Honey is a popular food, particularly with children and those who have a “sweet tooth”, and may prove a useful addition to any diet. Its nutritive value, however, is not as high as many folk believe.
Honey consists mainly of carbohydrate — actually 76 percent; it contains no fat and a negligible amount of protein. Because of its high carbohydrate content, honey, like ordinary sugar, is a good supplier of energy units or calories.
Honey contains small amounts of vitamins, and a certain amount of calcium and iron and some of the less known minerals. However, the quantity of honey eaten is generally so small that the amount of vitamins and minerals obtained is not great, and cannot be considered as making much contribution to the dietary requirements.
Honey contains a mixture of various sugars — the chief ones being glucose (some times called dextrose) and fructose (otherwise known as levulose). The sugars of honey are very easily digested by the body; however, the average person experiences no difficulty in digesting any sugar, so for most people honey offers no particular advantages in this respect.
A person who is forbidden by a doctor to eat sugar should not eat honey unless specifically ordered. The popular flavor of honey is due to aromatic substances which are reminiscent of the flowers from which the honey comes. This explains the detectable difference in the honey from different flowers.
Ways To Use Honey
The main advantage of honey in the diet apart from its value as a supplier of energy is that it may be used for variety and for increasing the palatability of dishes.
It may be used sometimes to replace sugar as a sweetening agent in milk puddings or on porridge. A glass of milk flavored with honey and cinnamon will also make an appetizing change for younger members of the family.
When baking an apple, the core may be removed, a date placed in the bottom and the center filled with honey and a piece of butter. Honey may be used in the making of various cakes and puddings, either as the sole sweetening agent or together with sugar.
By itself, honey is not a good sandwich filling, but used with dried fruits, chopped nuts or peanut butter, it is quite satisfactory. Remember, honey may prove a useful addition to the diet, but as in the case of sugar, it should be eaten in moderation only.
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