Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
8 Feb

Is Honey a Safe(r) Sweetener?

I pride myself on making the Primal Blueprint an easy lifestyle to follow. If you were just starting out, you could easily read a few articles, do a couple hours of research, and start making positive changes to your diet, exercise routine, sleep schedule, or daily life immediately. You could ditch grains or replace some chronic cardio with weights or switch to grass-fed meat, and even if you did nothing else, you’d have made a significant improvement to your life and eventually your health. I often receive thank you emails for putting together a program that Internet-illiterate grandmas and grandpas can get into and actually understand. That said, sometimes things get a little confusing.

Like with honey.

See, as a general rule, I am against the consumption of refined sugars, especially sucrose and high fructose corn syrup. To understand why – if you’re still wondering – check out my definitive post on the subject. But what about the preeminent unrefined natural sweetener – the rich amber nectar that’s been available to humans from the very start (albeit protected by barbed, flying suicide stingers)? How are we to approach honey? Because while refined sugar and particularly fructose are to be avoided, alone those are refined, manmade, processed “foods.” White sugar is just sucrose, which is just fructose and glucose. High-fructose corn syrup is just fructose and glucose. Isolated fructose is just fructose. Those aren’t even foods, though they can be eaten; they’re just disaccharides and monosaccharides, with zero minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients, flavonoids, and other micronutrients.

Honey, on the other hand, contains over a hundred different compounds, not just fructose and glucose. It has a small amount of minerals, amino acids, and vitamins, but the point is that it’s not just sugar. Entire colonies of honey bees thrive on the stuff. It’s food by any definition. And whole foods are different than refined foods, and especially refined food-like products. They have different effects when you eat them. Eating an almond is not the same as taking a shot of rancid seed oil. Eating a handful of berries isn’t the same as sprinkling an equal amount of berry-extracted sugar in your water and drinking it.

The question, then, is whether or not this holds true for honey. Is honey “better” than sugar or HFCS? Are some of the harmful effects of the sugar contained therein mitigated by the presence of bioactive compounds? Let’s take a look.

(Speaking of which, I won’t get into the individual compounds found in honey, because each batch of honey is unique. Besides the whole vomiting thing, honey bees don’t really have strict manufacturing standards, and which bioactive compounds end up in the honey depends on the variety of flowers visited by the bees, as well as the season. I might refer to different honey varietals, like buckwheat or wild flower, but keep in mind that buckwheat from area to area and even harvest to harvest will have different pollen concentrations, giving the honey different qualities.)

Humans have certainly been figuring out ways to get their mitts on the sticky mess for as long as we’ve realized it tasted good: a 6,000 year-old cave painting from Spain even depicts a honey hunter climbing a ladder, stick in hand and satchel at its side, gathering honey as bees swarm. Modern day people, like the San bushmen and the Ache of Paraguay, are honey hunters, with the Ache getting upwards of 10% of their calories from wild honey (and the larvae found in the honeycombs). For a visceral idea of the great lengths some people go to for honey, check out this incredible video of a tribesman from the Congo scaling a 40 meter tree to get at the hive. That’s dedication. After that climb, I imagine his muscle and liver glycogen stores were rather depleted and the honey was a welcome fuel source.

Studies on honey paint a pretty favorable picture, actually, especially when it’s compared to table sugar or other more refined sweeteners. Let’s dig in to a few, shall we?

In one study (PDF), researchers compared the effects of honey and refined fructose feeding on rats. Using equal amounts of fructose – just different sources – the authors explored the effects on several health markers. Feeding fructose raised triglycerides more than feeding honey. Feeding fructose decreased blood levels of vitamin E, while honey did not, suggesting less oxidative stress. Feeding fructose also promoted more inflammation than honey. All in all, honey did well for itself.

Another set of studies compared the effects of honey, sham-honey (a mix of fructose and glucose), dextrose (which is just glucose), and sucrose on several health markers in various groups of people. There’s a lot to wade through, but the gist is that honey performed well. Honey resulted in smaller blood glucose spikes (+14%) than dextrose (+53%). Sham honey increased triglycerides, while real honey lowered them (along with boosting HDL and lowering LDL). After fifteen days of honey feeding, CRP and LDL dropped. Overall, honey improved blood lipids, lowered inflammatory markers, and had minimal effect on blood glucose levels.

In rats, honey produced lower triglycerides, less body fat, and greater satiety (as indicated by the spontaneous reduction in food intake) when compared to sucrose.

Looks like wildflower honey might go well in a meat marinade, too: wildflower honey inhibited lipid oxidation in ready to eat beef patties. I’m not sure what a ready to eat beef patty is, and I don’t think I want to know, but the honey info is good to have. Wildflower honey, which comes from bees dining on a wide variety of wild plant life, outperformed clover honey in the study.

Although discerning the full effects of individual honey-based compounds is many research years out, it looks like honey with lower levels of bioactive compounds acts more like regular sugar while honey with higher levels of compounds acts more like a whole food. In one study (PDF), buckwheat honey was found to be the richest in phenolics and flavonoids, while rapeseed (yes, canola) honey was found to have the lowest number of compounds. The researchers didn’t explore the metabolic effects of the two honeys, but another study did find that people who ate rapeseed honey, but not acacia honey, displayed highly elevated levels of serum fructose. The same thing happens when you eat HFCS. That tells me the bioactive compounds are probably responsible for the “benefits” of honey.

Darker honeys are typically higher in bioactive compounds and show greater antioxidant activity. They also taste better, if you ask me. Buckwheat is a personal favorite of mine and ranks quite highly in antioxidants, even showing some beneficial effects on serum antioxidant status in those who consume itWhen in doubt, choose the darker honey.

Now, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so I don’t go out of my way to dip my paws in a jar labeled “Hunny,” but I keep some raw buckwheat honey around. The last pound I bought has lasted me well over six months, and there’s still plenty left in the bottle. And in the past, it has certainly proven useful. Can you eat it? Sure; you can do just about anything you want. Should you eat it? That depends. Are you active and in need of liver glycogen repletion like the guy who climbed the Congolese tree? Then raw honey might be a nice choice for a treat. It’s clearly superior to refined sugar, and the extent of the damage we normally see from sugar intake doesn’t seem to occur with honey.

What do you think? Does honey fit into your diet? Is it Primal? Let me know what you think.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Is honey Primal? Sure, it’s Paleo, too, IMHO. I put up a post about this myself a while ago:

    “Is Honey Paleo?”

    I also eat it rarely, and I never would get 80% of my calories from it. But as a treat? Sure. Why not?

    Tuck wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • I use raw honey to treat skin conditions – rashes, dermatitis, also burns and sores. It is amazing and works very quickly as it is a powerful anti bacterial and clears up infections as well as being very soothing (although a bit sticky!). Nurses are now using honey dressings on pressure sores.

