Honey or sugar.
Many people who follow a healthy diet limit their intake of sugar or refuse sugary foods completely. Some replace sugar with honey, considering it a product that is useful and has a beneficial effect on the body. And in fact this is correct. But there are nuances that you need to know when using honey.
For myself, I have clarified the following points that I want to share with you.
1. What is the difference between honey and sugar?
2. How much honey can be consumed by a healthy person without harm to health?
3. From what age and in what quantities can children be given honey?
4. Is honey possible with diabetes?
5. Honey in cooking and cosmetology.
So, let's begin.
1. Honey and sugar are carbohydrates consisting of two types of elementary sugars: glucose and fructose. Both substances break down quickly in the body and can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. The proportions of glucose and fructose in honey and sugar are different: sugar contains 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose, while honey is saturated with only 40 percent fructose and 30 percent glucose, the rest of it consists of water, pollen and minerals. These additional components increase the beneficial properties of honey.
Honey contains a large number of different acids (including amino acids), so the pH of honey is on average 3.9. Acids (in this case, aromatic) give honey taste. Most of all in gluconic acid honey, other organic acids are present in smaller quantities.
Flavonoids, polyphenols, alkaloids, glucosides, various enzymes (for example, catalase, diastase, invertase) and many other compounds in the composition of this bee product should be thanked for the beneficial effect of honey.
In total, about 600 volatile compounds were found in honey that provide it with medicinal properties. Aldehydes, ketones, hydrocarbons, benzene and its derivatives, furans and others belong to such compounds.
Flavonoids and polyphenols are the main antioxidants. In the course of analysis, it was found that in the composition of honey there are almost 30 different types of polyphenols.
The "micro composition" of honey, or that which we do not see with the naked eye and do not feel with taste buds, is hard to imagine. These components are responsible for the fact that honey has healthy properties.
Sugar has a higher glycemic index, as a result of which it increases blood sugar levels faster. This property is associated with a 50 percent fructose content in it and the absence of trace elements. Sugar has slightly more calories than honey — in 100 grams of sugar -387 kcal, in 100 grams of honey — 328 kcal, but honey is sweeter than sugar and requires less to give a sweet taste. So, in one teaspoon of sugar (5 g) contains 19 kcal, and honey (7 g) -22 kcal. To give a sweet taste to the drink, we may need 1 teaspoon of sugar or half a teaspoon of honey, i.e. with sugar we consume 19 kcal, and with honey only 11 kcal.
But calorie content is not the only advantage of honey over sugar. The fact is that there is a concept of glycemic index (GI). This is an indicator that reflects how fast the product breaks down in the human body and turns into glucose.
The indicators of all products are compared with the glucose indicator, whose GI is 100. The higher the GI of the product you eat, the more intensively your pancreas secretes insulin, which performs two main functions in the human body. The first function is to lower blood sugar levels and store it in the form of fat "for a rainy day", and the second is to inhibit the mechanism of converting fat already stored by the body into glucose. That is, the higher the GI, the more likely you are to gain extra pounds. From this point of view, honey is better than sugar, since their GI is 55 and 61, respectively. Unlike honey, sugar has practically no minerals and vitamins (it is not for nothing that it is called empty calories). They are consumed due to the internal reserves of the body. When these reserves are depleted, the process of metabolizing "bad" cholesterol and fatty acids is triggered, increasing cholesterol levels and ultimately provoking obesity. Therefore, the conclusion is this: if you are thinking about your weight, honey is a smart choice.
2. A healthy adult can eat 50 g of honey every day (about 2 tablespoons), But people differ in physical characteristics and health. When dosing, the following factors are taken into account:
-Age. Healthy older people should eat a healthy product constantly, but very in moderation;
- Degree of physical activity. Athletes and people engaged in manual labor can increase the daily dose;
- the state of the pancreas, which affects the body's ability to absorb sugar. If you suspect diabetes or become ill with it, you can eat sweets only with the permission of your doctor. The dose is calculated so that the total amount of sweet foods per day does not exceed the norm of sugars acceptable for a particular person;
-the presence of excess weight. People who are prone to overweight should calculate the total calorie intake. The calorie content of the sweet product is high - 328 kcal. When using 50 g, you should reduce the daily diet due to other ingredients.
