Honey : health food or just sugar

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
Some sites give many benefits of honey, others say it is as bad as, or only slightly better than sugar.

I am talking of organic honey, taken in small quantities for an active person who is not overweight.

Are any of these true :

1. Good for blood, alleviates anemia (raises oxygen bearing capacity) if taken with tepid water
http://www.ishafoundation.org/blog/lifestyle/health-fitness/health-benefits-honey-uses/

2. Good for digestion, reduces gas, constipation, contains lactobacilli (probiotic)

3. Safer than sugar

4. Anti-bacterial/ antiseptic.

5. Alleviates allergies
http://www.medicaldaily.com/liquid-gold-7-health-benefits-honey-could-heal-your-whole-body-325932

Negatives: Other sites say that the minerals and other nutrients are present in too small amounts to be counted. The sugar profile is the same as white/table sugar. High heat kills off the bacteria, so there are no anti-bacterial properties.

I'd like some opinions on this. Please post links, too.

p.s. Organic honey is really expensive. Am I wasting my money buying it?
 

AHJS

Professional
No. Honey is a ton better for you than sugar. Yes, it is very sugary and sweet, but there are also all those health benefits you mentioned. IMO, its definitely worth it.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
These so-called health benefits sound dubious. For example, you CAN'T raise the oxygen capacity of red blood cells since they are ordinarily at about 100% saturation unless the individual has severe emphysema, etc.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Honey or sugar on toast? That is the question.

Shortcrust pastry? Sugar will do.

Different types of food for different applications, in other words, despite the similarity.
 
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ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Let's be clear here...the research about antibacterial effects of manuka honey has nothing to do with eating it. The cited studies are either in vitro or smearing it on to treat wound infections. Enjoy!
 

Soul

Semi-Pro
Well, nothing wrong with using the honey on the outside of the body for an infection, if it helps! That seems to be the main point of the article from Dr. Briffa too.

I mainly brought up Manuka honey as it's the one often written about on different health sights. It seems to be the honey best thought of. I've noticed that regular honey doesn't seem to be as well written about, at least with the health sights I visit.

I guess since I got myself into this topic, a few other honey articles which brings up internal use. Hope that helps!

"Honey found to soothe children’s coughs"

http://www.drbriffa.com/2007/12/05/honey-found-to-soothe-children’s-coughs/

&

"Manuka Honey: Can This Sweetener Replace Chemical Mouthwash For Reducing Your Dental Plaque?"

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/a...a-honey-better-than-xylitol-in-mouthwash.aspx

&

"Honey as Medicine is Making a Comeback"

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/a...1/honey-as-medicine-is-making-a-comeback.aspx

snippet from the article, about external use, but the article talks some about possible internal uses also.

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration approved Manuka honey to be used in wound and burn care in the United States. Manuka wound dressings have already been used for several years in Great Britain, Australia, and its native New Zealand. Canada also cleared it for use as an antimicrobial dressing earlier this year.

Honey was a conventional therapy in fighting infection up until the early 20th century, at which time its use slowly vanished with the advent of penicillin.

Compared to other types of honey, Manuka has an extra ingredient with antimicrobial qualities, called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). The level of UMF can vary between batches, so each batch is ranked and priced accordingly. The higher the concentration of UMF, the darker, thicker and more expensive it is.

In July 2007, the FDA gave Derma Sciences, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of wound-care products, clearance to sell Manuka wound and burn dressings as medical devices. It’s the first honey-based product approved for medical use in the United States.

Washington Post August 7, 2007....
&

An article that takes a dim view on most regular store bought honey.

"Honey – Do You Know What You're Getting?"

http://www.knowthecause.com/index.p...th/1379-honey-do-you-know-what-you-re-getting
 
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movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I've heard that it's good for cuts, wounds, etc. because of the anti-bacterial properties and it will provide a nice seal. I don't see any downside to trying that as you're not ingesting the sugar.

I've read about the benefits anecdotally but haven't dug into the research but I've started taking a little of it now and then - actually my wife puts it in stuff.

