What are Honey Health Benefits? Should it be used as a Sweetener?

The topic of honey health benefits comes up often on the discussion board of my Turmeric User Group on Facebook which currently has over 160,000 members. Many people want to add it to the Turmeric Golden Paste to make it more palatable or believe that it will increase health benefits. I do not believe that this is the case and here are my reasons why……

What are Honey Health Benefits? Should it be used as a Sweetener?

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1.  I absolutely discourage intake of ANY sugar or sugar substitutes because it just adds more inflammation. One of the major reasons to take Turmeric Golden Paste is to decrease inflammation.

2.  Honey is simply concentrated sugar and is actually worse than sugar because it is higher in fructose. More and more evidence is being compiled on how bad high levels of fructose can be. Honey is just concentrated sugars and the research I have read is not conclusive for any benefits, and yet you can apply thousands of negative findings on fructose to honey, because honey is all fructose and glucose with a very very small amount of other beneficial compounds that can be found in much higher concentrations in many other healthy foods like pollen and yeast.

Honey health benefits - should it be used as a sweetener

3. Fruit, on the other hand, is not sugar but a whole food that has sugars as a component and it is very far away from the 100% as in honey. Fructose, glucose, lactose and maltose are simple and natural sugars, and easily metabolised but fructose in large amounts separated from the fibres in real food becomes a problem. It is quickly absorbed and sits in the liver and if it’s not needed it is converted to inflammatory fat and inflammatory mediators which then glue cholesterol to arteries. And so then fruit juicing is bad too because the fibre is needed for correct metabolism.

Sugar itself is natural but removed from the fibre of the cane or beet etc it is rapidly absorbed and ready for action, but when there is no action it can cause real problems (unless you are running marathons)! That easy, fast metabolism is the very issue with the refined sugars and taken in large amounts with sedentary metabolism, it is very bad!

4. Raw honey is the same and there is no different effect. It is a taste addiction only, with no benefits but many negatives and I strongly discourage consuming it. It is good to apply topically (externally on wounds) but you should limit consumption. Topically I use it often, but orally it is just another sugar to reinforce sweet addiction.

Ultimately, adding sugar or honey etc is merely an unnecessary addiction. You get enough from real foods and adding more will cause problems.

By Doug English

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Written by Doug English BVSc
From a pioneering farming family in Malanda, Atherton Tableland, North Queensland, Australia. After high school in Cairns I attended Gatton Agricultural College to study agriculture and after graduation went on to the University of Queensland Veterinary Science faculty where I graduated in 1974 and went into rural practice at Moree NSW. Then I did a few years with the South Australian Department of Agriculture as a livestock advisor mainly involved in the eradication of Brucellosis and tuberculosis in the cattle herds. This was followed by about 20 years in mixed farm/equine/pets at Wyong, NSW Central Coast, then managed a large thoroughbred stud at Scone (Kia-Ora) before returning back to Cairns, North Queensland to have my own mixed practice on the Northern Beaches for around 15 years. Now living on the Gold Coast in a farm/equine practice and researching turmeric growing and manufacturing health products from this wonderful plant.