When it comes to enjoying the sweetness of nature, honey and fruits are often the secret to finding natural sweetness. However, head to the honey aisle in any store today and you might be shocked at the sheer variety of options to pick from. One of the biggest debates, then, revolves around choosing raw honey versus regular honey.
If you are not used to dealing with honey varieties, it might shock you to know there is a difference. What, though, are the primary differences to keep an eye out for when buying either raw honey or regular honey?
For one, raw honey is quite different to normal honey in the basis that it is literally as it exists within a beehive. This means that the honey is taken from honeycombs of the hive itself and is then poured onto a meshing. This separates the honey itself from the presence of things like beeswax or even bees who have died within the hive. It goes no through no other processes, really; it is stored within the jar more or less once the excess non-honey items are removed from the substance.
By contrast, regular honey goes through a very different processing system. For one, it will be filtered. This helps to remove things like air bubbles and any potential debris, and makes the honey look fresher and clearer. It also tends to go through a yeast-destroying process known as pasteurization, that helps to ensure the honey lasts longer when on the shelf.
However, as you might imagine, these processes can also remove valuable goodness such as pollen, antioxidants, and other beneficial items found within raw honey. Other companies tend to also try to cut costs, too, by including large doses of sugar and/or sweetener into the honey. This helps the actual honey product to spread further.
Is raw honey the healthier option?
For the most part, yes; since it goes through none of these removals and additions, it is purely what honey should be. The processing is a big change, and this makes sure that raw honey is generally more a nutritious product. It tends to contain far more minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants than you would get with standard, processed honey. However, it also will see a huge removal in the number of polyphenols which is a big part of the health kick that comes from honey.
Typical on the shelf honeys tend to be processed to the point of removal some or all of these health benefits from the honey itself. That is a big problem, as many people take honey as a ‘healthy’ alternative to sugars. Given many processed honeys have sugar added, too, this further defeats the purpose.
The removal of nectars and pollens from most processed honey is also a big problem, as this is a major part of the health benefits that can stem from bee pollen being ingested. It can help to combat inflammation and even is linked to keeping our livers healthy.
So, if you are serious about eating honey, it makes more sense to invest a little more and buy raw honey. Sure, it costs more, but the results and rewards more than make up for the added pounds paid on the day.