      Cathi wrote on August 23rd, 2014
    • I

      After a workout I take kefir grains, a raw egg, a table spoon of raw honey( not heat treated as this impairs quality) cinnamon and grated ginger, hemp powder.
      Whisk the lot and I always feel great after it. The cinnamon and ginger act as anti-inflammatory, kefir grains, hemp powder, and raw egg, provide a good boost after the Insanity workout. And I really feel good afterwards.

      Keep up the good work.


      Colin wrote on October 15th, 2014
  2. I’m not sure if it’s primal or not, and I rarely consume it, but I use honey to wash my face. It does a FANTASTIC job and leaves my skin glowing. I follow up with some almond oil and my skin looks better at 36 than it did when I was a teenager. I seldom wear make-up because I no longer need it. But if you want to use natural products for your skin, I highly recommend it.

    Raina wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Honey is one of my staples. If I have a herb tea (two or three cups a week), I’ll have honey in it. A regular meal for me is organic probiotic full fat yoghurt, with a few berries, then covered (not smothered!) with an organic honey.

      What I have picked up here is to focus on the darket honeys.

      Any thoughts on maple syrup folks?


      Adrian wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • 100% Maple syrup is probably good for you in similarities to honey. Just beware the cheap stuff. Maple syrup is not cheap, and a lot of name brands in stores have fillers like high fructose corn syrup.

        Florence wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • I recently switched to maple syrup from the regular kind. My kids like it better.

          Keith M wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Where is your evidence that maple syrup is similar to honey in regards health matters? It’s not at all the same; sucrose vs. fructose, various biologically active chemicals vs. a flavor – which we can make in a lab.

          It’s just sugar.

          OnTheBayou wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • sucrose vs. fructose? Fructose is 100% poison. Sucrose is about 1/2 fructose, so half the poison. But honey and maple really are roughly the same if youre looking at the -oses. In a one-ounce (28 gram) serving of maple syrup half is glucose, half is fructose (there is more water in maple syrup so in that 28 g serving only about 19 grams are carbs. The rest is water.). Honey has about a gram and a half total of maltose and galactose and the rest is split roughly 50/50 glucose and fructose. In that 28 g. of honey there is only 5 grams of water, so youre getting more carbs. Honey has a tiny bit of protein and maple syrup has a tiny bit of fat. Maple syrup has a tiny bit of a vitamin called choline. Honey has a few other vitamins, also in tiny amounts. Both have some various trace minerals. Both are strongly inflammatory. So neither adds much in the way of nutrition. They both add taste. If that’s the taste you want. If you want to compare that with HFCS… It too is roughly 50/50 glucose/fructose. Has no trace minerals or vitamins, to speak of. It is also strongly inflammatory. So make no mistake. None of them is good for you. You just have to pick your poison. Compared to a 28 gram serving of fruit, say apple is instructive, maybe. First, its mostly water, about 23 grams. The 3 grams or of -ose is about 3/4 fructose (I guess thats why its called fruit sugar) and 1/4 glucose. And about a gram of fiber. Some vitamins (A mostly) and some trace minerals (mostly potassium). Tiny amount of protein and fat (probably in the seeds). Oranges… mostly water (24 g) slightly more fructose than glucose, potassium, and vitamins A & C. Little more protein than apples and tiny amount of fat (again, probably the seeds). The bottom line is you eat something sweet you’re eating poison. Total poison in an apple or orange (roughly 150 g) is still less than the poison in either 28 g of honey maple syrup or HFCS. And the sweet taste, because it takes time to eat an apple or orange, lasts. And the fruit, because of the water, is mildly inflammatory.

          johnson wrote on June 20th, 2012
        • @johnson,

          Sugar is indeed poison, especially fructose (glucose can be readily used by most bodily cells; fructose can only be used by the liver). But I’d like to add a few things. HFCS is not 50/50 fructose/glucose. It’s more like 60/40 fructose/glucose, which is why it’s called HIGH FRUCTOSE Corn Syrup. With HFCS, you are consuming 20% more fructose than with ordinary table sugar (which is 50/50).

          While whole fruit (apples and oranges in your example) contain sugars, less of the “poison” will be digested because of the presence of fiber. The soluble and insoluble fiber will physically trap some of the sugars and allow it to pass through the digestive tract. In other words, a calorie is not a calorie.

          joh wrote on March 8th, 2015
        • @jon,
          You are wrong on the makeup on HFCS. It is in fact 50/50 fructose and glucose. It is called “HIGH” Fructose Corn Syrup, because normal Corn Syrup is virtually all glucose. So it is “high” fructose corn syrup compared to “normal” corn syrup. Don’t spread the hype. HFCS is the same glucose/fructose mix as table sugar, “raw” sugar, brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup. Honey is pretty close. As the author pointed out, some, such as maple syrup, molasses and honey contain other nutrients, although minimal.

          The bottom line is that it’s not the sugar we add to our food that is the problem. HFCS didn’t make us fat-nation. It’s the amount of highly sweetened, empty calorie foods and PRIMARILY sugary drinks that we consume that is the problem. Whether you sweeten your probiotic plain yogurt and whole grain natural granola with honey, agave nectar or a sprinkle of white sugar doesn’t so much matter as do you follow it up with a donut and glass of apple juice. As you stated, a calorie is not necessarily a calorie.

          Chris wrote on November 28th, 2015
      • I’m curious about maple syrup too. Sometimes I find myself sensitive (possibly fructose malabsorption) to honey so I use maple syrup. I also use it in my homemade coconut yoghurt so my nephew can eat it (apparently babies can’t have honey.) I also absolutely LOVE the taste of maple so I really hope it’s good like honey…

        SophieE wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Babies can develop botulism from honey. I’m not sure at what age we develop an antibody to counter that, but I believe age two should be ok, maybe three to be safe. If you are trying your toddler on honey, strictly limit the amount (makes sense for us all).

          Barrie wrote on February 9th, 2012
        • The thing about honey and babies is that babies under 1 year of age don’t produce enough stomach acid yet to kill the botulism spores. So once they’re a year old their digestive system is more mature and it’s usually ok to give them honey.

          Alice wrote on February 9th, 2012
        “54 Beneficial Compounds Discovered in Pure Maple Syrup”

        Chet Twarog wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Watch for formaldehyde that is used to increase production. Has been found even in organic.

          cj wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • Not to knock your efforts, but there is no such thing as purely “organic” honey. Bees are wide ranging foragers and we beekeepers have little control over the source of nectar the little girls choose. It could be the poplar trees around the hive or it could be the Sevin dust covered cucumber plants from a nearby garden. If it says “organic” on the label, I would contact the supplier and ask them to prove it.

        Chris wrote on February 9th, 2012
        • Chris is right beekeepers have little control over where their bees forage. Most honey sold as “organic” is actually imported, though you may have to read the label carefully to find that out. As a beekeeper I know that it is next to impossible to get honey certified organic in California so I can’t help but wonder what it takes to get imported honey certified organic.

          What beekeepers do have control over is what chemicals they put in their hives and where they put their hives. These are things you can ask the beekeeper. We do what we can to prevent our bees exposure to pesticides by putting our hives on wild land as opposed to agricultural land.