I've also heard that there are a variety of types of honey - the types of things that the Bees bring in, I suppose, could result in differences between types of honey.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I take a tablespoon of honey every couple of days and have been giving it to my son too, and repeating the same story of health benefits, but deep in my heart I know it just tastes good and has no benefits.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Honey's been around for a long time, and except for smearing on a wound to promote healthy healing (something I've never really had a problem with, even without honey), or perhaps for a cough due to a cold, it's difficult to find a single decently done study showing evidence of health benefits of honey. Idiosyncratic testimony like the one above are inconsequential and the way superstitions begin. Where is a decent study showing any other real benefit??
 

Soul

Semi-Pro
Oh, it would be ideal if further and better studies were done. With foods it seems that is rarely the case though due to high costs of doing studies.

With the larger studies done in medicine, it's been troubling to learn of all the problems coming to light with the unreliably of research performed. It's sad and upsetting for professionals & patients that relies up this work to make judgments. Hopefully, eventually, reliable reforms will be made in this area to improve the situation.

Many researchers and publishers have spoken up about the problem with todays research, but Dr Marcia Agnell's comments come to mind.

"Can we believe any medical research – at all?"

http://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2014/11/17/can-we-believe-any-medical-research-at-all/

snippet from Dr. Kendrick's sight:

...A view supported from a slightly different angle by Dr Marcia Agnell, who was the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine for two decades. This was, and remains, the single most powerful and influential medical journal in the world. At least it is, when it comes to citations and impact factor:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” Dr Marcia Agnell

Here is a further view on the issue by Richard Smith, editor of the BMJ for many years. He wrote this in his blog:...
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
- real honey has amazing benefits

- check the diet of the Spartan warriors, among all was to feed themselves for a whole month exclusively with honey

- no benefits? I have personally taken for 3 months any medicin a doctor gave me, not to someone else that I heard a story - to me, personal experience, nothing helped. Until the moment I used propolis from honey
It is widely used and praised in traditional cultures. In Ayurveda, the term for honey is the same as the term for the supposed nectar of immortality. But all said and done, no doctor actually prescribes honey for anything.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Soul
Angell was actually editor in chief for only one year, deputy editor for about eleven. And I don't see how high cost is a reason that more research on health issues and food can't be done. Obviously the food industry would rather not do studies they don't have to, and maybe the honey industry doesn't want to come up with negative studies, but groceries (NOT including what is sold in restaurants) are a 1.4 trillion dollars a year industry in the US (pharmaceuticals are 0.3 trillion) so the money is there to do research.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
It is quite common to see someone at the top of their field eventually making some kind of statement negating their life's work. Remember they already have made a lot of money and a little sensational news about them means more money after retirement. So you have physicists who doubt physics in their old years and declare that nothing more can be known, and so on.
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
It is widely used and praised in traditional cultures. In Ayurveda, the term for honey is the same as the term for the supposed nectar of immortality. But all said and done, no doctor actually prescribes honey for anything.
I could name you many things doctors do not prescribe which are good for health. First off, i don't think doctors are into prevention. They seem to be more into addressing symptoms.

The doctors i see in hospitals (in India at least) usually prescribe (recommend) things that they are (I think) paid to do so. I have seen nutritionists prescribe/recommend foreign brands of biscuits (McVities not Brittania), husk etc and usually not the cheaper Indian brands. I've never heard of doctors prescribing Amla even though it has a high vitamin C content.

Anyway, the issue with honey is that it is either touted as a superfood on one end, and as just sugar on the other.

btw, i also looked up jaggery the other day. I could only find beneficial links -- i presume since most were Indian. I tried googling for articles that might say it is bad, but none came up. Perhaps no one in the west is interested ???
 

Sentinel

Bionic Poster
It is widely used and praised in traditional cultures. In Ayurveda, the term for honey is the same as the term for the supposed nectar of immortality. .
What is your take on curd/yoghurt ?

Since you mentioned Ayurveda, one doc friend of mine said that curd is expressly contraindicated in Ayurveda, "it is a bad food". One is not to have it. He did mention that buttermilk can be taken, but that is not curd with water, but churned from cultured cream or something.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I could name you many things doctors do not prescribe which are good for health. First off, i don't think doctors are into prevention. They seem to be more into addressing symptoms.

