I am an avid lover of Rice Malt Syrup as my sweetener of choice. Something that should come of no surprise if you’ve tried one of my recipes.
However, being on the Autoimmune Protocol, I’ve had do say au revoir to all grains – this includes rice malt syrup. This isn’t a bad thing though, as I get to say a big hello to honey. In particular raw organic honey.
Unfortunately, not all honey’s are created equal.
What is raw honey?
It is a pure, unfiltered and unpasteurised sweetener made by bees from the nectar of flowers.
Unlike processed commercial honey, raw honey still contains all of its incredible nutrients and can help those of us dealing with low energy, sleep issues and seasonal allergies – to name just a few. Eating raw honey helps raise our antioxidants levels, helping to boost our immune system. A wonderful benefit for those of us dealing with an autoimmune disease.
Raw Honey Nutrition
Raw honey has an impressive nutritional chart containing amino acids, vitamins, minerals and thousands of enzymes. This includes B6, thiamine, riboflavin and pantothenic as well as the minerals iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium.
Raw Honey vs. Refined Honey
Raw honey is pure and has been removed from cells of the honey combs within a bee hive. It cannot be heated above 95 degrees F (the temperature of the bee hive), which allows it to keep hold of all those beneficial nutrients. It is allowed to be strained, however it is never allowed to be filtered, pasteurised, or any additives added.
Commercial/Refined honey, however is most often heavily processed. Excessive heat destroys its natural enzymes, vitamins and minerals and the additional filtering and pasteurising processes eliminate just about all of its beneficial phytonutrients. Commercial/Refined honey can be sourced from bees that have been treated with antibiotics, and their hives are allowed to be made of non-organic materials, can be cleaned with non-organic substances and can have additives.
Organic Honey vs. Not Organic
As with raw honey, organic honey is also not allowed to be heated above 95 degrees F. In order to be called organic, honey must follow good organic management, according to each country’s set of standards and conditions.
Raw Honey - Potential Side Effects
Considered safe in normal amounts, however, should not be given to infants under 12 months of age (as raw honey is a potential source of botulism spores), or if undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer, you should speak with your doctor before consuming.
Allergic or sensitive to celery, pollen or other bee-related allergies? You should also not consume raw honey.
NOTE: Please always remember that honey, whether raw or refined, is still a form of sugar, and when ingested, can have an effect on your blood sugar levels. For me personally, raw organic honey is an occasional treat.