          As far as pollen is concerned it is even more important to know the source of pollen because pollen (and beeswax) is where chemicals and pesticides get concentrated in the hive. There are many who suspect this is the reason for colony collapse, the hive becomes too toxic and the bees abandon it. Studies show that hives that died of colony collapse disease have high concentration of chemicals in the pollen and beeswax.

          I am more concerned that my food is local rather than “organic” because at least I can talk to the farmer and find out his practice. Many farmers I know grow organically but can’t afford the expense or bother that is involved in getting certified.

          Patty wrote on February 9th, 2012
        • I’ve always been curious about honey that’s labeled organic for this reason.. i find it’s also rather hard to come by..

          The Primalist wrote on February 9th, 2012
        • I totally agree with you Chris! Bees have quite a range and they only produce a tablespoon of honey in their entire lives, so next time you waste a little honey, remember – a bee gave it’s all for that little tiny bit!

          Tamara wrote on March 15th, 2012
        • Patty–“Studies show…”

          URLs or it didn’t happen.

          Farmer Pat wrote on March 20th, 2012
      • Adrian: I’m not much on maple syrup..way too sweet for my taste. I have a t. of molasses a day with a fruit smoothie (not the strong blackstrap), also use some darker honey at times in tea. I also use the unrefinded demerara sugar on yogurt, etc..

        laura m. wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • My husband and I have had a hive of bees for several years and very much enjoy the honey that they provided. The funny thing is, as honey ages, it typically gets darker and most of the time “sugars”, meaning it crystalizes to a degree. So, I’m not sure that judging honey by it’s color is a very accurate way to go.

        Tamara wrote on March 15th, 2012
      • excuse me? I’m just curious how honey can every really be graded as “organic”. A bee is a bee and isn’t going to just pick the “usda organic certified” flowers. The bee’s going to pick what ever flower she finds to make some sweet passionate honey love to. If you know how organic honey works- please let me know :-).

        ps. your meals sound delicious- organic or not!

        Liz wrote on May 20th, 2012
        • I believe to certified organic the hives have to have a 4 mile radius of organic plants around them. Bees typically won’t fly farther then that if there is any food closer. So if you surround them with organics then they can make organic honey.

          Noctiluca wrote on February 3rd, 2013
        • My husband is a bee keeper and it has been our study that bees only travel on average within a two mile range. In an area where we live majority of the properties owned within a three mile radius are 10 acres or better. AND knowing majority of these land owners we are aware of the vegitation grown here as well as majority of them are cattle or horse owners so we can say our honey is about as organic as it gets. Also “raw” honey is truly high in antioxidants and probiotics so wherever Patty got her stats from were either from store bought honey or someone else’s incomplete studies. Why do you think the Egyptians and the Romans called it the”food of the gods”? because of the healing properties and its preserving abilities.

          laura wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • Do you use it neat? sounds sticky but I’d love to know more as I love using natural foods for beauty (I like using papaya as a face mask). Please explain your method…

      lyanne wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • I use it as a face wash as well… take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon raw honey, “lather” it up with a few drops of water in the palm of your hand, spread it on your face. Leave it on for a few minutes and wipe off with a damp washcloth.

        p.s. Raina, I use almond oil for my facial moisturizer too! It’s great! And a drop of raw apple cider vinegar for any pimples that show up :)

        Rebekah wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Rebekah- I have really dry and sensitive skin. I have had such a hard time finding a great face wash and moisturizer that lasts more than a few months before switching to something else. Do you know if the honey would dry out my skin more or does it tend to help with moisture?

          Kyli wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Hi Rebekah,

          Castor oil mixed with hiprose oil is a powerful moisturiser for the skin. I have been using for a month and a half now and my skin is glowing. At night, after taking my make up off, and washing my face I apply organic apple cider vinegar, let it dry and then apply the castor-hiprose oil to my face, neck and chest. Google it and you will learn about the benefit of Castor oil. I recently used it on my arm after some boiling oil splashed on it when cooking. I kept my arm in tepid water for about 15 min, but the pain was horrible. so I used the oils and the pain subsided immediately. Hope this help. Get the oils from heath shops or reputable online stores.

          myrna wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • I love this idea of using raw honey to wash my face! Do you know if it will wash off make-up? Thanks!

          Sandra wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Sandra, coconut oil removes makeup – any oil will, really. I use a mix of castor oil and oilive oil to wash in summer, and olive oil to moisturize. The honey didn’t work for me, but I’ll try the “lather” method again and see.

          Lauren wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • I do something similar, but I add a couple pinches of uniodized salt and use it as a face scrub. I spread the honey/salt mixture over my face, jump into the shower, get my fingertips wet, scrub, and rinse off. Leaves my skin super soft and smooth, and glowing like a baby’s behind =)

        Siren wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • I use honey to scrub my behind, leaves my skin soft & smooth as a baby’ s face.

          conrack wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • LOL

          Brooke wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • I have dry, sensitive skin as well … no breakouts though as long as I stay paleo (which means no dairy for me) and I’ve had good luck with the oil cleansing method @ When the weather is mild, I don’t need extra moisturizer. But when I do, I use coconut oil.

          I also use honey occasionally to exfoliate and I agree, smooth skin!

          Annette wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Now I haven’t washed my face with honey yet but I’m leaning in that direction. CrunchyBetty has several articles on honey (how to infuse it, how to pick the good stuff, etc) so I would start out there if you are interested

        AmeLeigh wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • How do you use honey to wash your face? I am curious how that works…thanks!

      Nan wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • I do this too. I smear about 1-2 tablespoons
        (undiluted) all over my face, let it sit for a minute or 2 or not if I’m in a hurry and rinse it off with very warm water then splash my face with cold to close the pores. It rinses off very easily. If I’m about to had a shower, I’ll just get in the shower and of comes off. The raw, crystalised stuff provides additional exfoliation.

        SophieE wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Take a little honey (less that a teaspoon generally) in the palm of your hand, get it wet and spread it around. The longer you leave it on, the softer your skin will become. It actually makes a really good primer under make-up as well, but at that point, you only use a drop or so of honey and mix it with water (to make a honey type “wash”) and then splash it on your face and blot gently with a towel.

        Shay wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Do tell how you do this. thanks!

      Leea wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • I certainly believe honey to be primal… especially in it’s raw state. I use a heaping teaspoon full in my fruit smoothies 3-4 days a week. I say “heaping” because raw honey will crystalize after it is a few months old. I purchase it by the gallon which lasts me about 6months or so. Where I live I am able to purchase honey in the raw without it being heated, which destroys many of its’ nutrients. Honey never spoils either. There are other wonderful products of the hive as well including Bee Pollen which one should investigate the benefits of. I went primal in July of 2011 and went from 202 Lbs/ 92 Kg to 170 Lbs/75Kg today. Exercise, meats, fruit, honey, bee pollen, eggs, veggies and nuts… never felt better! 46 and going strong

      Marco wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • We use raw honey all the time as I sell it as a side business. My partner extracts the honey every 2 weeks and it is wonderful to see the change in the colour, smell and taste as the summer progresses.

