HealthHeating honey can turn it harmful, says Journal of Research in Ayurveda study

Heating honey can turn it harmful, says Journal of Research in Ayurveda study

Why is it worth eating honey?
Why is it worth eating honey?
Images source: © Licensor | Vasilica Petran / 500px

9:44 AM EST, January 16, 2024

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No benefits from thermal processing

Honey, renowned worldwide for its numerous health benefits, has been used as a natural remedy for centuries, helping combat various illnesses.

Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects make it indispensable in our fight against infections. Regular consumption of honey can assist in lowering blood pressure and preventing the formation of atherosclerosis deposits.

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Honey is a true treasure chest of health—it contains vitamins, antioxidants, and probiotics. However, to fully appreciate all its benefits, one crucial rule regarding its consumption must be considered.

The consideration is regarding temperature. Thermal processing can induce chemical alterations in its composition, which can potentially harm our health. Results from research exploring this topic have been published in the "Journal of Research in Ayurveda".

Unseen threat: could it act like a sweet poison?

Scientists conducted an experiment observing the health impacts of consuming heated honey, ghee—a type of clarified butter—and an equal-proportion mixture of honey and ghee.

The results were alarming. In honey heated up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, there was a significant increase in the level of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), an organic chemical compound. Some experts suggest that this substance could be harmful to our health.

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When the heated honey was mixed with ghee, the results were even more worrisome. The researchers noted that the increase in HMF levels "could cause harmful effects and might even act like a poison."

The authors underline that further, more specific observations are needed to substantiate this phenomenon. Nevertheless, based on the current evidence, they advise against cooking honey or adding it to hot drinks like tea or milk.

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