Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some related insects. A lot of people recommend honey as a replacement for sugar in terms of health benefits but is honey really healthy for your body? First of all, let us look at the nutritional value of honey.
Nutritional Value of Honey
According to Wikipedia, One hundred grams of honey provides about 1,270 kJ (304 kcal) of energy with no significant amounts of essential nutrients. Composed of 17% water and 82% carbohydrates, honey has a low content of fat, dietary fiber, and protein.
Honey is a mixture of Sugars and other carbohydrates. It contains mainly fructose (38%) and glucose (32%) with remaining sugars including maltose and sucrose. It also contains vitamins (riboflavin, Niacin, vitamin c, pantothenic acid, and folate) and minerals like (zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorous), amino acids and antioxidants in small quantity.
Health Benefits of Honey
Honey is effective in healing wounds. It’s been found to be an effective germ killer and also aids in tissue regeneration. It is also effectual in fighting off diseases in the body because of the presence of hydrogen peroxide in it.
Honey is also a good antioxidant, aids in digestive issues like diarrhea, helps in relieving sore throat, and also helps boost the immune system when taken raw.
But does the side effects of using honey outweighs its usefulness? Is honey really healthy for you?
Side Effects of Honey
1. Weight Gain
If you are looking to lose weight, honey might not really be good for you. One tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories, which makes it higher than sugar at 49 calories per tablespoon. It might not seem a lot to you but taking it every time, the numbers keep piling up.
Frequent usage of sugar is associated with weight gain. In as much honey contains a small amount wide variety of vitamins, minerals, protein, and disease-fighting antioxidants. It’s still made up of fructose and glucose, the same sugary substance found in table sugar.
2. Infant Botulism
Honey can cause botulism in infants. Infant botulism occurs when an infant ingests a bacterial spore that produces a toxin inside the body. This occurs due to the presence of C botulinum in honey, which is a bacterial strain. It is advised not to give infants below the age of 1 honey.
3. Increase in Blood Sugar
Honey can increase the blood sugar level because it contains sugar. People with diabetes should avoid honey or take in small quantities. Long-term intake of honey can increase the levels of hemoglobin (hemoglobin that is bound to glucose) in the blood. High levels of hemoglobin can mean a higher risk of diabetes.
4. Tooth Decay
Honey contains sugar and its sticky. This may cause tooth decay if you don’t rinse your mouth properly after taking honey. Dental caries or cavities develop faster and in more teeth with a high sugar diet. Sugar should be avoided to reduce the risk of cavities.
Moderation is life. Honey is healthy for you but don’t take it in excess as it might cause issues for you. If you are looking to lose weight, avoid honey, or use sparingly. Always rinse your teeth with water after taking honey and If you are diabetic, consult your doctor before adding honey to your diet. Live healthy, happy, and smarter.