The doctors i see in hospitals (in India at least) usually prescribe (recommend) things that they are (I think) paid to do so. I have seen nutritionists prescribe/recommend foreign brands of biscuits (McVities not Brittania), husk etc and usually not the cheaper Indian brands. I've never heard of doctors prescribing Amla even though it has a high vitamin C content.

Anyway, the issue with honey is that it is either touted as a superfood on one end, and as just sugar on the other.

btw, i also looked up jaggery the other day. I could only find beneficial links -- i presume since most were Indian. I tried googling for articles that might say it is bad, but none came up. Perhaps no one in the west is interested ???
Amla (Indian gooseberry) can behave like a laxative.

Jaggery or gud is mollases or unrefined brown sugar, though in Bengal one variety is made from palm trees (patali gud). Similar products are available in the West.

Whenever I am in India, I stock up on Palm Chocolate bars from Khadi Bhavan.

Again, the sugar in jaggery and honey probably does more harm than any small benefits from trace elements in them.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
What is your take on curd/yoghurt ?

Since you mentioned Ayurveda, one doc friend of mine said that curd is expressly contraindicated in Ayurveda, "it is a bad food". One is not to have it. He did mention that buttermilk can be taken, but that is not curd with water, but churned from cultured cream or something.
Curd/yogurt is an excellent source of probiotic cultures for digestion.

Ayurveda frowns on any fermented food, like bread and cheese, probably because fermentation was only used to produce alcohol in ancient times. Wheat and corn were simply cooked by heat. Later, when bread and cheese showed up, there might have been a reluctance to accept them.

Curd was probably not very easy to keep for long as there was no refrigeration. Same thing for cheese too. Rather than risk the dangers of eating over-fermented food, Ayurveda probably took the safe route of discouraging them.
 

LuckyR

Legend
Soul
Angell was actually editor in chief for only one year, deputy editor for about eleven. And I don't see how high cost is a reason that more research on health issues and food can't be done. Obviously the food industry would rather not do studies they don't have to, and maybe the honey industry doesn't want to come up with negative studies, but groceries (NOT including what is sold in restaurants) are a 1.4 trillion dollars a year industry in the US (pharmaceuticals are 0.3 trillion) so the money is there to do research.
You aren't really trying to compare the margins of groceries to pharmaceuticals, are you? I am hard pressed to come up with a lower and higher profit margin set of two common products than the two you mention.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
^^ certainly not at the retail level, but at the manufacuring level both are highly profitable, and since the grocery business is at least 400 percent larger in revenue, I think there's enough money laying around to do research.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
Honey bees are dying off in the US for some reason.

Honey isn't doing them much good.
Honeybees are invasive in the US anyway...hence they are called "European Honybees".

Bumblebees are cool, they are less likely to sting, and they friggin' BELONG HERE!!!
 
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Sentinel

Bionic Poster
Curd/yogurt is an excellent source of probiotic cultures for digestion.

Ayurveda frowns on any fermented food, like bread and cheese, probably because fermentation was only used to produce alcohol in ancient times. Wheat and corn were simply cooked by heat. Later, when bread and cheese showed up, there might have been a reluctance to accept them.

Curd was probably not very easy to keep for long as there was no refrigeration. Same thing for cheese too. Rather than risk the dangers of eating over-fermented food, Ayurveda probably took the safe route of discouraging them.
Strangely enough, i was googling about Ayurveda and curd last night, after posting the previous post, and i could find only positive articles on curd. So i don't know how this friend was so categorical.

I am wary about jaggery and honey, there was a lot of diabetes in my father's side, and today diabetes is rising even where it was not hereditary. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
 

Denise

New User
I've found honey very healthy and it's full of antioxidants which make it much more effective. So can't call it simple sugar, honey is actually awesome.
 

