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Posted: 15 January 2009 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Is honey “healthier” (less harmful) than sugar? And is brown sugar “healthier” than white sugar? The following smiley represents the expression on my colleagues’, friends’, and family members’ face when they see me putting white sugar in my coffee or tea:  grrr.

[ Edited: 15 January 2009 01:36 PM by George ]
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Posted: 15 January 2009 01:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Honey and brown sugar are no healthier than white sugar. Period.

Indeed, from what I’ve heard, honey can have botulinum toxin in it in very small quantities, so should not be fed to infants.

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Posted: 15 January 2009 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I also wonder, if sugar, with which the beekeepers replace the stolen honey from the bees, is harmful (or not as nutritious) to the bees. I would guess that there must be something that the bees don’t get from sugar that they would get from honey. Just a wild guess, but perhaps this is why the bees are disappearing (?)...

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Posted: 15 January 2009 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I don’t think we can assume that any kind of sugar is sicker than any other type, that is, less healthy.  Now on to the meaning of the question:  Is any of these three types of sugar more or less healthful than the others?  (Sorry, can’t help being a verbal nit-picker smile .)

White sugar is a molecule made up of two smaller ones, glucose and fructose.  These are almost identical molecules (C6H12O6 Imagine the numbers being subscripts) except for one of the carbons oriented such that it’s in a mirror image position from the other.  Sucrose is broken down to these in the gut.  Honey is mostly fructose.  Our bodies are quite capable of utilizing both of these extremely similar sugars.

Honey is mostly or all fructose.  It’s a little sweeter than glucose or sucrose. 

When sugar is extracted from cane it comes out as a brown syrup.  Then the sugar is crystalized and separated.  The remaining brown syrup is molasses.  Brown or raw sugar just hasn’t had all the molasses removed from it.  White sugar has been recrystalized a few more times to make it pretty and remove the flavor.  I never bother buying brown or raw sugar.  When I want either of these, I just dump a cup of white sugar in the food processor and run it on low while pouring a bit of molasses in it.

I’m not sure, George, but I seem to have read somewhere that wild bee hives in the same areas are also suffering from the problem.

Occam

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Posted: 15 January 2009 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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George - 15 January 2009 01:44 PM

I also wonder, if sugar, with which the beekeepers replace the stolen honey from the bees, is harmful (or not as nutritious) to the bees. I would guess that there must be something that the bees don’t get from sugar that they would get from honey. Just a wild guess, but perhaps this is why the bees are disappearing (?)...

The bees are getting killed by bee mites.

(Glycemic index should be low on a scale from 0-100, inflamation factor should be high with a net total above 50)

Honey 28g: inflammation factor -107, glycemic Index 87, glycemic load 14, calories: 85, 0 vitamins minerals antioxidants.

Brown sugar 28g: inflammation factor -143, glycemic index 58, glycemic load 19, calories 105, 2% DV calcium, o vitamins antioxidants.

Sugar 28g: inflammation factor -146, glycemic index 58, glycemic load 19, calories 108, 0 vitamins minerals antioxidants.


Honey has the highest glycemic index which is bad, honey being a monosaccharide. It’s lower caloric and inflammatory rating the result of less sugar and more water.

Brown sugar had no significant nutritional difference from table sugar but tastes bad in coffee and tea.

White sugar tastes better and is nutritionally about the same.

My conclusion is use the one you think tastes the best because they are all about the same, as Doug said.

[ Edited: 15 January 2009 05:09 PM by Some Guy ]
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Posted: 15 January 2009 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Okay, guys. Thanks. That was very helpful. Occam, good point about the wild bees!

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Posted: 17 January 2009 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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danlhinz - 15 January 2009 05:06 PM


(Glycemic index should be low on a scale from 0-100, inflamation factor should be high with a net total above 50)

Honey 28g: inflammation factor -107, glycemic Index 87, glycemic load 14, calories: 85, 0 vitamins minerals antioxidants.

Brown sugar 28g: inflammation factor -143, glycemic index 58, glycemic load 19, calories 105, 2% DV calcium, o vitamins antioxidants.

Sugar 28g: inflammation factor -146, glycemic index 58, glycemic load 19, calories 108, 0 vitamins minerals antioxidants.


