Even if they don’t have a taste for it, people know what honey is like—a very sweet, thick syrup that honeybees make and store to survive. It is even said to be full of specific compounds from plants that are healthy for people to consume. However, most people still wonder which type of honey benefits them most—regular or raw—and how the two even differentiate. It is a legitimate question to ask, and it is one that requires a bit of background to understand. For example, the key difference between raw and regular honey is how the two are processed, which greatly affects the overall quality of the product.
Raw Honey Has Better Nutritional Value
When compared with regular honey, raw honey is allegedly said to contain a broader variety of nutrients, including 22 different types of amino acids, roughly 31 minerals as well as other vitamins and enzymes (but only at trace levels). Also, raw honey is said to contain up to 30 different types of bioactive compounds known as polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. According to a 2006 study, raw honey could have as much as 4.3 times more antioxidants when compared to more processed honeys.
Secret Sugars and Sweeteners
In the U.S., over 200,000 tons of honey are consumed every year by its citizens—a figure that results from not only a considerable high demand for honey, but it also results in significant amounts of honey (almost 70 percent) needing to be imported from other countries. With demand as high as it is—and honeybee populations declining as much as they are—this can lead to lower quality honeys being filled with artificial sweeteners to cut corners, including high-fructose corn syrup, thereby stripping the honey of a more genuine flavor.
Which Honey is the Healthier Choice?
When it comes to choosing a honey that not only provides the level of sweetness you expect but also may contain helpful health benefits, raw honey is the far better choice. By avoiding the pasteurization process and going through the most minimal form of processing, much of the nutritional value said to be in honey is maintained. The excessive heat and filtration that regular honey is subjected to can cause these benefits to be destroyed, including the antioxidant properties that raw Manuka honey is known for. The choice is yours, especially where price is involved, but at least now you have a few more facts at hand and can make a more informed decision.
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