        We use honey in everything where we previously used sugar. I make protein balls, halvah and homemade ice cream with honey. Yum!

        We also use it to help an irritated throat from colds or other illnesses. Works great. Plus, the kids just LOVE opening their mouths for that “medicine”. :-)

        Happycyclegirl wrote on February 9th, 2012
        • Would you be willing to share your ice cream recipe using honey?
          thank you.

          jean wrote on July 23rd, 2013
    • How do you wash your face with honey if you don’t mind me asking? I’ve heard this before and honey is also good to take care of those zits on the face but I’m never sure about how you go about doing it. Do you dilute the honey with a little bit of water? Or, what? Thank you for your info. I appreciate it.

      Marcos wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • You can apply it straight from the bottle or you can mix it with water. Just a dab will do and honey is also a humectant. So it softens as it cleanses.

        laura wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • How do you use it to wash our face? Mix it with something? Please give details!

      Raclbaby2000 wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • I use raw honey (not the drippy kind, but the solid version) as a face mask a couple times a week, and its great!!! I actually smooth it on first thing in the morning, and then go downstairs and lift heavy things (kettlebells) for 30-40 minutes, and wash it off in the shower. Don’t smooth on too much or it will melt off! It seems to be a gental, natural exfoliant. I don’t recommend wearing it out of the house tho…

      Trish wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • how do you wash your face with honey

      mike wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • I would make a face wash. You could add a dab of honey to your face soap. I use it as a mask and recommend using it that way. A raw milk and honey bath would be a luxury. My daughter makes a sugar and honey scrub with some coconut oil or avocado if you want.

        Melinda wrote on February 13th, 2012
    • That’s very interesting, Raina. So, you just wash your face with straight honey, and, I’m presuming, water? Then, dab some almond oil? I may have to try that. Are there cosmetic grades of almond oil and am I looking for phrases like “expeller pressed”, etc.?

      Tina wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Honey is an astringent. The antibacterial properties are probably good for the complexion as well.

      rarebird wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • honey has a very gently peroxide action. It is gentle enough to cleanse but not harsh enough to destroy cells like over the counter peroxide. That is why honey is used on burns and wounds with great efficacy.

        Ross wrote on February 23rd, 2012
    • How do you “wash” your face with honey? I’m interested in losing the make-up!

      Anna wrote on February 9th, 2012
    • I just read this here and jumped in the shower and tried both the honey then almond oil. My skin is so soft!

      I also heard that local honey is grea for controlling allergy issues. Anyone have info that supports this?

      Annie wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • I have just experience to support honey greatly controlling allergies. Helps sleep and to prevent triggers as i am told by people who buy my honey for that reason.

        Melinda wrote on February 13th, 2012
    • I am very curious how you use it to wash your face. Do you mix it with something, maybe even just warm water? Leave it on for a time, or wash it right off? Have you ever tried any other oils (like olive or coconut)? Thanks!

      Amy C. wrote on February 9th, 2012
    • Raina, I’ve never heard of using honey this way! Just smear it on your face and then… warm water??? Thanks, D.

      Dianna wrote on February 9th, 2012
    • how do you use honey to wash your face?

      Alice wrote on February 13th, 2012
    • Raina,
      Do you just use regular honey straight from jar and rub on your face to clean with or do you mix it. Do you keep it on for a certain amount of time? How easy is it to get off, with just water? or do you use a certain process?
      I am trying to find something new to wash my face because the castille soap I am using isn’t really working, so might go the honey route.

      Amanda B wrote on February 14th, 2012
      • I use raw honey because I have it handy. You don’t need much at all. A little goes a long way. Just a bit on the finger with some oil will work fine and then massage is a bit. If you are just washing the face I just rinse off and don’t leave it on. If it is messy you have used too much. In the bath you could leave it on awhile otherwise no need. You will see results right away. Just try it.

        Melinda wrote on February 14th, 2012
    • Why is honey good for the skin?

      Primo wrote on September 11th, 2012
    • Not to knock someone else’s success, but I’ve tried washing my face with honey and was unimpressed. Might work if you have good skin to begin with. It does nothing for acne-prone skin. For that matter, in my own experience the so-called curative/antibacterial power of honey, including Manuka, is way overrated.

      Shary wrote on February 3rd, 2013
      • Not if it is farm fresh because store bought is filtered and heated to ensure no spores are passed from the harvesting of honey to the consumer. You see most honey’s are imported from countries where there are no strict harvesting laws and parasites are typically problematic in these countries. Honey that is harvested locally is fairly closely moniter by the department of agriculture and parasites are not a typical epidemic here in the States so local beekeepers don’t have to heat or homoginize the honey to sell it. So the “anti-bacterial” properties are not killed off. If you do use locally harvested honey you will find that by using it as a cleanser and as a face mask a couple of times a week it can help your acne. However depending on the form of acne you have you may need to work on your diet alittle bit. Things like milk can be a cause or artificial sweeteners or even excessive caffein can aggravate the situation. BUT your worst culprit is typically white sugar. I have even gone to a dermatologist for a couple of years but they had to continually switch up my perscriptions every couple of months because your skin acclamates to the different products used so I have found these other changes have helped me to have better controlnover my break outs andnat time like during the holidays and I over indulge in to many homemade sweets it takes about three weeks after to get my skin in good shape again. Also I don’t use faberic softeners on my pillow cases and I fangs them often

        laura wrote on January 8th, 2014
      • JNot if it is farm fresh because store bought is filtered and heated to ensure no spores are passed from the harvesting of honey to the consumer. You see most honey’s are imported from countries where there are no strict harvesting laws and parasites are typically problematic in these countries. Honey that is harvested locally is fairly closely moniter by the department of agriculture and parasites are not a typical epidemic here in the States so local beekeepers don’t have to heat or homoginize the honey to sell it. So the “anti-bacterial” properties are not killed off. If you do use locally harvested honey you will find that by using it as a cleanser and as a face mask a couple of times a week it can help your acne. However depending on the form of acne you have you may need to work on your diet alittle bit. Things like milk can be a cause or artificial sweeteners or even excessive caffein can aggravate the situation. BUT your worst culprit is typically white sugar. I have even gone to a dermatologist for a couple of years but they had to continually switch up my perscriptions every couple of months because your skin acclamates to the different products used so I have found these other changes have helped me to have better controlnover my break outs andnat time like during the holidays and I over indulge in to many
        homemade sweets it takes about three weeks after to get my skin in
        good shape again. Also I don’t use faberic softeners on my pillow cases
        and I change them often.

        and I fangs them often

        laura wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • I too have been using honey to wash my face and I have seen the same results! I used to have severe acne in my T-zone, and since washing my face with raw honey, i haven’t had a pimple in over 6 months! My pores, which used to be huge and really visible have shrunk and my skin appears firmer. I use coconut oil to moisturize, and it is also wonderful!

      I don’t eat honey too often, but will on occasion make salad dressings or glazes with minimal amounts of it. It adds just the right amount of sweet for me.

