5 Myths and Facts About Honey

Honey has been known as nature's superfood for centuries. Humans have been harvesting and culturing nests for a long to get nectar from honey bee's nests. But there are a lot of myths surrounding this amazing gift of nature.

Here are some of the myths and facts to clear your misunderstanding about it:

1. Honey can be used even by diabetics

Diabetics are contraindicated in foods with a high glycemic index, which, as we have already found out, include some types of honey. In connection with the fructose contained in honey, there is not only the erroneous opinion described above that it is useful for losing weight but also another: that fructose does not lead to a sharp rise in blood sugar and does not require insulin to be absorbed. People who hold this opinion believe that diabetics can eat varieties of honey with a high fructose content. A distinctive feature of the latter is late crystallization. 

Therefore, honey that retains its liquid consistency for a long time (acacia, sage, heather, chestnut) can be recommended by someone as a sweetener suitable for diabetes. At the same time, it seems that he should recommend with knowledge of the matter, with some comments about fructose and insulin and remarks that, for example, "You can't use honeydew and lime, but you can use sage." Nevertheless, doctors are more categorical in this matter and strongly recommend that diabetics completely exclude honey from the diet. Firstly, both glucose and sucrose are still present in honey, while hard at least one honey seller will be able to tell you with pharmaceutical accuracy the composition of the sugars in his product.

2. As a sweetener, honey is better than sugar

Fructose is actually absorbed by the body somewhat slower than glucose: first, it must enter the liver, wherein several stages it is converted either into glucose or into intermediate products of its metabolism. That is, the body spends a little more energy on the assimilation of fructose than on the assimilation of glucose. Many studies about the benefits of Manuka honey have proven that it is sweeter than sugar and has more health benefits.

But, first, the usual sugar, sucrose, is not glucose, but a disaccharide consisting of glucose and fructose monosaccharides. In the intestine, sucrose is rapidly hydrolyzed into glucose, and all the same fructose, which, like fructose from honey, is sent to the liver, where exactly the same thing happens to it. And secondly, in addition to fructose, honey contains sucrose and glucose itself.

3. Honey is a strong allergen

There are many ingredients in honey that can cause allergies: body parts of bees and other insects, spores of mold and other fungi, algae, various tiny organic debris; the most allergenic among honey components are pollen proteins and glandular proteins of bees. Honey is capable of causing the entire spectrum of allergic reactions, from mild itching in the mouth and contact urticaria on the skin to severe asthmatic manifestations and anaphylactic shock. However, in practice, honey allergy is extremely rare. The number of people exposed to it is less than 0.001%.

Doctors really do not advise giving honey to children under 18 months, but not at all because of allergies: Clostridia of botulism can get into live unpasteurized honey. Although they are unable to multiply in it and release dangerous toxins. In this form, they do not pose a threat to an adult but are unsafe for young children, whose immune systems are still too weak. In the case of pregnant women, there are no contraindications - the placental barrier will protect the fetus.

4. Honey - a storehouse of vitamins

Honey contains very small amounts of vitamins B 2, B 6, E, K, C, carotene, and folic acid. Thus, for example, vitamin B 2 in honey is almost four times less than in red meat, and 79 times less than in the liver but vitamin B 6 - four times less than in tomatoes and less than boiled potatoes - up to 11 times. In 100 grams of honey, there is not even a twentieth part of the vitamins a person needs on average per day.

5. The most useful honey is May

In different countries, different varieties of honey, due to traditions, are valued completely differently: for example, in the USA and Western Europe, they like honeydew because of its mineral composition, which cannot be said about the CIS countries, where it is often considered low-grade. In Russia, May is extolled, apparently because of its rarity. The fact is that it is simply unprofitable for beekeepers to collect honey in the spring when brood increases in the hives and the swarm requires a lot of nectar for their own needs. 

It is worth leaving the bees half-starved in the spring - and this will end in losses in the summer. Most often, what is sold under the guise of May honey is last year's, heated honey. But real May honey, collected in late May-early June, does not differ, on average, in any special use properties, in comparison with honey collected at other times. At the same time, May honey