Are There Really Any Health Benefits to Raw Honey, or is it as Bad as Refined Sugar?
I'm sure from reading these newsletters, 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. You can find raw honey at certain health food stores or online at:
http://healthygrassfed.2ya.com (bottom left menu)
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.
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