      Hope wrote on August 11th, 2013
  3. In Eastern Europe buckwheat honey is widely used, especially as a home-made cold medication. You can add it to warm milk or tea.

    I love buckwheat honey drizzled on top of full-fat Greek yogurt. The richest, smoothest dessert imaginable; beating all mass-produced sweets hands down.

    Ella wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • As far as treats go that’s definitely one of my favorites, too. Especially with some berries and almond meal sprinkled on top.

      Erik Wyckoff wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Where are you guys finding full-fat greek yogurt?! The best I’ve been able to find is 2% Fage (which is not organic) at the local co-op.

      Charissa wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Don’t be afraid to ask the coop to get you the full fat… they just might!

        Annette wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • I get full fat greek yogurt at my local food store (Kroger around here). It’s probably not organic, but it is full fat as far as I can tell.

        Cat Grok wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Trader Joes has full fat greek yogurt, both plain and honey flavored.

        Rene wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • But, alas, not organic. I can’t seem to find full fat, organic, Greek yogurt either.

          Tina wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • You can make your own full fat greek yogurt. Go to you tube and watch a few videos to learn how. It’s really easy and delicious.

          Diane wrote on February 9th, 2012
        • You can make greek yogurt from regular yogurt. Its very simple to do.

          Jim wrote on February 9th, 2012
        • Giant has Cabot full fat greek. That’s where I get mine.

          Annie Sires wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • I found the full fat Fage in my local Hy-Vee grocery store. My local co-op also only carries fat-free and 2%.

        Charron wrote on February 14th, 2012
  4. “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” ! Is 7:15

    Farmschooler wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • ‘You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household, and the nourishment of your maidservants’ (Proverbs 27:27).

      Dave, RN wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • My favorite:
      “If you find honey, eat just enough–too much of it, and you will vomit.” (Proverbs 25:16)

      Clint wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Amazing verse. Thank you for sharing.

      Marcos wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, “Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.” And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals …

      Book of Armaments, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 17

      Farmer Pat wrote on March 20th, 2012
  5. Don’t forget honey as a topical antibacterial agent for wound/burn healing. Raw, local honey is worth its mass in (liquid) gold.
    Oh, and it also makes the best, most ancient wine – Mead!

    Erok wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • I’ve got a couple gallons aging in my kitchen cabinet right now! I made it with a beautiful dark local Sonoran honey I found at a farmer’s market a while back. Really looking forward to bottling in a few months, when I can sample a taste or two. :)

      Uncephalized wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Also, I’ve got a few pounds of white Hawaiian kiawe honey I need to do something with. I’m planning on making a sparkling mead with it, which is a lot more work, which is why I’ve been too lazy to do it yet. :p

        Uncephalized wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • You make your own mead? Wow! Do tell, please!!! :-)

          John Little wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Kiawe honey and dark chocolate are heavenly. Vosges Chocolates makes a divine truffle.

          Jane wrote on February 8th, 2012
  6. I love raw honey, but I really don’t have much use for it. If I ever want anything sweet for whatever reason, truvia does just fine. A tiny bit of honey in tea is great though.

    Zachary Worthy wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • I would advise against consuming Truvia, which is stevia that has been chemically altered.

      D wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Truvia is extract of stevia mixed with erythritol, a sugar alcohol. It isn’t “chemically altered” any more than by heating the stevia to get the extract.

        Elizabeth wrote on February 9th, 2012
    • Is stevia okay but truvia not okay ??

      Annie wrote on February 9th, 2012
  7. What about eating the whole honeycomb?? Isn’t it supposed to be healthy?

    Daisy wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • In my pre-paleo days, I used to eat honeycomb spread on hot, buttered toast. It is the most heavenly thing I’ve eaten. Now, though, I’m not sure how else to eat it. It has to warm up for the waxiness to break down and become creamy. Any ideas?

      Amy wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Bake some bread using coconut flour, almond flour, or both? :) I made coconut biscuits last night, with raw, local honey (the kind you need a knife to get out of the jar, with the beeswax and all) and it was delish.

        Heather wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • I eat honeycomb on a spoon as a weekend treat. A small spoonfull, and then I’ll chew the wax like gum. The honey flavor lasts quite a while, if you take small bites, and then spit out the wax. That’s how my dad always gave it to me as a kid, so that’s the only way I’ve ever eaten honeycomb.

        tk wrote on February 9th, 2012
  8. I got some raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized, organic honey from the grocery store the other day. The difference in taste is amazing. It helps, I’m sure, that I like the texture of crystallized honey. I do eat it, out of the jar, but only 1T at a time. I’m sure I could polish off the whole jar in one day, but that would probably be a bad idea.

    Susanne wrote on February 8th, 2012
  9. Mark,

    As far as sweeteners go, is honey a better choice than coconut nectar? I’ve read coconut nectar has a low GI (around 35 I believe). Your thoughts?


    George wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • I’m pretty sure coconut anything is good for you :p

      Zachary Worthy wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • I just made a batch of my granola (with coconut flakes instead of oats)using coconut oil/grass fed butter ghee blend and coconut nectar instead of maple syrup and coconut crystals instead of brown sugar. They both have a low glycemic index. It’s amazing! My husband calls it coconut crack. And an additional note…Per Dr. Bruce Fife, from his book Cooking with Coconut Flour, when coconut and coconut flour is added to foods, it lowers the glycemic index of these foods. The coconut moderated the release of sugar into the bloodstram so that there wasn’t a spike in blood glucose levels. BTW…it’s a GREAT cookbook. The cheese crackers (made with butter, I use raw milk cheese, coconut oil, coconut flour) and the hamberger muffins are fantastic. Invest in your food…invest in your health…

        Penny wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Oh…BTW…forgot to add that I take a tablespoon (you have to work up to that level)of bee pollen and a 1/4 tsp. 3x concentration of royal jelly…amazing food. Great before a workout.

          Penny wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Penny, please share your Coconut granola recipe. Sounds delicious.

          Sam wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Yes! Please share our recipe!

          Raclbaby2000 wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Oooh, sounds tasty! I, too, would love the recipe.

          Tina wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Here you go…
          Penny’s Coconut Granola
          3 cups coconut flakes, unsweetened
          1 ½ cups pistachios, walnuts or pecans
          1 cup raw almonds
          1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
          1 cup organic raisins
          ¼ tsp Celtic Sea salt
          2 tsp. cinnamon or to taste
          ½ cup coconut crystals
          MIX TOGETHER
          ½ cup coconut sap
          ½ cup coconut/grass fed butter ghee blend (melted in toaster oven) no microwave in this house
          Splash vanilla
          Add to dry mixture. Wisk one free range egg white and mix in. Put in 300 degree oven for 45 minutes…toss every 12 to 15 minutes…let cool and ENJOY!!! My husband’s favorite is to add some grass fed whole raw milk to it. Let me know if you like it. Invest in your food…invest in your health.