Soul

Semi-Pro
It is quite common to see someone at the top of their field eventually making some kind of statement negating their life's work. Remember they already have made a lot of money and a little sensational news about them means more money after retirement. So you have physicists who doubt physics in their old years and declare that nothing more can be known, and so on.
Oh, you hear the concern about current medical industry from young and old of late. As an example, a nice short video presentation I listened to this morning from UK cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra.

“It Is Health That Is the Real Wealth”

http://www.dietdoctor.com/it-is-health-that-is-the-real-wealth
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
ofcourse honey is prescribed by doctors, and by-products of bees...

possibly not in the US yet since it is a well known fact that in the case of allergies for example the overall approach in the US is somewhere behind medieval ages, trying to catch up after 2013.

basic way to treat alergies according to latest academic researches (2011 onwards) is also through bee related products either through injections or orally.

they have first increased allergies in the US and UK by about 20 000 % from 1980 to 2010 through the most scandalous unscientific approaches through the respective US health organization, feed you with drugs about dealing just with the symptoms, and they now have to go back to basics...

our doctor, and professor of medicine in 2 european universities has prescribed to my wife, and treated allergies stuff... unfortunately not possible to get them in the UK still
I buy organic honey from a farmer's market and she claims it cures allergies. Does it really? Who knows?
 

G A S

Hall of Fame
I've found honey very healthy and it's full of antioxidants which make it much more effective. So can't call it simple sugar, honey is actually awesome.
honey is natural, don't know how it could be bad, just look at the hidden refined sugar in the products at the supermarket and then dare to say one should avoid sugar while he consumes hidden refined sugar with his regular itens at the supermarket.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Nightshade is natural too - its not very good for you. Honey is likely somewhat better for you then a simple sugar (incidentally its maple syrup that's the rage - not honey). How much better for you is really the question that we haven't answered yet. It has additional chemicals/compounds which may be beneficial to humans - but they haven't really been isolated yet.

I see no compelling reason to go out and start eating a bunch of honey - but it might be good to use instead of sugar (when it tastes good)..
 

Denise

New User
Ok, I'm a huge fan of honey and I've personally found it very healthy and beneficial.Its powerful healing attributes have long been used thousands of years ago and known to promote healing for cuts, cure ailments and diseases, and correct health disorders for generations after generations. The renowned UMF Manuka honey, perhaps the tastiest natural medicine, is commonly cited in many discussions on health benefits of honey. This honey not only fights infection and aids tissue healing but also helps reduce inflammation and scarring. In addition, it is often used for treating digestive problems such as diarrhea, indigestion, stomach ulcers and gastroenteritis. The page, titled "In What Ways have You Experienced the Benefits of Honey?" is filled with eye-popping testimonies about the healing power of honey. I've lost count of the number of times I have accessed that page, but the stories posted there never cease to move and amaze me over and over again. It also helps in losing weight and annoying fat from body. With more and more health experts and theories, such as the Hibernation Diet, supporting its benefits, this oldest natural sweetener just keeps getting better. So I'll say It is definitely one of the most amazing super foods that are naturally available to us in nature.
 
Ok, I'm a huge fan of honey and I've personally found it very healthy and beneficial.Its powerful healing attributes have long been used thousands of years ago and known to promote healing for cuts, cure ailments and diseases, and correct health disorders for generations after generations. The renowned UMF Manuka honey, perhaps the tastiest natural medicine, is commonly cited in many discussions on health benefits of honey. This honey not only fights infection and aids tissue healing but also helps reduce inflammation and scarring. In addition, it is often used for treating digestive problems such as diarrhea, indigestion, stomach ulcers and gastroenteritis. The page, titled "In What Ways have You Experienced the Benefits of Honey?" is filled with eye-popping testimonies about the healing power of honey. I've lost count of the number of times I have accessed that page, but the stories posted there never cease to move and amaze me over and over again. It also helps in losing weight and annoying fat from body. With more and more health experts and theories, such as the Hibernation Diet, supporting its benefits, this oldest natural sweetener just keeps getting better. So I'll say It is definitely one of the most amazing super foods that are naturally available to us in nature.
Well if your weight and blood sugar is ok and you don't eat a pound of honey a day you are probably not doing anything wrong.
 
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