What’s All the Buzz About Honey?

Does it seem everyone is talking about the many health benefits of honey? Isn’t the fact that it is ooey gooey goodness enough? The main ingredient in the Mediterranean dessert, Baklava, honey, is considered a significantly healthier alternative to regular sugar. Honey is also said to have multiple health benefits, both by ingestion and topical use. Let’s unpack the facts around the difference between sugar and honey and track which is a healthier alternative…but who is keeping score?

Honey v Sugar

Honey is sugar without fat, which is often why people think it is better than regular sugar. It is important to understand that although it does contain some protein and nutrients, it still needs to be used in moderation since your body will break it down like sugar. One thing honey does have that sugar does not is polyphenols, and these are plant compounds known to promote health.

Since the opinions are split, it doesn’t favor one over the other when it comes to taste.

It’s a tie here.

Topical Application of Honey Treats Burns and Wounds

Going back to the times of the ancient Egyptians, honey is noted as a topical healing treatment for burns and wounds. Honey is commonly used as a treatment for post-surgery infections and foot ulcers caused by diabetes. Research shows that the anti-inflammatory effect of honey contributes to its reputation and effectiveness in treating both burns and wounds. One certainly should not rub some refined white sugar on a burn and expect the same results!

Additionally, many claim it works topically on psoriasis and treats cold sores. Some beauty experts even suggest applying honey as a facial treatment and wiping it off with warm water after ten minutes. So, yes, it is true that honey, used as a topical treatment, can aid in the healing of minor burns and wounds. As people continue to explore, experiment, and share different uses for honey, the benefits of topical use will certainly multiply!

The point goes to honey.

Which is Better for Dieting?

Honestly, since both are sugar and are both used in cooking and baking, it is hard to distinguish which is better for dieting. Dieting typically means reducing sugar and carbohydrates, so either of these sweeteners must be monitored, especially for those who already suffer from blood sugar levels that are high. Honey does offer some added nutrients and antioxidants that sugar does not. So, if thinking about which to use as a sweetener, even though less honey is typically required to achieve the same sweetness as sugar, it does offer some healthy extras.

The point goes to honey.

Which Offers Greater Health Benefits?

This is a hands-down win for honey. Sugar really doesn’t have any health benefits. It makes things taste better, but honey is the only one with some nutrients, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that come along with the goodness. The antioxidants neutralize cell build-up that can cause damage, which can potentially help in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and premature aging. Honey is also shown to be more regulatory when it comes to blood sugar levels than regular sugar.

Including local, raw, unpasteurized honey in one’s diet has shown to offer incredible benefits to those suffering from allergies from the same area. Honey is well known to help with coughs and sore throats due to the thick and liquid coating it provides. Many people claim that using honey instead of cough suppressants provides more extended relief, and most importantly, honey does not have any side effects or health risks when used as a throat coating! The active bacterium in honey is why it is not recommended for those under one year of age.

The point here clearly goes to…honey.

So, the final score for honey is three wins and one tie. Overall, honey does offer more health benefits than sugar. Sugar has a longer shelf life, but the two can easily be substituted for each other as sweeteners. If you live in San Diego County, DTek is an excellent bee removal company that also provides delicious and pure honey to locals.

Keep in mind that although it is illegal to do so, some honeys out there may be diluted with syrup. Even though it is an unlawful practice, it is still a problem in mass production. One way to ensure you do not have this happen is to find a local beekeeper and buy your honey local. There are many bee enthusiasts out there, and the bee community is growing, which is superb! Find a friendly, local bee company with experience and a reputation for being helpful and thoughtful when helping people with bee concerns. These companies, who have been around awhile, naturally offer the highest quality honey and peace of mind to the consumer that the bees are well taken care of and are producing honey with the health benefits they seek.