Isn’t honey better than sugar?

Isn’t it funny
How a bear likes honey?
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
I wonder why he does?

from Winnie-the-Pooh (1926)  by A. A. Milne

What is honey?
Honey is literally regurgitated nectar or honeydew that has been collected and transformed into a sweet food by bees.
Nectar comes from flowers, honeydew from tree sap.

What is Sugar?
Granulated white sugar is processed fructose and glucose coming from sugar cane or sugar beet. After processing all nutrients in sugar are destroyed.  So the rawer the state of sugar the more the nutrients are retained.  Note that brown sugar is not the same as raw sugar.  Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added.
Sugar is addictive.

Airborne Manuka Honey label 1

Raw or Heated
Honey factories usually heat their honey to liquify it to get it into the containers.  If honey isn’t heated it is said to be raw.  Airborne claims to have the lowest heat process of anywhere in New Zealand without damaging the honey.  They have patented their process.  Raw forms of honey contain more nutrients.
I like addition of pollen count, HMF numbers and batch numbers on the containers of Airborne honey.
Through pollen you can confirm the source of the nectar or honeydew.

Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is present in heated or dried foods.
The lower the number the better.

With a batch number you can confirm from which hive the honey originated.

If your honey starts to harden or crystallise then you can just heat it up to return it to its liquid form. Honey never goes bad.

When making hot drinks, add honey when the temperature is cooler.

Honey Properties
Colour, flavour and properties of honey depend on where and what type of nectar or honeydew the bees have collected.
Honey has antioxidant, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. Sugar has none.
I have found it extremely difficult to find out what makes up honey.  I cannot find out what micro nutrients are in honey apart from a study done perhaps 80 years ago.  I understand that every honey is different dependent on where the honey is sourced, rural or urban, floral or tree, near organic farms, near GM crop fields, cold zones, warm zones, the list as long a piece of string. That’s what my grandmother used to say.  No wait, she said “as silly as a piece of string.” Similar but different.

I like it when a food label actually tells you the contents are and where the ingredients are from.  It is so natural to want to know. As consumers we should be told the facts and not left to assume the contents.
Otago White Clover Honey tells you what it is:  Ingredients: Pure Honey 100%. Excellent. Where the honey is from is vague but it does give the area as Otago white clover fields. Good.
The Airborne Manuka Honey label reads on the front “Pure Natural New Zealand Honey” but it does not list ingredients anywhere on the back label. Good.  It does list in detail where the honey comes from with batch numbering, so that if you want to follow up you can.  Excellent.

Otago White Clove Honey label

Hot honey and lemon drinks when you have a cold or the flu is a good home remedy.  Don’t add the honey just when the water has boiled.  Let it cool.

Manuka Honey
Here in New Zealand we have a unique manuka honey that is from the native manuka and kanuka trees. It’s antibacterial properties are similar to that of the tea tree.  For the those levels of antibacterial properties to be present in honey there needs to be a Unique Manuka Factor UMF(R) with a number 5 or greater written after it. UMF(R) 10 or greater contains therapeutic qualities. Otherwise it is floral honey. Floral manuka honey is delicious with loads of flavour but it won’t have the higher concentrate antibacterial properties. The darker the manuka honey the more therapeutic value.  More details.

Honey vs. Sugar calories

Airborne Manuka Honey Granulated White Sugar
Serving size 20g 65cal 76cal
Protein 0.1g 0

Minerals in Honey
The following figures give the mineral constituents of thirty-four 100 gram samples of average honeys in milligrams. (Elser and Sundberg)*:

Phosphoric acid 56.93
Iron 1.80
Manganese 0.48
Chlorine 16.37
Calcium 15.86
Silicates 8.91
Magnesium 5.48
Potassium 149.4
Sodium 23.37

Airborne Manuka Honey label 2

*I think these studies were done between 1928-1930
statistics sourced from:

I CHOSE honey
There isn’t much between honey and sugar in calories but in micro nutritional value honey is ahead of sugar. YES. Honey is better than sugar. Who argues with Winnie the Pooh?

I hope that the honey bees will be around longer than us.  We need them.  They don’t need us. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a mystery that affected bee populations all around the world up until 2006/2007. Without  bees there is no pollination, no pollination, then no fruit.  Planting bee friendly plants will encourage bee populations.

After researching honey I have decided to store my honey out of the fridge after opening.

About a year ago I started using raw sugar instead of white granulated sugar in baking. I feel happy with my choice.  I don’t add sugar to tea or coffee.  The exception is masala tea.
Meringues are the only recipe I think that absolutely needs the white sugar but otherwise raw sugar all the way.  But I haven’t made a meringue or a pavlova in years.  Note I didn’t say eaten.  Told you I had a sweet tooth.

Want to know more about bees and honey?
Click Here ,there and more.

Organic stuff over there.


7 thoughts on “Isn’t honey better than sugar?

  1. Pingback: 7×7 Link Award | throve

    • I also read just recently that one bee produces only about a 12th of a teaspoon of honey in a lifetime, makes you want to scrape the bottom of the jar a little bit more thoroughly. 🙂

    • I did read that about honey and heat in Ayurveda however I still chose to have honey in a hot lemon ginger tea if I feel under the weather. I have been made more aware of heat and using honey and as mentioned I let the boiled water sit first then add honey. That is my concession. I would still use honey in recipes if it were an ingredient. For example I use it in the marinade for roast pork Chinese style. I don’t believe honey is poisonous if heated. However I do believe the higher the HMF count in foods, the lesser the goodness.

      • Says who? Sugar and honey are both poison and both medicine. It depends upon who for. Everyone is an individual and pretty much nothing is good for everyone and the opposite as well. If you go by western nutrition you will always be confused. They cannot see deep enough into substances therefore all sugar is bad or something like that. Not true, sugar is needed in our diets as it is one of the main builders of the tissues as well as our immune system.

      • The post is really just about honey. Of course our body needs sugar in one form or another and preferably in the form of carrots rather than a chocolate bar. Not all sugar is bad. Removing sugar completely from your diet is harmful. I just want to REDUCE the amount of sugar/carbohydrates I eat and improve the source of my food. I want to look at the whole picture hence my interest in Ayurveda. Preventing illness through better eating habits and lifestyle is the aim. Everyone is different, what works for one person doesn’t work for another, just like you said. This is my journey.

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s