Honey has the highest glycemic index which is bad, honey being a monosaccharide. It’s lower caloric and inflammatory rating the result of less sugar and more water.

Brown sugar had no significant nutritional difference from table sugar but tastes bad in coffee and tea.

White sugar tastes better and is nutritionally about the same.

My conclusion is use the one you think tastes the best because they are all about the same, as Doug said.

Could you please site your source for this information. While glycemic index is a well described concept, I’ve never heard of an “inflammatory rating” for sugars. I would like to see how they calculate that and what characteristic of sugars they are referring to when that term is used. Thanks Dan.

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Posted: 17 January 2009 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Where are you getting your caloric information? My calculations are coming up a bit higher per 28 grams. I’ve never heard of a sugar inflammatory index. Where are you getting this information? question

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Posted: 17 January 2009 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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http://www.nutritiondata.com/

http://www.nutritiondata.com/help/inflammation

http://www.glycemicindex.com/

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Posted: 17 January 2009 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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CRP is a test used in medicine frequently, I and I am very familiar with it, but I am concerned about the way they are describing it. It is very misleading, which makes me leery about the information on the entire website (I’ll get back to you on this subject after I do some research).It looks like the CRP test has been conscripted into the land of woo.

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Posted: 17 January 2009 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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This is the information more in line with what I have learned about the CRP test. We use it to check levels of inflammation after heart attacks or with infections. It gives us a benchmark on how ill the patient is and how effective our treatment is. I have NEVER seen it associated with foods, and in the article you referenced the connection makes no sense. It is a relatively new test and we are finding new uses for it, but that is not one of them, as I said before, I think it has been co opted by the marketers of woo, which makes the entire website suspect to me.

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4648

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Posted: 17 January 2009 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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danlhinz - 17 January 2009 03:51 PM

http://www.nutritiondata.com/

http://www.nutritiondata.com/help/inflammation

http://www.glycemicindex.com/

Dan I’m sorry to say that the “inflammatory index” is not a credible number. This is a self designed index made up a a nutritionist who fell back on questionable concepts about the “inflammatory” abilities of certain nutrients. This is not an accepted medical concept.

I had suspected as much. Inflammation has become misappropriated by nutritionists and others lately, much the way they misappropriated and overstated the effects of antioxidants in the past. We all know that inflammation is an important component of illnesses like infection and arthritis. More recently inflammation has actually been implicated as the cause of a number of illnesses including cardiovascular disease and possibly even Alzheimers. While there is research going on in this area there is very little evidence that a given nutritional supplement can change the course of that inflammation either positively or negatively. In addition not all forms of inflammation have the same mechanism so the idea that some nutrients could even be universally inflammatory or anti inflammatory may be fundamentally flawed.

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Posted: 17 January 2009 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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asanta - 17 January 2009 04:25 PM

CRP is a test used in medicine frequently, I and I am very familiar with it, but I am concerned about the way they are describing it. It is very misleading, which makes me leery about the information on the entire website (I’ll get back to you on this subject after I do some research).It looks like the CRP test has been conscripted into the land of woo.

Could be, didn’t really look too deeply into the reliability of the data. The Inflammation Factor looks to be created by a shrewd M.D. wanting to make a buck. Undoubtedly diet does play a role in causing inflammation, I know I saw an article in nature magazine about inflammation and aging but alas I can’t find it.

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Posted: 18 January 2009 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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However, if you want a tasty treat, do as my great grandmother did and stir your butter into molassas, then spread it on your toast.  For some reason, this woman, who lived to be 94, got a kick out of that.  Don’t know why, but she’d giggle during the whole process and ironically, she had her mind until the day she died, even though she acted childish at times.  Who knows, maybe when I get up into old age, I’ll figure out why old folks get a kick out of acting like little kids.  LOL

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Posted: 18 January 2009 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Quote Mriana:

. . .why old folks get a kick out of acting like little kids. . .

Probably because we cease to care about maintaining an urbane, sophisticated, inhibited image of being an adult when kids have so much more fun.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 18 January 2009 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Well, this is true.  Kids do have a lot of fun and I have to admit, I did get a kick out of watching her as a teenager.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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