Let’s talk about honey

Honey is a sugary foodstuff of viscous consistency obtained from the nectar of flowers or from the secretions of plants by certain insects, in particular bees.

It is amber-yellow in colour, more or less intense depending on the type of honey.

There are several types of honey that can be classified according to the origin of the nectar (acacia honey, lime tree honey, dandelion honey, etc.); according to the colour (white honey, blond honey); according to the method of extraction (virgin honey, centrifuged honey, pressed honey).

Nutritional properties

On average, 100 grams of honey develop 304 calories and contain approximately

18 g water

0.6 g of protein

80 g of carbohydrates

80 g of sugars

5 mg of calcium

0,5 mg of iron

11 mg of sodium

51 mg of potassium

6 mg of phosphorus

3 mg of magnesium

0,04 mg of vitamin B2 or Riboflavin

0,3 mg of vitamin B3 or Niacin

1 mg of vitamin C

Is honey good or bad for my health?

It depends first of all on how many carbohydrates you eat during the day, and before that on how many calories you consume.

If you follow a high-calorie (beyond your daily energy requirements) and high-glucose (with excess carbohydrates) diet, the more honey (fructose) you eat, the worse it is, because your liver will be saturated with “sugars”.

The consequence of this can be fatty liver and insulin resistance, even though fructose in itself does not alter blood sugar.

Conversely, if you are on a fat-loss, low-carbohydrate diet, the fructose content you might ingest will be higher, as the liver (and the whole body) will be starved of energy.

So honey is only bad or not if you read it in the context of your diet and lifestyle.

In general, fructose, being a simple sugar, should be limited and should be counted among the simple sugars that should not be overdone.

With regard to honey and diabetics, as with all things, it is always a question of quantity: honey is not bad for diabetics if not taken in excess as part of a high-calorie diet.

Once again, it is the energy context that dominates: blood sugar is not only altered by the carbohydrates and sugars we eat, but also by the amount of calories.

So when not to eat honey?

Because of honey’s high calorie content, its consumption is contraindicated in people with diabetes and in overweight or obese people.

Due to the risk of infection with botulinum toxin, it is also strongly discouraged for children under one year of age.

In normal quantities, it is not at all to be regarded as a health problem.

When in excess, however, it is bad for you because it leads to metabolic problems (such as insulin resistance, diabetes) and cardiovascular problems, like any other source of carbohydrates.

Article by Riccardo Negro

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