Honey is a caloric sweetener

images-10Honey has a reputation as a health food.  It’s fat-free, cholesterol-free and sodium-free.  It has trace amounts of vitamins, trace amounts of phytochemicals and small amounts of minerals (11 mg potassium and small amounts of calcium, fluoride and phosphorus).

One study concluded that honey reduces C-Reative Protein, an inflammation marker, but this has not been duplicated by other studies.   Some people claim that honey is a natural antibiotic, but again, the healing properties of honey have not been proven. That said, many people use honey as a cough suppressant and as a treatment for colds or the flu.  Except for people with a weakened immune system and for infants who are 12 months old or younger, honey is generally perceived as a natural, beneficial substance.   But is it?

It’s useful to consider that honey is 100% a caloric sweetener. One tablespoon of honey, for example, has 64 sugar calories, with no contributing calories from any other type of food.  Compare this to one tablespoon of table sugar, which has only 48 calories.  Honey is denser, which is why it has more calories than sugar.

Another factor to consider is that honey is predominantly fructose, a type of sugar associated with corn and fruits.  The composition is 38% fructose, 31% glucose, 7% maltose as well as other types of sugars.  There’s a rumor floating around on the internet that because of the high percentage of fructose, honey more closely resembles HFCS/high fructose corn syrup than a health food.  Depending on the HFCS recipe being used, the percentage of fructose in HFCS is between 42%-55%.

In the past, fructose was incorrectly believed to be healthier than glucose.  This is because the presence of fructose lowers the glycemic index (GI). Unfortunately, however, the glycemic index doesn’t measure the effect of fructose.  We now know that fructose metabolizes differently than glucose.  It goes to the liver where it’s converted to triglycerides (fat modules in the blood).  It’s suspected that fructose is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.

Bottom line:  a caloric sweetener is a caloric sweetener, and fructose is just as problematic as glucose.   The US Food and Drug Administration says “We are not aware of any evidence…that there is a difference in safety” between caloric sweeteners.

November 25, 2015 in Nutrition, Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners by

1 comment

Definition of “Natural”: FDA Request for Citizen Input

For example, under the current definition, a so-called natural food can be pulverized into a powder or liquid. It can be subjected to every kind of heat or thermal process (including pasteurization). It can be subjected to chemicals and enzymes. It can be subjected to pressure. It can be irradiated. It can include preservatives, pesticides and wax. And finally, a portion of the food can be used to make another man-made food that’s also called natural.

November 23, 2015 in General, Health, Nutrition by

World’s Greatest Zucchini Pancake Recipe: Sugar-free, wheat-free, gluten-free

To die for zucchini pancake recipe that’s sugar-free, wheat-free, gluten-free and yummy enough to satisfy the pickiest eater.

September 2, 2015 in Recipes by

Splenda: One-thumb up product review

In my work as a sugar-free expert, I routinely taste, review and recommend a wide variety of sugar-free products.   The no-calorie sweetener called Splenda (generic name is sucralose) gets a no apology one-thumb up review from me.  I personally use Splenda every day of my life, and I’m not sick or dead yet.  Note… Read more

September 2, 2015 in Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners, Thumbs Up by

Splenda Is Not Bad: Video Review on YouTube

August 19, 2015 in Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners, Thumbs Up by

Three Proven Therapies to Cure Food Addiction

August 12, 2015 in Food Addiction by

“That Sugar Film” by Damon Gameau

The results: Gameau ended up with fatty liver disease. He increased his waist size by 10 cm of body fat. He experienced mood swings. And he showed early signs of cardiovascular disease. It really is the sugar , stupid!

July 27, 2015 in General, Thumbs Up by

Evidence Shows Artificial Sweeteners Are Healthier Than Sugar

My recommendation is to limit consumption of any type of artificial or low calorie sweetener to 1 tablespoon per day. 1 tablespoon equals 3 teaspoons.

July 27, 2015 in Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners by

AminoSweet Is The New Name For Aspartame, But It’s Still the Only Artificial Sweetener You MUST Avoid

Aspartame is a man-made substance that’s 200 times sweeter than sugar. Unlike sugar, however, Aspartame has almost no calories. This, of course, is why it’s used by food manufacturers and by individuals as a substitute for sugar and other caloric sweeteners. Aspartame was once the most popular artificial sweetener in the world, but this distinction… Read more

July 22, 2015 in Nutrition, Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners, Thumbs Down by

The Big Problem With The Glycemic Index (GI)

It can be difficult and confusing to make a healthy food purchase decision based on the Glycemic Index and on information provided on the nutrition label. HFCS, for example, looks pretty good because it has relatively low calories, low sugar grams and a low glycemic index. But, of course, we all know that HFCS is not a healthy food choice and that fructose is strongly implicated as one of the biggest culprits in the obesity epidemic.

July 2, 2015 in Nutrition by

Melissa McCarthy Ditches Bread and Pasta!

Actress Melissa McCarthy (who also happens to be the cousin of Jenny McCarthy) recently lost 45 pounds and morphed from 265 to a luscious-looking 220.  Her secret?  She gave up bread and pasta and went on a low carb, high protein diet.  Most people already know that foods like bread and pasta that are made with… Read more

June 19, 2015 in Obesity/Weight Loss by

Agave Syrup Is Worse Than Sugar and HFCS

Consider this: One tablespoon of Organic Raw Blue Agave has 60 calories and 16 grams of sugar. One tablespoon of table sugar has 53 calories and 14 grams of sugar. No one would pick agave over sugar using these simple comparative statistics.

June 19, 2015 in Nutrition, Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners, Thumbs Down by

5 New Nutrition Tips: Based on 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report

1. Cholesterol in foods is not the main culprit in unhealthy blood cholesterol. This is because the cholesterol in food (like in eggs and shrimp) is different than the LDL (the lousy cholesterol) that accumulates in your blood.

April 30, 2015 in Nutrition, Scientific News by

Sugar in Drinks

A picture is worth a thousand words.  Lookie, lookie at the differences in sugar in common drinks.  Keep in mind that just one can of soda per day equates to consuming 50 pounds of sugar per year.  Thank you, George Sickel, for sending this picture to me.

April 29, 2015 in Sugar/Caloric Sweeteners by

Binge Eating Disorder (B.E.D.)

A food binge is an event that involves extreme pigging out on food, where the person engaged in the binge feels like he or she can’t stop eating. The “official” definition of a binge is characterized by volume, frequency and out-of-control eating.

April 29, 2015 in Food Addiction by