Is Honey Healthy? The Hidden Truth

For years we have been told that honey promises not just a delicious, sweet taste but also health benefits. But behind the labels on this golden nectar is a secret; is honey as healthy as we’ve been led to believe?

This morning, I was sitting in my garden catching some early morning daylight and putting the world to rights with my friend. We were aware of the bees busy buzzing around the flowers in the garden. I happened to mention that I’d recently found out that a bumble bee works its whole life, to produce not much more than a thimble-full of honey.

Thinking about this, it occurred to me that if a single bee only produces such a tiny amount of honey, how can there be so much of it on the supermarket shelves? That was when my friend drew my attention to the fact that a lot of what we think is honey isn’t.

She was telling me that the innocent jar of honey in my kitchen was hiding a secret. It turns out that the sweet nectar might not be as pure honey. In fact, it might not even be honey at all.


The hidden reality of supermarket honey

Did you know that China and other countries supply a significant portion of the honey flooding our supermarkets? They produce it at a fraction of the cost of local beekeepers’ honey?  What’s more alarming is that these imports might not even be entirely authentic. Reports suggest that some of this honey is adulterated by the manufacturers with sugar syrup, masquerading as the real deal.

It is highly likely that the honey you are eating thinking it is beneficial to your health and touted as “100% pure,” is nothing more than a blend of cheap substitutes. It’s a bitter truth to swallow, especially considering many people think of honey as a healthy alternative to sugar. More on that later.

What’s more concerning is the lack of transparency in labeling. Supermarkets proudly claim that their honey can be traced back to the beekeeper. However, they conveniently omit crucial details about its country of origin. How can we make informed choices when crucial information is deliberately concealed from us?

From beekeepers’ struggles to health risks

The consequences extend beyond the supermarkets misleading consumers. Beekeepers across the globe are facing financial ruin as fraudulent non-honey floods the market. This undermines their hard work and dedication, not to mention that of humble bees! Even more worrying are the potential health risks associated with consuming adulterated honey.

These revelations serve as a stark warning to us all. It’s time to peel back the layers of deception and demand transparency in our food supply chain. We must scrutinise labels, ask questions, and support local producers who uphold the integrity of their products. To that end, I will be buying only local, organic honey, preferably direct from the beekeeper or at local farmers markets or farm shops in the future.

As a concerned member of the public, I urge you to join me. I also encourage you to share this article and spreading awareness about this issue.

Let’s ensure that the next time we reach for that jar of honey, we do so with eyes wide open, knowing exactly what we’re putting into our bodies. After all, our health is too precious to be compromised by deceptive practices.


The health benefits of organic honey

If, like me, you are committed to eating the real thing when it comes to honey but want to know more about it, read on. Honey is not only a delicious treat but also a fantastic source of health benefits. Traditional medical practitioners have held it in high regard for generations. This is due to the unique healing characteristics it possesses. There are several great reasons why you should be including authentic organic honey in your diet.

The Natural Wonder That Is Honey

Honey can boost your health in many waysHoney, in addition to its delightfully sweet flavour, possesses a substantial nutritional profile. It also has an astounding assortment of qualities, as evidenced by studies. They have shown it to possess antibacterial, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral characteristics.


Honey’s capacity to suppress the growth of bacteria is one of its well-known health benefits. When applied topically, its antibacterial properties can help prevent infections and help wounds to heal. Honey is a vital ally in promoting general health and wellness because of its antibacterial effect. This helps externally by using it as an ointment or through its consumption internally.

This antibacterial activity is down to enzymes like glucose oxidase that contribute to the production of hydrogen peroxide in honey. High levels of hydrogen peroxide in honey are linked to its ability to efficiently heal wounds and act as a natural antibacterial agent.


Honey is loaded with antioxidants. The primary antioxidants in honey are flavonoids, including quercetin, and phenolic compounds. Antioxidants neutralise potentially damaging free radicals and shield cells from the damaging effects of the oxidative stress that they cause. The body does have its own innate antioxidants, but giving them a boost from the diet helps support them to preserve cellular health. This, in turn, helps lower the likelihood of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

In honey, short peptides produced by enzymes called proteases also act as antioxidants. These peptides, containing specific amino acids like cysteine, methionine, and tyrosine, contribute to honey’s antioxidant abilities. It is worth noting that these enzymes also help with the digestion of proteins into peptides and then amino acids, which the body uses to repair and grow.


There is a strong link between chronic inflammation and a wide range of health problems. These include arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune illnesses. Studies have shown that pure, organic honey contains several anti-inflammatory components. These include flavonoids, specifically galangin, ceffeic acid, and chrysin. Flavonoids help to inhibit the production of inflammatory compounds in the body, another great reason to include honey in your diet, especially if you have a sweet tooth. This is because sugar is strongly linked to inflammation. Therefore swapping refined sugar for honey is a way to help reduce the inflammatory response.


As well as being anti-bacterial, honey also contains anti-viral compounds. Studies have shown that the flavonoids chrysin, apigenin, quercetin, rutin, and acacetin reduce the replication of several viruses. Given that the common cold is a virus, honey’s inclusion in many cold remedies makes sense. However, as the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure!” So including organic honey in a whole food, balanced diet is a great way to help protect yourself from viruses.


There are not many things more painful than a stomach, or peptic ulcer. While honey cannot single-handedly protect against stomach ulcers, including it in your diet can help protect against their development. This is due to the flavonoids and polyphenols it contains and their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties. You can also treat mouth ulcers by applying honey a few times a day. This may be more pleasant than other mouth ulcer treatments that can sting.


Honey can be great at helping us fight bacteria and viruses, so it is an extremely significant asset for boosting immune function and helping to combat illnesses. Because it has the potential to prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, it can assist our body’s natural defences and lower the likelihood of becoming unwell.

Armed with your newfound knowledge, you can now make sure that you are not tricked into buying fake honey and can buy the genuine bounty of all the bees’ hard work to produce not only a deliciously natural sweetener but a powerful ally for good health.

And finally….did you know?

Using a metal spoon to eat or serve honey will degrade many of the enzymes that help to give honey its health benefits? Therefore, try to use a wooden spoon or one of those honey swizzle sticks you can buy.

Honey has no expiry date. This is due to its anti-microbial properties, the sugar content, and the low pH.

I talk about how healthy honey is along with what other foods are good for your health in my 8 week weight management course.


Functional Properties of Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly

Enzymatic Reactions in Honey

8 week weight management course.