Beyond Gorgeous

Beyond Gorgeous

Surprising Good-for-You Sweetener

Good news!  You do have some healthier options.

We’ve been looking at sweeteners that are hidden poisons.  Now we’re going to examine some choices that are natural and good-for-you, as well as some that are natural-and-not-bad-for-you.  Unfortunately, they all have their negative sides and dangers when overused. We’ll take a look at those issues, too.

The first on our list today is the oldest and most widely used throughout the world — honey.  This natural sweetener has a lot going for it.  It provides an array of vitamins and minerals rather than empty calories.   Honey has been an important ingredient in folk medicines for centuries because of its anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing properties.


Can it help with your weight problem?  It depends.  It does have calories — about 22 in a teaspoon, compared to 16 in a teaspoon of sugar.    However, honey is twice as sweet as sugar, so if you use half as much there is not that much difference.

An interesting study was done by Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand a few years ago on rats.  One group of rats was fed honey water in addition to rat chow. The second group received sugar water and the third was the placebo group.  The sugar group became obese, but the honey rats didn’t gain any more weight than the placebo.

If only calories counted, the rats lapping honey should have been fatter.  The factor that probably changed the outcome is the glycemic index.  Honey has a lower G.I. rating than sugar — 55 instead of 64.  That places it, just barely, into the yellow for caution category on the Green Light/Red Light meal plan. It rates very low moderate instead of the high moderate of sugar.  In addition, there are indications that the unique mixture of fructose and glucose make it optimally used for energy without causing a sugar dump in the bloodstream and a resulting insulin peak.


Does this mean you can buy a giant economy jar of honey and plan to see a corresponding giant reduction in your waist size?  Well, probably not. If you slather it on a thick slice of french bread which is coated in butter — not a diet food.  If you add honey indiscriminately to an already overloaded meal plan, you are not likely to see a difference.

But if you cut out sugar and use a bit of honey to help you wean off your sweet tooth — yes, it is likely to be a boon to your plan.  If you substitute honey for sugar in your dessert recipes — and partake moderately rather than eating the whole batch of cookies by yourself — you can have your dessert and your weight loss, too.  You might lose faster with no dessert, but we are talking eating for a lifetime now. Are you NEVER going to eat a sweet treat?  Not many of us are going down that narrow path.  Better to have some alternatives which are healthier and enjoy them occasionally without guilt.

Tomorrow — some interesting honey cures from folk medicine and ways to  substitute honey for sugar in recipes.

Eating to live and living for Christ,

Susan Jordan Brown


Comments read comments(8)
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posted May 22, 2012 at 10:15 am

You are welcome — and thank you for the encouragement!

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posted May 22, 2012 at 10:14 am

Todd, I did that in this series of alternative sweeteners. You can find the other articles listed on the right side of the blog page. Thanks!

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posted May 22, 2012 at 10:13 am

True, and perhaps I should have made it more clear in this article that moderation is the key. This post is one of a series and that is the truth I keep harping on! It’s best to avoid sweeteners of any kind, but for a life-long plan that isn’t practical, especially in our society. My goal was to research and recommend sweeteners that have the least negative impact and the most benefit. Honey is one of the better sweeteners on my list. Thanks for your comment!

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posted May 22, 2012 at 10:10 am

I’ve been amazed to find how much toxic stuff we eat. No wonder obesity and diseases like diabetes and cancer are rampant! Thanks for your comment.

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Your Name

posted May 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Just Thank You !!!!!!

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posted May 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Thanks for the info. on honey.
Will you cover other not-so-bad/good for you sweetners in another article? (“Now we’re going to examine some choices that are natural and good-for-you, as well as some that are natural-and-not-bad-for-you… The first on our list today is the oldest and most widely used throughout the world — honey”
Thank you!

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posted May 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I like some of your thoughts but honey is basically fructose and fructose is very bad for your health. It is very active in glycating proteins and destroying their functionality. Sorry but true. See below –

Cardiol Rev. 2012 Feb 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Advanced Glycation Endproducts and Diabetic Cardiovascular Disease.
Prasad A, Bekker P, Tsimikas S.

University of California San Diego, CA Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, San Diego, CA.

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posted May 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

just wanted to say thank you for so much information. for who knew all the foods we eat it has lots of poison’s in them.

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