-physical features of the body: height, weight. Men with large muscle mass can increase the daily dose without harm to their health;
- a tendency to allergies to people who have experienced any form of allergy, the use of the product should begin with small portions. With unpleasant manifestations, amber sweetness for such people is a prohibited product.
When losing weight, the maximum dose is 3 tsp. per day . It is best to eat this sweet in the morning.
3. How much honey a child can eat per day depends on his age. Doctors recommend not to give honey to children for up to a year, but it is better to take care of a child up to two years. There are two main reasons for this:
Botulism is an infectious disease that develops due to the ingestion of botulinum toxin, one of the most famous toxic substances produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Honey may contain these bacteria, which do not linger in the intestines of an adult due to the developed protective functions. In the children's intestine, there are no protective functions against microorganisms that produce botulinum toxin. Therefore, honey is strictly contraindicated for young children.
Honey is also a strong allergen. An allergic reaction to honey most often manifests itself on the skin in the form of itching and a rash on the body. Buckwheat is more allergenic honey, unlike acacia honey, which is considered the safest
It is recommended to introduce honey into the child's diet not in pure form, but by adding a few drops to drinks: water or tea. For starters, acacia honey is best because it is the least allergenic. After you gave your child a drink with honey, you should observe the reaction of the body. If there is no reaction, then you can increase the volume of the product. But, again, continuing to add honey to other products: porridge, yogurt, kefir .. After a year, you can offer 1 tsp. product, dividing the dose into 2-3 parts. From three years old, you can give no more than 20 g (slightly less than 1 tbsp. L.), After six years the amount is brought to 50 g.
4. Diabetes and sweets - the concepts are nominally incompatible. Even those who are little familiar with the disease understand that with high blood sugar levels, it is forbidden to eat sugary foods, as they contain a lot of carbohydrates.
But among sweets, many, especially those with diabetes, want to see exceptions. Honey becomes this exception. A product useful for many problems. But is it possible to eat it with diabetes? This question is far from as simple as it seems.
Diabetes mellitus occurs due to the lack of proper regulation of blood glucose levels. This happens for two main reasons:
• in diabetes mellitus of the first type, the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin - a hormone that regulates sugar levels;
• in diabetes mellitus of the second type, insulin is produced in sufficient quantities, but the cells of the body interact with it in insufficient quantities.
With any type of disease, to stop it, you need to regulate the level of sugar in the blood. There is no absolute ban on honey for diabetes. If you correctly enter it into the diabetic menu, then from time to time you can eat a spoonful of such sweetness, but the following rules should be observed:
- To include honey in the diet, you need to consult your doctor. Only he can give permission for its use.
- After honey, at least for the first time, you need to constantly monitor blood sugar levels. The indicators should be within the limits established by the doctor. Honey can cause third-party reactions, including hyperglycemia. In such cases, it is strictly prohibited.
-With diabetes, you can eat no more than one teaspoon of honey per day.
- Honey for diabetics can only be eaten after a main meal: after breakfast or lunch. This will slow down the absorption process and prevent a spike in glucose levels.
- Honey should never be eaten at night. When a person sleeps, the body's metabolic processes slow down. Glucose is practically not used without physical and mental stress. During the day, it is better absorbed and does not accumulate in the blood.
And most importantly: honey is a very dangerous product for diabetes. In no case should you eat it without consulting a doctor. This can lead to a serious exacerbation of the disease.
5. Nowadays, the use of honey in cooking and cosmetology remains at the same high level as dozens and hundreds of years ago. Only, in our time, the areas of use of this natural product are constantly expanding and spreading in all areas related to health and beauty. On the Internet you can find hundreds of sites dedicated to the use of honey and beekeeping products, but I would like to offer you recipes that I have tested. Cooking recipes with honey can be found here. Use of beekeeping products for cosmetic purposes is here.
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