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  • pass the honey, honey...

    So, I've been watching Les Stroud's new show "Beyond Survival" - LOVE it! Two of the episodes I've watched so far have featured traditional methods of honey gathering.

    I wanted to discuss this here. Of course, honey is a treat - and I've maintained it as a part of my diet (tea, baking, dressings & dips). But, it is sugar and so I watch my intake because of the sugar drives insulin drives fat mantra.

    Clearly, the indigenous tribes don't indulge in honey every day. I believe the San Bushmen harvest honey 3 or 4 times a year according to Les Stroud. Interestingly enough, the hunters ate it right at the tree and did not bring it back to the rest of the tribe. Instant energy for the hunt?

    The reason why I want to discuss this is to see how it fits into a modern Primal/Paleo paradigm. Is this carb re feeding? Is it 80/20? What about the anti oxidant and other health benefits of honey, is this the reason for the moderate consumption?

    And I'm not one to stress over everything I eat. I actually thought it was really cool to see the traditional honey gathering methods and the obvious enjoyment of the sweet treat! I'm LOVING the new show as well, and find myself really analyzing a lot of the indigenous methods from a Primal perspective - such a great show! Very upsetting to see how many of the tribes have lost their traditional hunting grounds and have adopted agriculture in order to be able to survive.
    Last edited by nocturnalmama; 10-05-2010, 05:35 PM. Reason: spelling error
    Robin
    ~primal mama to 3~

  • #2
    Honey is 70% fructose and that, to me, is problematic for more than rare use. We use it at Rosh Hashana and othewise skip it. Plain sugar is about half glucose and half fructose. Totally unrefined sugar - like my beloved Rapadura - is the same ratio but it does have a significant hit of minerals. Of course it's not healthy but it's at least got some benefits that other 'sugar' doesn't.

    I use xylitol when I bake - which is a rare event anyway. And I use xylitol to sweeten my Fage - which also isn't a daily thing.....or even a weekly thing.


    Katherine in Atlanta



    iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order

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    • #3
      Honey is good to keep around - it is naturally anti-bacterial/fungal etc as well as an excellent humectant- I put it on scrapes and cuts - heals things up like a charm.. I have also put it on those cracks on my heels at night and sleep with socks on - in a few days things are healed up nicely. Some people use it as part of a mixture to relieve sore throat. Also a great facial masque for moisturizing - a little sticky though :-)

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      • #4
        Raw honey is supposed to be excellent on burns. I used to eat a lot of honey, and the fructose in it probably accounted for my being unable to lose an ounce. I don't dare keep it in the house anymore.

        It's definitely a treat, even in moderation, and it should probably be a rare treat.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by twa2w View Post
          Honey is good to keep around - it is naturally anti-bacterial/fungal etc as well as an excellent humectant- I put it on scrapes and cuts - heals things up like a charm.. I have also put it on those cracks on my heels at night and sleep with socks on - in a few days things are healed up nicely. Some people use it as part of a mixture to relieve sore throat. Also a great facial masque for moisturizing - a little sticky though :-)
          Seriously? I never heard/thought of that. I'm a chronic neosporin+bandaid "healer" . If I switch to honey they'll really think I'm nuts. Just regular old store bought honey or do I need to get it off of a tree or at the hippie store?

          If it came in little squeeze tubes that would be great.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by urbansix View Post
            Seriously? I never heard/thought of that. I'm a chronic neosporin+bandaid "healer" . If I switch to honey they'll really think I'm nuts. Just regular old store bought honey or do I need to get it off of a tree or at the hippie store?

            If it came in little squeeze tubes that would be great.
            Most funky little health markets carry honey sticks (little tubes filled with honey) 4 or 5 for a buck.

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            • #7
              See this is all fantastic, and clearly honey does not fit into the modern Paleo/Primal paradigm. I'd venture to guess that if the traditional tribes are harvesting they likely have been harvesting it always, as I am sure our Paleolithic ancestors did. Now, weight loss was never a concern for them - so taking that out of the picture. Was the honey a treat? Was it a carb feed for an intended purpose? Was it medicinal?

              If someone were "in this for the longevity" and not to lose weight - what role could honey play? Or is it strictly in the "to be avoided" pile. Any pro honey (other for medicinal purposes) folks here?
              Robin
              ~primal mama to 3~

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              • #8
                I don't purposely try to work it into my diet, but I don't purposely avoid it, either. I regularly make little "cookies" that are a combo of almond meal, coconut oil and honey wrapped around a dried apricot.

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                • #9
                  Props to all of those who mentioned the medicinal uses of honey.

                  It i*is* one of the best evidence based treatments for first and second degree burns (better than silver sulfadiazine) and is handy to keep around as a humectant to be used in moist wound healing and as an anti-microbial for cuts/scrapes/abrasions.

                  The enzymes in raw honey make it a great facial mask - i like it mixed with full fat plain yogurt (lactic acid) and aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid...similar effects to salicylic acid/BHA)

                  Katherine



                  iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order

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                  • #10
                    I didnt know Les had a new show! I will check it.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      I don't know if I'd call myself pro-honey, but it is my sweetener of choice (not to mention my favorite burn treatment). Various studies have suggested that it may boost antioxidants, reduce C-reactive protein and homocysteine, and improve immunity when compared to equivalent sugar solutions. It is also a highly effective cough suppressant.

                      As for the percentage fructose, most of the sources I've read put it around 50%. I generally aim to limit my fructose consumption, but am not trying to cut it out entirely. Plus, honey is delicious and adds a nice complex flavor that you don't necessarily get from other sweeteners. So, I don't mind using a teaspoon of honey every couple days to make a tastier dessert, add some sweetness to a homemade BBQ sauce, or sooth a sore throat. In that quantity, the fructose isn't going to make you or break you, assuming you aren't dealing with fructose malabsorption issues. I definitely don't think it should be an everyday thing though.
                      The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

                      You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

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                      • #12
                        I didnt know Les had a new show! I will check it.
                        Yes! I would have thought everyone here would be all over this show!

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOAzRvsla7g
                        Robin
                        ~primal mama to 3~

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cillakat View Post
                          Honey is 70% fructose
                          Where did you find that value? According to wikipedia it is about 53%, if the calculation is just based on glucose and fructose. Based on the other sugars it is about 38%. I admit that these are all wikipedia figures and the references are from honey makers etc.

                          A lot of blogs slate it as "worse than HFCS," but I can't find any proper referencing. Do you have any papers for the value you are quoting?

                          Edit:
                          Adulteration of Honey with High-Fructose Corn Syrup - Detection by Different Methods
                          Abdel-Aal et al. 1993
                          "the fructose content of pure honey (47.6%)"
                          Last edited by lcme; 10-06-2010, 10:06 AM.

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                          • #14
                            i know there's no proof that it really works, but I've been eating about a tbs of local honey every day for probably at least 2 yrs & I have really noticed a significant decrease in allergy symptoms. Maybe it's just b/c of the weather (we had a cold winter which kept most of the horrible cedar under control this year). But I believe the local honey works.

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