Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is Honey Healthy? by dr weil

If you are trying to reduce your intake of refined sugar, honey is one alternative - but not necessarily a healthier one. However, honey does have some health benefits over sugar, as it:
• Is sweeter than refined sugar, so you can use less.
• Has a higher proportion of fructose, which doesn't stress the pancreas as much as sucrose.
• Has a slightly lower glycemic load than table sugar.
• Contains trace enzymes; minerals, including calcium, magnesium and potassium; amino acids; and vitamins, including a wide range of B vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine.
Raw honey may even help promote wound healing - research indicates it can be an excellent first aid measure for burns, even very severe ones. (Don't treat a serious wound with the honey you get at the supermarket or health food store - you need a medicinal honey and someone with expertise to treat you.)
But honey also has its drawbacks. Its sticky consistency contributes to cavity formation, and can be worse for the teeth than refined sugar. Honey also should never be given to infants under one year of age, as it may contain bacterial spores that can cause infant botulism, a rare but serious disease that affects the nervous system.

While honey may not be much healthier than sugar, if you like it I recommend buying raw honey, which is tastier and has a better texture than heated and processed commercial honey.

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