3

votes

Honey, is it evil?!

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 15, 2012 at 9:52 PM

So I've been doing really well on Paleo and I've done my first week of a perfect paleo diet... or did I? A treat, I liked to mix 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/4 cups of almonds, and a tbsp of raw, unfiltered, organic honey. I've been doing reading and there seems to be a lot of controversey about honey altogether. Opinions ranged from "It's identical to HFCS" to "It's been used millenia before the Old Testament!" I don't know what to think so I'm tempted to throw my honey out like I did with my fruit, because I want to lose weight asap (which I have been succeeding at).

Opinions? Is honey evil?!

Medium avatar

(2923)

on July 16, 2012
at 02:45 AM

@Canis Minor - in "Vanishing of the Bees", Pollan is referring to fruit orchards and vegetables over grains -- most modern crops in the US (wheat, corn, and soy) are genetically sterile and are more reliant on Monsanto than bees or pollen ...

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 16, 2012
at 02:38 AM

neither honey or nuts are bad, but they can be empty calories for the person trying to lose weight.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 16, 2012
at 02:17 AM

I'd agree with Michael Pollan if he meant that people who rely on grain crops (especially corn) would be in trouble without bees and their pollinating function. Fortunately for me, I don't eat grains. And neither do grassfed cows, given a choice. I can't get that link to load for some reason, so I don't know what his argument is in this instance.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:36 PM

Honey isn't all that bad (whole food and all). I'd be more concerned with the nut overload you consumed. In addition to the 400ish calories, you're looking at 15ish grams of omega-6s, but 2.7 grams omega-3s as a saving grace.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:05 PM

Sorry, I think I quit reading for meaning once I saw "not allowed."

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:57 PM

Why the downvote?

Medium avatar

(2923)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:32 PM

Agree with AmandaLP, ignore the "organic" tag -- the big three you should look for are "raw", "unfiltered", and (most importantly) "local" ...

Medium avatar

(2923)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:29 PM

As to how important bees are to humans? Michael Pollan pointed out we'd have problems surviving without them: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi854301977/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:25 PM

http://www.bioanth.cam.ac.uk/fwm23/tubers_and_fallback_foods_21040_ftp.pdf

Medium avatar

(2923)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:24 PM

BBC Human Planet, Jungles episode - Treetop honey gathering - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00dlvl4

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:23 PM

as for the risk/reward tradeoff, here is a quote from an interview with a Hadza tribesman, "The bees get our blood ? we get their honey...It is fair exchange." Honey is one of the most highly revered foods known to man, and we do go to great lengths to procure it, hence, now we have such things as beekeepers.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:14 PM

That's exactly what cerement said

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:11 PM

"Not allowed" is subjective. You can't tell me that if Grok came across a bee hive, he wouldn't have sampled the liquid gold.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:11 PM

Oh, and "organic" honey isn't really organic. You are better off with whatever is local to you.

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9 Answers

7
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on July 15, 2012
at 10:13 PM

The Hadza, an opportunistic foraging tribe, consume very large quantities of honey during certain times of the year, and it is universally ranked as the most preferable food source- higher than meat, berries, baobab fruit, and tubers. It comprises the majority of calories during peak times of the year.

My opinion is that it is both better for you and more paleo than the nuts you are mixing it with.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:25 PM

http://www.bioanth.cam.ac.uk/fwm23/tubers_and_fallback_foods_21040_ftp.pdf

3
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:05 PM

Raw honey from a good source is great. It's even better if you find the right uses for it. I use it in my coffee and sometimes if I'm needing a sweet kick to something.

It's evil if you use it as a staple, consuming massive quantities of it.

2
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on July 15, 2012
at 11:48 PM

I think you're mistaking paleohacks for "Atkins-hacks." Of course, Honey is paleo... as long as it's raw and hopefully local.

If you do better on low-carb then stay away from it. If you seem to do fine with some carbs, I don't see what the problem is.

