Honey and Weight Loss

Is it true that honey is beneficial in weight loss?   Here's some information for dieters wondering whether honey can help you lose weight.

I  would like to point out that I don't believe in over-hyping things as if I'm performing some kind of marketing campaign.   I think we get bombarded with this stuff often enough already.  In my view, it's better to take a more balanced approach.  

I also have a whole page comparing vitamin, protein content etc, of honey and sugar.  I recommend you take a look at this page after reading this one if you'd like more data, because I have attempted to compare the two as honestly as possible.

Honey and Weight Loss - A Few Background Points

I see quite a lot of information on the web extolling the virtues of honey for those keen to shed a few pounds of weight.  It's clear that some people believe honey can play its part in weight loss.  However, I would advise caution here because that is not to say that you should go out and eat lots of honey since after all, it is very high in calories! 

It is true that the nutritional value of honey is greater than sugar. This means if you're wanting to lose weight, but still need to address that 'sweetness craving' (as part of your controlled diet) for example, you need a little sweetness added to your tea or coffee and you cannot drink it without, then honey is perhaps slightly healthier for you, although we are not talking about large quantities so I'm not clear on whether the difference is meaningful.

Packaged honeycomb can be purchased from delicatessens and quality food stores, or may be available from your local beekeeper.Packaged honeycomb can be purchased from delicatessens and quality food stores, or may be available from your local beekeeper.

Also, I think it's worth remembering that sugar comes from plants and so for me, this makes sugar better than artificial sweeteners.

What are the arguments for honey?

It could be said that in very small amounts and as part of a calorie controlled diet, honey could help you with your dieting because.....

  • During weight loss, the breaking down of stored fat molecules also causes the release of ‘free radicals’ – which are known to be bad for our health. Honey contains a variety of phytochemicals believed to serve as antioxidants. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals.

    By the way, darker honey is believed to contain more antioxidants than lighter honeys.

  • During the process of losing weight, the body could also lose valuable nutrients it needs. Honey contains some nutrients not present in sugar, which provides only 'empty calories'. As a replacement for sugar in small quantities, honey could arguably help provide greater nutritional support.

  • If depletion of energy levels is a problem for you during your weight loss regime, honey could help you address this issue. It contains glucose and fructose, providing both immediate and sustained boosts of energy.

  • If you are wanting to lose weight, you may have heard of the ‘Glycemic Index’ (G.I.) and ‘Glycemic Load’ (G.L.).

    The quality of the carbohydrate is key in determining the scores.  It is generally believed that foods with a low G.I. are better for weight loss than those with a high GI. This is because foods with a high G.I. initially cause a rapid glycemic response, followed by further bouts of hunger…..and increased fat storage!

    A G.I score of 55 is considered low, where-as a high score would be 70 or more. A G.L. score of 10 or less is considered low, where-as a score of 20 or more is considered high. In tests, honey had a G.I. score of 55, and a G.L. score of 9. 

However, this does not mean that honey is going to help you lose weight over all!

As stated, it is still high in calories and is a high energy food.  Food not used for energy may be stored on the body as fat in any case.

A Recipe:

Disclaimer: Please consult your medical practitioner for advise as appropriate before trying any recipe on this website, especially if you are on medication or undergoing treatment.

If you have a problem controlling excess snacking binges, some suggest that honey can be used to make appetite suppressants. Here is a vinegar and honey recipe:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of honey, and approximately 230mk/8oz of unsweetened grapefruit juice (check that you are not taking medicines that will react to grapefruit).
  • Drink it before meals.

If you are thinking of trying it, you might like to take a look at my page looking at the scientific evidence around the use of honey and apple cider vinegar.

So: Honey and Weight Loss - What's the Score?

As part of an overall calorie-controlled diet, and as a replacement for refined sugar, I think honey is okay in very small quantities.  For example, if you allow yourself a spoon of sugar in your tea as part of your overall diet regime, you could substitute sugar for honey instead.

However, in such small quantities, whether or not it really makes a significant difference, I'm not so sure.

One thing is for certain: honey is a high energy food, so it is unlikely to help you lose weight when consumed in excess - quite the opposite, and I can't imagine lots of honey would be very helpful for your teeth either!

As with all things; too much of a good thing....can turn into a bad thing.

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