          Penny wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! Perfect timing (for me) since we just got a fresh batch of coconut products. I was thinking about making primal granola (among other things). Can’t wait to try your recipe!

          rarebird wrote on February 9th, 2012
  10. I feel like honey has been a great help in getting us to cut back on sugar and get rid of all refined sugars in our diet. For example I was able to make an almond flour birthday cake for my daughter’s birthday that used honey as a sweetener. I used 1/3 cup in 2 8×8 cakes and the frosting and the leftover cake became part of tiramisu cups for adults. That’s it, 1/3 cup for 32 servings of dessert! No on complained and it kept our blood sugar lower than traditional sugar would have. So should I have it in stuff everyday at that level, maybe not, but I do have it several times a week. Its natural and has helped me get rid of my seasonal allergies!

    EZ wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • The only problem with your recipe, if you follow Ayurvedic teachings, is that honey, believe it or not, is considered poisonous IF COOKED. You can sweeten your tea, etc., not problem, but for some reason honey becomes one of the bad guys when it is cooked!

      Patricia wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • I’d have to ask about honey and cooking…there are whole cookbooks using raw honey instead of sugar and these are old cookbooks…we’re not dead yet and in fact, much healthier. Might be a bit over stated that honey becomes poisonous…just my thoughts

        Grancy wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • I dunno about poisonous. It does lose some of its benefits, though, particularly as a humectant and moisturizer. In college, if we had a sore throat before a choir performance, a few tablespoons of raw honey will help. However, if you dissolve it into tea, and drink it with a sore throat, it won’t help nearly as much as it will raw.

          Heather wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Honey and Lemon in warm to hot water is excellent for a raw throat due to talking or singing to much. I gave it to my husband after he preached AND led the singing in the same service and had to go lead singing in the next service as well and he said it worked like a charm. He sipped it as well during the song service.

          Kitty wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • Apparently, as I was previously informed by Chocotaco369 in this thread:
        boiling honey just leaves you with what is essentially white sugar. Which, of course, we all know here is essentially poison. :-)

        John Little wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • But baking with it isn’t the same as boiling it. in baking the food heats, but the internal temperature is less than the temperature of the oven.

          secondary note, honey in baked goods extends the shelf life because it reduces the activity of molds and bacteria.

          Kitty wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • My understanding of what the Ayurveda is teaching about honey is that if its heated (aka pasteurized) that it is no longer a healing substance – but an unhealthy one. That line of reasoning is no different that the one were are following that says to use raw (unpasteurized) honey otherwise its not much better than sugar.

        rarebird wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • I’m always suspicious of claims like that. What do they mean — poisonous?

        Rachel Fischer, MD wrote on February 9th, 2012
  11. I have a major sweet tooth, so honey is definitely staying a part of my diet :)

    melissa daams wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • I think your sweet tooth will dramatically reduce as you go more and more paleo/primal. Mine has. I tried a taste of icecream yesterday and it was sickly whereas I used to eat a whole plateful. And grapes I would eat by the half kilo are too sweet to eat more than a couple and I think I can even give those a miss. So as one who has had a sweet tooth for most of 60 years I can tell you, its almost gone. Not only don’t I like the taste, but it doesn’t give me any satisfaction to eat sweet stuff either.

      Harriet wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • I agree about the sweet tooth disappearing if you do go primal and get the sugars (including fruit) out of your diet.

        I never thought that I could get rid of my sweet tooth except perhaps through the use of serious self-discipline – which I have to admit just wasn’t working as I couldn’t stay disciplined enough.

        Now I don’t need to be disciplined, I simply don’t desire sweet things any more. I went primal back in October so it’s not very long really.

        Paleo Irish wrote on February 9th, 2012
  12. When I add sweetness to a dish, I like to use it as one flavoring in a mix of others. So a big glob of honey in my flax meal and coconut flour porridge makes me gag. But half a teaspoon with some cinnamon and a plop of cream is heavenly.

    Also, honey has a shelf life of literally decades. So buy the best no matter the price and use it sparingly.

    Stan the Man wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Honey has an indefinite shelf life actually. They’ve found honey in ancient Egyptian tombs that was still good!

      Zachary Worthy wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Wow!

        Stan the Man wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Do you happen to have a recipe for flax meal and coconut flour porridge? I’m fascinated. Thanks!

      Jessica wrote on February 23rd, 2012
  13. According to the ancient texts on Ayurveda Honey is considered on of the 5 nectars of life. It is believed that Honey has lot of medicinal properties. Honey is safe to consume during fasting without effecting the benefits of fasting. Ayurveda says honey is not digested and is absorbed directly into the blood stream and hence its benefits.

    Naveen wrote on February 8th, 2012
  14. I, too, like George, want to know about coconut nectar. Looking forward to your comment. Thanks.

    Emily wrote on February 8th, 2012
  15. I only eat honey fro LOCAL sources. I do feel that local honey has helped me and my children stay clear of our normal spring and autumn allergies and ear aches (kids) as well as the flu or coughs they catch from classmates. Local works.

    pjnoir wrote on February 8th, 2012
  16. I use honey in my morning coffee, and recently tried a recipe using honey in chili… It came out delicious!

    While I only try to consume sugars and other carbs when I need them (exercise, etc), honey can be a great, healthy way to reward yourself at times!

    Daniel wrote on February 8th, 2012
  17. I guess pure maple syrup would fit somewhere into the same realm as pure honey?

    Todd wrote on February 8th, 2012
  18. I think it depends on why you are living primal/paleo. For me, weight loss continues to be a key motive, so I avoid anythign that is very calorie dense, meaning any and all sugar replacements (even agave, honey, etc). However, when I hit my ideal weight, I think an all natutral, non-processed honey would fit right in.

    Jon wrote on February 8th, 2012
  19. Over two years ago I started eating one tsp. Of local raw buckwheat honey everyday due to seasonal allergies and thanks to a local paleo.
    Not since the third week after starting have I suffered from seasonal allegies..who knows!

    kathleen haraall wrote on February 8th, 2012
  20. Good or bad, it stays in. I do much better staying low carb, high fat, if I do not make it too complicated. I live in Wisconsin, it is far too cold for a native Texan, so a hot cup of tea is a must for me, and of course, it must have honey. That being said, it is a good unprocessed, organic, local honey and only a couple of teaspoons a day

    Cindi wrote on February 8th, 2012
  21. Also, honey doesn’t go bad either.

    Mark wrote on February 8th, 2012
  22. I do have a sweet tooth and sometimes I just need something sweet, so honey is a good option. Plus, it never goes bad.

    Chris wrote on February 8th, 2012
  23. Thanks for pointing out the difference between different types of honey. I never thought about the different varieties. I will now make sure that I go for the darker stuff.

    Honey is the only sweetener that I use…I put in homemade granola bars or to add to almond milk with cereal.

    Stan Starsky wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • I have been floundering this last week as I am just starting the Primal way of eating. I have been following the posts since I subscribed to Daily Apple and find I am so interesetd in this. I digress however, as my main reason for posting was about the honey. I steered clear of honey for years despite my dad always giving us that plus other things like ‘malt’ to help our immunity. It was always the golden syrup he bought though and as I got older I just found it too sugary. Are the darker honeys less sugary ( as in refined sugar). I dont have a sweet tooth , more savoury ….

