Raw Honey Vs. Regular Honey – There Is A Difference
We all consume honey for its health benefits and many of us have even replaced sugar with honey in our homes. However, it is always controversial to know which source of honey we should purchase to ensure that its nutritional value remains unaltered.
Any form of processing and extra filtration steps reduces the antioxidant content of the honey and thus, should be avoided. While all the honey is initially extracted from the honeycombs in the beehives themselves, it is how the honey extract is treated until its packaging makes the entire difference.
After extraction, raw honey is strained, packed, and is ready to be sold. On the other hand, regular bottled honey is made by pasteurizing and filtering the raw honey before it is packed.
The pasteurization process increases the shelf life of honey and makes its texture more easily palatable. In the process of filtration, any debris is removed to extract a clear-looking liquid.
Comparative differences between raw and regular honey based on their pros and cons
Pros of consuming raw honey
- It is a nutritionally rich liquid containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids, polyphenols, and active enzymes.
- Polyphenols in the raw honey act as antioxidants, which are known to have protective action against many cancers and even heart conditions.
- It is a rich source of bee pollen, which is extremely nutritious and can be used as a sugar substitute for people suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions.
- There are no added preservatives, chemicals, or sugar syrups to raw honey as it is directly procured from beehives.
- Raw honey has medicinal properties and is even used in the treatment of cough.
- The active enzyme glucose oxidase gives raw honey anti-microbial properties.
Cons of consuming raw honey
- Consumption of raw honey can be specifically harmful in infants and small babies as it contains Clostridium botulinum spores.
- This bacterium can cause a condition called botulism, which can cause paralysis in children especially infants.
- Purchasing raw honey directly from bee farms is an opportunity that is not available in every locality.
- Raw honey is often sold at higher prices than its regular variety.
Pros of consuming regular honey
- It is free from any debris or bubbles and appears very clear.
- It has a more palatable texture than raw honey.
- Some people do not like the taste of raw honey and therefore, prefer regular bottled honey.
- It is more affordable.
Cons of consuming regular honey
- It has almost negligible nutritional content and is equivalent to consuming table sugar.
- Moreover, some manufacturers add sugar or its derivates to their packaged honey bottles to cut down on costs.
- Most of the antioxidants and active enzymes are destroyed during the processing.
There is a thin line of difference between regular processed honey and minimally processed ones. While the minimal processing does maintain most of the nutrition content, you can easily get fooled without having prior knowledge. Your local beekeeper might be able to help you in providing one.
The best way to avoid any confusion is to purchase organic raw honey to get the most out of its nutritional value.