogurt, coffee, veggies, oatmeal, and healthy baked goods. You can also use honey instead of sugar in your recipes. Don’t misunderstand or sell honey short. It is an amazing ingredient that should be part of your healthy diet.