1
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 16, 2012
at 02:29 AM

It may be "evil" if you consume it by the gallon, but in moderation, it should be just fine.

1
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:19 PM

Honey's "evil" if you have diabetes, prediabetes or insulin resistance or other metabolic difficulties. Otherwise it's an acceptable* sweetener on paleo. HGs gather honey, sometimes to excess (although only for short time periods), and usually in very hazardous conditions.

*acceptable when used in moderate quantities, raw. Use common sense; it is a sugar, with all the potential problems that come with that.

If you want to lose weight, skip the honey for now until the weight comes off. Honey lasts well, so you could keep it if you aren't subject to cravings.

1
Medium avatar

(2923)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:06 PM

Honey is a sweetener, which are not allowed in most variations of Paleo. BUT if you're going to use a sweetener (as opposed to just eating fruit), then raw unfiltered local honey is the best choice of the lot.

Is Honey a Safe(r) Sweetener? at Mark's Daily Apple

It also comes down to moderation, as a weekly or monthly reward, it's just fine. Not so much if you're adding it to your coffee every morning. One of the BBC's Human Planet episodes showed the risk/reward involved in hunter-gatherers trying to procure honey. When we got it, we certainly ate it. But again, not a daily occurrence ...

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:14 PM

That's exactly what cerement said

Medium avatar

(2923)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:24 PM

BBC Human Planet, Jungles episode - Treetop honey gathering - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00dlvl4

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:11 PM

"Not allowed" is subjective. You can't tell me that if Grok came across a bee hive, he wouldn't have sampled the liquid gold.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:29 PM

As to how important bees are to humans? Michael Pollan pointed out we'd have problems surviving without them: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi854301977/

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:05 PM

Sorry, I think I quit reading for meaning once I saw "not allowed."

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:23 PM

as for the risk/reward tradeoff, here is a quote from an interview with a Hadza tribesman, "The bees get our blood ? we get their honey...It is fair exchange." Honey is one of the most highly revered foods known to man, and we do go to great lengths to procure it, hence, now we have such things as beekeepers.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 16, 2012
at 02:17 AM

I'd agree with Michael Pollan if he meant that people who rely on grain crops (especially corn) would be in trouble without bees and their pollinating function. Fortunately for me, I don't eat grains. And neither do grassfed cows, given a choice. I can't get that link to load for some reason, so I don't know what his argument is in this instance.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on July 16, 2012
at 02:45 AM

@Canis Minor - in "Vanishing of the Bees", Pollan is referring to fruit orchards and vegetables over grains -- most modern crops in the US (wheat, corn, and soy) are genetically sterile and are more reliant on Monsanto than bees or pollen ...

1
4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:03 PM

It is probably the least offensive sweetener, and probably used very rarely in Paleo times.

On one hand, it is high in fructose, on the other, it is full of antioxidants and good stuffs.

Get the best raw honey you can, the darker the better, and never heat it, and you are fine. Grocery store honey isn't recognizable as honey, so buy local farmers market honey.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:32 PM

Agree with AmandaLP, ignore the "organic" tag -- the big three you should look for are "raw", "unfiltered", and (most importantly) "local" ...

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on July 15, 2012
at 10:11 PM

Oh, and "organic" honey isn't really organic. You are better off with whatever is local to you.

0
892d177f50b16f118152219229870e4e

(776)

on July 16, 2012
at 02:05 AM

Speaking as an individual with Crohn's,raw honey is one of the few sources of carbohydrate that does not cause myself issues with bloat if consumed in more than small quantities.

I also have to say it is pretty nice to take a spoonful before bed along with a Magnesium pill then enter some Rip Van Winkle level of slumber.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:34 PM

If you are trying to loose weight, and transition into a paleo diet -- Then I would said no to honey. I think the best method is cold turkey for 21 days to "detox" from SAD.

After that, small quantities, on occasion, are fine.

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