Are There Really Any Health Benefits to Raw Honey, or is it as Bad as Refined Sugar?
If you have read my articles you already know my stance that artificial sweeteners are pretty much one of the most evil things you can put in your body.
This leaves many people confused about what to use to sweeten their tea and other food and drinks.
First of all, the less of any sweetener you can use, the better… if you can slowly over time adjust your taste buds to enjoy the natural taste of foods and drink without the need for heavily sweetening them, you’ll see many benefits for your body including maintaining more stable blood sugar and insulin levels, managing your body weight, and reducing inflammatory effects of too much sugars and artificial sweeteners.
However, this leaves the question… If you really want to at least use a little sweetener for your tea, coffee, or other foods or drinks, should you use sugar or honey, or another sweetener?
The easy answer is that honey is definitely better for you than refined sugar. However, keep in mind that they are both calorie dense and eating large amounts of honey will still make you deposit body fat if it means you exceed your caloric maintenance level.
However, refined sugar is a “negative” nutrient… this means that it is literally devoid of nutrition and using it actually makes your body use up stored nutrients to process it.
Honey on the other hand has many beneficial nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants… raw honey is best as typical honey processing (the kind of honey you’ll find at your grocery store) destroys many of the enzymes and antioxidants that give the benefits of raw honey. Personally, I don’t use any honey other than raw honey… it’s a no brainer.
Also, another benefit of honey (raw) is that it has been shown in several studies to improve the body’s ability to process glucose, whereas refined sugar negatively affects your body’s ability to process glucose over time.
I’ve also seen studies that indicate another benefit of raw honey may be in the reduction of symptoms of allergies (if the raw honey is from the region you live in most of the year).
In fact, I don’t use refined sugar for anything at all. It’s either raw honey, pure maple syrup (not fake corn syrup), or the natural non-caloric sweetener stevia for all of my sweetening needs. Those are better choices than processed refined sugar or nasty health-destroying artificial sweeteners.
Raw honey – better than processed honey… higher quantities of beneficial nutrients and enzymes. Honey has even been proven in studies to improve glucose metabolism (your efficiency in processing carbohydrates). I use a small teaspoon every morning in my teas. Yes, I know that even honey is pure sugar, but at least it has some nutritional benefits… and let’s be real, a teaspoon of healthier raw honey is only 5 grams of carbs… certainly nothing to worry about, and a better choice than refined sugar.
Organic REAL maple syrup – none of that high fructose corn syrup Aunt Jemima crap…only real maple syrup can be considered real food. The only time I really use this (because of the high sugar load) is added to my post-workout smoothies to sweeten things up and also elicit an insulin surge to push nutrients into your muscles to aid muscle recovery.
Organic unsweetened cocoa powder – I like to mix this into my smoothies for an extra jolt of antioxidants or make my own low-sugar hot cocoa by mixing cocoa powder into hot milk with stevia and a couple melted dark chocolate chunks (delicious!).
If you are trying to make decisions about your diet, trying to lose belly fat and want to read the best tips, go here to read the rest of this story: 5 Foods that FIGHT Abdominal Fat
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