      MagsF wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • my aplogies not golden syrup but honey :)

        MagsF wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Buckwheat honey is a stronger flavor. it’s still very sweet, but has more flavor. It’s worth a try to see, but if you don’t like sweet tastes and still want to use honey for the health benefits, you could put a touch in a cup of tea rather than a tsp full, or make your cereal with just a spoon dipped half way into the honey jar, etc.

        Honey actually has such a sweet flavor that you can use 3/4 of the amount as you would use of regular sugar for the same amount of sweetness so almost anyone would use less of honey and save calories into the bargain.

        Kitty wrote on February 9th, 2012
  24. I have a teaspoon per day of raw, organic wildflower honey with my homemade protein shake. That is it for my sweet intake per day, although once in a while I like grade B organic Maple Syrup mixed into a sauce, etc. I find it does not increase my blood sugar levels, because I have no cravings anymore at all since I have been Paleo / Primal. I also use Stevia drops in espresso sometimes. I have lost 30+ pounds in 5 months and will do this for the rest of my life, because eating clean makes the most sense to me.

    Raphael wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Raphael – how do you make homemade protein shakes? You mean something other than whey protein powder with water?

      Ania wrote on February 8th, 2012
  25. I LOVE to use just a small drop of organic honey in my salad dressings with nice balsamic. There are so much variety with honey. Manuka honey from New Zealand is well know healing properties- rock on litte bees!

    Trisha wrote on February 8th, 2012
  26. What about agave nectar? I hear that has a lower gi and carb content than honey or maple syrup. Maybe not as full of nutrients as honey but would it be better on a low carb primal diet?

    Alex Welsh wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Agave is very refined and has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup.

      Gigi wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • agave nectar contains a HUGE amount of fructose, making it very bad for your liver. if the low-carb aspect is important to you (as it is to me), stevia is probably your best friend when you HAVE to sweeten things.

      tess wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Wow, I thought Agave was ok. It seems to feature a lot in raw food sites in their desserts.

        Gennie wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • read the article on food renegade about agave. avoid that stuff!!

      peggy wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Agave “nectar” is a product using the exact same process that makes HFCS, except it is tweaked to make it all, or virtually all, fructose.

      That’s why it is low GI.

      OnTheBayou wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Hi, if agave is no good and honey can’t be heated/cooked, what is a good sweetener for home made stuff for kids? Is stevia the only answer?

        Maz from Oz wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • I’d go with maple. It’s been heated already to make syrup from sap so there shouldn’t be any change whwn baking.

          Ghislaine wrote on February 10th, 2012
    • from all I’ve read the answer is, NO. Agave nectar is as processed as High fructose corn syrup. chemicals and all. it is probably not even as good for you as raw cane sugar. it won’t have the trace nutrients that raw honey has because it isn’t obtainable outside of a lab.

      Kitty wrote on February 9th, 2012
  27. I’m not sure about the whole honey thing…. But that tribesman from the Congo is bad ass…

    Patrick wrote on February 8th, 2012
  28. Despite having a big sweet tooth, I never found myself adding honey to anything. Last year, I began consuming a tablespoon of raw honey daily because I had read that it helps allergy sufferers. My allergies symptoms were less severe, though it’s hard to know how much of that was due to the honey. I did notice that eliminating sugar seem to make a huge difference. This year, I decided to forgo the honey. I’m continuing to follow the Primal Blueprint. Allergy season is almost here so we’ll see how things go. If my symptoms are OK, then I’ll know that honey is no longer necessary.

    BigNoseDog wrote on February 8th, 2012
  29. BigNoseDog- I was told that in order for honey to be affective on allergies you had to consume local raw honey. I did try it once but did not find it to help; that may be becasue i did not eat it everyday!

    Trisha wrote on February 8th, 2012
  30. I am currently focusing on losing weight, so no sweeteners at all if I can help it. But once I get to my goal weight, I’ll bring back the honey and maple syrup (in small amounts) and see if I can keep em. I hope I can; they’re both delicious!

    Kristy OT wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • This ALMOST answered my question, but I would like a little more clarity. I love my morning coffee and have 2-3 cups every morning, sweetened with honey and real cream. I get that honey is real food and good for me, but I need to lose about 15 lbs and I don’t want to dawdle about it. Is my daily honey sabotaging my weight loss? I also like to have at least one glass of wine each night. Is THAT sabotaging my weight loss? I’ve only been at this for a few weeks, but it comes naturally to me and I love it! Thanks for all the great information.

      Lauren wrote on March 21st, 2012
      • Hey Kristy – keep it up! My wife and I have been doing about the same thing. She’s lost 25lbs since we started. I like to try to use a little less sweetener each time – I just sweeten my first cup then, warm it up with more coffee, but don’t re-sweeten. It’s interesting how your taste will change – I’ve been getting different organic coffee’s too, and really appreciate the flavors esp. with less honey and cream.
        Now if I could keep it to one glass of wine each night!

        JJazz wrote on June 25th, 2012
      • In a word, yes. It’s the hormonal cascade effect from the honey & alcohol that will slow down weight loss, my opinion. Try to love something else in place of the coffee & wine ritual (replace with a new, better, habit) for a few weeks or months and you will be loving having reached your weight loss goal. Then add them back in a couple days a week as a luxury and see what happens with maintaining your weight.

        I like to think of it like this, every little action you can take, cutting out unnecessary foods/beverages, walking a little further, taking the stairs, adds up, sometimes exponentially & gets you to the goal sooner. Good luck! If you end up upgrading everything but the coffee & wine rituals, that’s OK too, no prize for being the fastest – even little changes benefit us!

        Mary wrote on April 14th, 2015
  31. “The last pound I bought has lasted me well over six months, and there’s still plenty left in the bottle.”

    After 6 months honey loses almost all antioxidant abilities, so it’s better buy less but always have fresh honey (who knows how long it was stored by its manufacturer, but at least we can try).

    Tomas M. wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Some but not most of the nutritive value in honey is lost with time. Honey is 85% pre-digested carbohydrate, and that is its greatest food value. That essentially doesn’t change with time. There hasn’t been much scholarly research on exactly how much enzyme loss occurs in honey, with time. It is know known that diastase (or more properly, amylase)–the useful enzyme that “digests” starch–does degrade with time. Researchers have found that when in storage, honey loses about 3% of its diastase per month. This makes long-term storage honey slightly less nutritious, but it is still quite useful as a sweetener and as a useful carbohydrate.

      Alvaro wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Your right, you have no idea how long that honey was stored in that hive before the bee keeper harvested it. LOL if it was a wild bee it could have been in there for decades, but if it was a local beekeeper, you can be assured that he harvests fresh ever year, and you can go directly to his home and buy from him is you so desire. Honey is generally harvested once a year, sometimes twice so if you buy enough for one year, you’ll know it’s as fresh as it can be. However I can’t imagine what gave you the idea that it would loose quality after six months. do the bees eat inferior stuff the rest of the year?

