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Is Honey Healthy?

By Sara Butler

It's not uncommon to see honey marketed as a healthier alternative to sugar and high fructose corn syrup, but is that information you can trust? Here's how to make sense of all the buzz surrounding honey and whether it's truly healthier for you.

Different Types of Honey

While all honey originates in a beehive, you may have noticed that honey comes with different names. These names simply indicate how the honey is processed before it gets made available to the public. These different types of honey you may encounter include:

  • Raw honey - This type of honey has had the wax chunks filtered out and the largest particles strained, but it's not been pasteurized. Honey is naturally low in bacteria, so it doesn't need to be pasteurized to be safe. Some people like raw honey because it still has pollen in it and small pieces of wax.
  • Comb honey - If you want honey in its purest form, then comb honey is it. This is straight out of the beehive to a shelf near you and is completely unprocessed.
  • Filtered or strained honey - This type of honey is very similar to raw honey, but it's been filtered a bit more to take out the small pieces of wax. It still usually retains some amount of pollen.
  • Chunk honey - This isn't the name of a new rock band, but a type of honey similar to comb honey where a few large chunks of wax remain.
  • Ultra-filtered honey - The most filtered honey you can buy, it's been filtered and heated so it's clear with a long shelf life.

Is It Better Than Refined Sugar?

Honey is high in calories and sugars, but it's still a more solid choice for your health than refined sugar. That's because honey has other things to offer aside from simply calories, such as important antioxidants.

Honey is full of flavonoids and phenolic acids, which help to fight the free radicals that can cause disease. They may help to protect you from some chronic health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.  

Plus, there's some evidence to suggest that using honey in place of refined sugar won't increase your blood sugar levels as much and might also lower your triglycerides and overall cholesterol.

You have to be careful because honey is still a sweetener and too much of it, even though it's not as bad as refined sugar, can still be unhealthy.

The conclusion about honey? It has some benefits to your health for sure, but it still should be enjoyed in moderation.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Northbrook, Ill.

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