Test Kitchen – Honey

Image result for free pics of honey bees               vs               Image result for free pics of sugar

HONEY vs SUGAR?

We are all aware that the overconsumption of sugar is a fatal flaw of the SDA (Standard American Diet). The ongoing and controversial question discussed on TV talk shows, written about in news articles and books etc. is ‘what can you  use to replace sugar’? And, will what you replace it with be good for you?

The natural sources for sugar include fruits, juices, and high-sugar vegetables like carrots and beets. These are all a part of a well-balanced and healthy diet. Glucose is the sugar naturally found in the foods you eat and is a primary energy source for your body and brain’s cells.

The downside is – can sugar pose serious risks to your health? Yes, it can when consumed in the form of refined sugar. What is refined sugar? “Refined sugar is any type of sugar product that has gone through a process to enhance or refine the raw sugars obtained from sugarcane and other foods.” It comes under many names – high-fructose corn syrup, galactose, barley malt, glucose solids, sorghum syrup, sucrose, and etc.

There is an alternative to these many forms of refined sugar. HONEY is one of the best. It has been around through all the ages of man. Given to man by our Creator himself. The following are verses from the Bible, which has many such verses in the many books in the bible:

Isaiah 7:15 “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.”
Proverbs 24:13  “My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste.”

Noah took the honey bees on the arc – why? Because it was a staple for maintaining the health of the Israelite people. It was the primary source of sugar; used in baking, and to make a fermented beverage called mead. And, who would have thought – honey was used, as well, as an embalming substance.

It is said that Honey is mentioned more than 61 times in the Bible.  Our Creator knew what he was doing.

So what makes honey different from sugar?  Honey is a whole food made by bees, while sugar is an extract of the sugarcane plant (the isolated component is technically called sucrose). Honey is a complex substance made up of hundreds of different compounds, macronutrients and micronutrients, prebiotics and probiotics, enzymes and various components of which we hardly have an understanding of. It as well has twenty-five different kinds of “sugar” to include sucrose, glucose, and fructose. However, the “sugars” in honey don’t have the same negative health effects  as those in processed sugars because they are natural. Honey is known to have a positive effect on appetite hormones. According to The Journal of Medical Food, it has been found that “honey can lower C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and plasma glucose, even in diabetic and hyperlipidemic people.”

Now you know how great honey can be and is…but, is all honey created equal? The best ways to get the best honey is: (1) Always choose raw honey which is left in its natural unprocessed form.  When honey is heated etc. a large percentage of the beneficial nutrients and components are altered or destroyed. (2) Eat local honey – as local honey has allergy-healing benefits because of the traces of pollen from local allergenic plants. It will help to fortify the immune system which in turn aids in fixing dysfunctions that  can be associated with allergies.

The right honey and good honey has been shown to destroy over 250 different strains of bacteria, a wide range of viruses and harmful fungi. Honey energizes, is an excellent brain food, and again, helps to build up the immune system. Scientific studies show that, “Honey contains natural antioxidant properties that can destroy biologically destructive chemical agents which have been linked to many diseases such as cancer. Not only could honey’s antioxidants help to eliminate free radicals in the body, they are also part of the nutrient supply for growth of new tissue.”

The only caution I am aware of is that honey is not good for children under the age of 1 year. Infants, do not have completely matured digestive systems and are susceptible to botulism food poisoning. Even though honey does not always contain the spores, it is more likely to contain botulinum (the spore that causes botulism), than some other food products. Therefore, it is recommended that parents avoid giving it to infants and small children. By the age of 2 children have more mature digestive systems, and, develop helpful bacteria in their intestines, which act as a defense against the harmful botulism spores that children are susceptible to. At this point in a child’s life, they can consume honey as an aid in easing the symptoms of colds and coughs. My dad used to give us, what he called, “Hot Toddies”. He made them by putting honey in a warm glass of water with lemon juice added. It was like drinking (but he made us sip it), warm lemonade. I gave them to my children, and still use them today on me. Another way that I use honey is in what I call my ‘vinegar and honey’ cocktail. Using, usually, an empty honey bottle, I fill it 1/2 way with honey and the rest of the way with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother). I shake it up and leave it in the cupboard. If I feel a cough or cold coming on, or not, I add 1 tablespoon of the honey/vinegar mixture to an 8 oz. glass water and drink it, usually more than one time a day. I found that drinking my ‘vinegar and honey’ cocktail at least once a day everyday, keeps me cold and flu free.

Scientific studies show that, “Honey contains natural antioxidant properties that can destroy biologically destructive chemical agents which have been linked to many diseases such as cancer. Not only could honey’s antioxidants help to eliminate free radicals in the body, they are also part of the nutrient supply for growth of new tissue.”

In addition, I could talk about how ‘honey’ is used in skin care products. It is a natural moisturizer. Keeping the skin hydrated, honey in skin care products prevents dryness, and rejuvenates moisture depleted skin.

In my opinion, HONEY IS AN AMAZING NATURAL PRODUCT – created by the Creator himself.

What is your choice? Refined sugar or Honey? I know what mine is, as  a honey lover, I use honey as the main sweetener in everything I bake, make, eat and/or drink. Alternatives that I use as well, are “pure” maple syrup, Agave’ Syrup, Truvia, and Stevia.

Image result for free pics of honey bees    BEE sure you make the healthy choice!

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