      Kitty wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • The bees use the honey themselves and the reference “busy as a bee” come from the fact that they are very tidy house keepers. They are continuously cleaning their hive. They even carry their own dead off. Any bad honey would be disposed of but they themselves use the honey to feed their larvae as they grow as well as storing it themselves for the winter or for other times of hardships such as during the monsoon season because they can only collect pollen during certain temperatures and most certainly not when it rains. If a hive is abandoned then you can take that as a sign that there is something wrong with the hive so the honey is probably no good either.

        laura wrote on January 8th, 2014
  32. I take a teaspoon of locally produced honey everyday to assist my body in developing a tolerance to local pollens. This helps ease the effects of seasonal allergies. The theory is that bees produce the honey with pollen native to your area. By taking a teaspoon each day, your body can slowly build a tolerance to the pollen, rather than trying to fight off the pollen during spring and summer when it is being overwhelmed with high pollen counts.
    Does it work? While I still have occasional bad allergy days, they are much milder and far and few between, compared to a time before taking honey, when I would have back allergy weeks!
    It’s not an overnight treatment, it takes months for your body to build it’s tolerance. Start now and enjoy the benefits this spring. The key is it MUST be locally produced honey.

    Bryan wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • If you still have to treat for allergies even when taking honey, something else is wrong. The most likely culprit is food allergies, and the 2 biggest suspect groups of foods are grains & dairy.

      Bouncedancer wrote on December 29th, 2013
  33. Here’s an interesting article about honey sold in the US, explaining that most of it’s not really “honey”. Be careful what you buy…

    Joelle wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • “Bryant found that every one of the samples Food Safety News bought at farmers markets, co-ops and ‘natural’ stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen.”

      I think most of the regular readers here are more likely to be getting honey from those types of places anyway, but this is definitely good to know.

      Sarah wrote on February 9th, 2012
  34. I think if I weren’t a recovering sugar addict, I’d allow raw honey and maple syrup into my kitchen.

    As it is I am terrified that one taste would send me spiraling, right back into the arms of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate caramels.

    Cruithne wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • recovering sugar addict…wow, how did you do it?? i have been trying for the past / #$%^&*( well; since i can remember ;-(

      Chantal wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • Chantal, have you given up all grains and sugars? That did it for me – and my life previous to that had been centered around my sugar addiction. It only took a couple weeks at most and then I had no desire whatsoever – amazing. Seriously, I was the ultimate addict.

        Heidi P. wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Ditto that. I did a strict 30 days: no sugar, no sugar substitutes, I continued to be careful with whole fruit allowing berries mostly. I told myself I could do anything for 30 days … the first 7 were the hardest then really pretty easy. Now I feel like I have control over when to enjoy a sugary treat instead of controlling me (it’s in the house, I have to have some!).

          I do still have to be careful, though and have ramped up my consumption a time or two since, but once I caught it, I was able to correct again. Good luck – it’s worth it!!

          Annette wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • Giving up grains did it for me as well. Once I stopped with the brown rice, no more sugar cravings.

          Amy wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • Me too! Even when I gave up grains and sugars, I was addicted to dates. The only way to overcome the addiction is to do at least two weeks, but preferably a month with nothing sweet in your diet, not even fruit. That did it for me. I lost all my cravings. In fact, just the thought of very sweet things now turns me off.

        Sabrina wrote on February 8th, 2012
        • I used to do the same sort of thing – give up one thing and find myself substituting with a healthier version of the same. I love dates, too – with cream cheese especially. Dairy was more of a craving than sugar for me. And, I loved fresh breads and pasta. What I discovered after the initial couple of weeks of primal eating was that I lost desire for both carbs and dairy. Basically, for me primal eating has given me a handle on a range of food intolerances.

          rarebird wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • As others have said, pretty much cold turkey on everything with a sweet flavor, except for just enough stevia in my coffee to make it bearable. I’m otherwise low-carb and an intermittent faster, so that helped as well. I limited fruits as well, except for low-sugar berries.

        I’ve read that for sugar addicts that they can eventually become like “normal people”, able to have “just one chocolate” sanely, after about a year of going sugar-free. A shorter duration than that, though, is still very risky. 3-4 months is the real danger zone, where you THINK you are in control now, but you can slide back reeeeal easy.

        Cruithne wrote on February 8th, 2012
      • You have to change the programming in order to get lasting, easy results, and “Enjoying Weight Loss” w/Roberta Temes, Ph.D. (hypnosis CDs) did the trick for me. Like someone else wrote, I was the ultimate addict, all my life. Dr. Temes fixed me in the first CD session, and this was years ago. Now I can have treats around the holidays if i wish, and then I’m done, truly done, which is a miracle.

        Bouncedancer wrote on December 29th, 2013
  35. I have found a great source for local honey with the comb. It tastes much better than store bought. I use it in cooking (as a glaze for chicken with garlic and ginger- YUM), in tea when I am sick (or just want to warm up on a chilly day), and, since its local, helps with allergies that my sons get every so often. Good stuff. I often cringe at the “experts” that say sugar is sugar and your body treats it all the same. Will have to look into it as a cleanser, though.

    lazrguppie wrote on February 8th, 2012
  36. Glad to know it’s overall good for me. But even if it were slightly hazardous, I’d do it to be able to breathe in the summer. Before I found out about raw, local honey for allergy inoculation I couldn’t even mow my lawn or go for walks near grassy fields. Now I might get a slight sniffle at worst, but my eyes and throat don’t swell shut. Just a bite a day from the jar is all it takes. Probably somewhere between a teaspoon and tablespoon.

    knifegill wrote on February 8th, 2012
  37. Yeah i squirt some honey over my plain jane yogurt. Throw in some raisins and it’s heaven! I’ll have to look out for this buckwheat honey now. Thanks for the heads up! :)

    Paul wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Buckwheat honey was in the news recently.

      they said that it’s been shown to be more effective for a cough than dextromethorphan.

      Kitty wrote on February 9th, 2012
      • I don’t find that news surprising. Honey has both decongestant and cough suppressant properties.

        rarebird wrote on February 9th, 2012
  38. A tablespoon of honey before bed clears my acne up

    Nathan wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • Thanks for this info! I use it as a facial cleanser and face mask and it is my alternative to sugar most of the time. My husband is a bee keeper and so I am always interested in any news or advice concerning the application of honey to soothe acne.

      laura wrote on January 8th, 2014
  39. It was a 15,000 year-old cave painting, by the way, according to the link.

    Moshen wrote on February 8th, 2012
  40. My brother-in-law is a bee keeper in Northeast Florida, the only region in which Tupelo honey is produced. I have a tremendous sweet tooth and love honey. So I’m happy to see results that honey is in fact better than sugar.

    I’ve also heard local honey good for some allergies. Is that true?

    Abby wrote on February 8th, 2012
    • His name isn’t Donald Smiley, is it?

      Tressa B wrote on February 8th, 2012

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