COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
CS-Blog
Cedars-Sinai Blog

Honey and Your Health

Thanks to its phenolic and flavonoids compounds, honey also is packed with antioxidants.

Honey conjures up all sorts of sweetness—the golden liquid produced by honeybees, the packets we pour into our steaming tea and the term of endearment we reserve for loved ones. On top of the joy honey brings, it also might be healthy for us.


"Honey is primarily glucose and fructose, so it's still sugar. As far as weight management, I tell patients you have to limit the honey you consume—everything in moderation."


To learn more about honey's potential health benefits and debunk some honey myths, we talked to clinical dietitian Stephanie Garcia from the Cedars-Sinai Bariatric Surgery program.

Is honey a good sugar substitute for weight loss?

Stephanie Garcia: Honey is primarily made up of fructose and glucose, so it's still sugar. As far as weight management, I tell patients you have to limit the honey you consume—everything in moderation. I would try to limit it to 1 teaspoon of honey per day, which is about 5 grams of sugar. 



Can honey help lower your blood sugar levels?

SG: This is a myth. Honey is a carbohydrate made up of fructose and glucose—it will raise your blood sugar levels if you're not careful.

You still have to treat it as a sweetener, especially if you're trying to watch your weight. Many people don't realize how small 1 teaspoon is. Portion sizes really do matter.



Why do we reach for honey when we have a cold?

SG: Honey helps to coat your throat, which may help naturally suppress your cough. Studies show it also has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which help the immune system. 

Thanks to its phenolic and flavonoids compounds, honey also is packed with antioxidants, so I think honey is great to add to your tea—instead of sugar—when you're sick. 



Is it true that newborns aren't supposed to eat honey?

SG: Yes, that's true. Infants 12 months or younger shouldn't eat honey, even if it's pasteurized, because honey can have botulin spores with harmful bacteria. Children that young don't have the immune system to fight off infant botulism, which can be fatal. 



Any truth to the idea that honey can help with cuts and burns?

SG: This is true! It's antibacterial and antimicrobial properties are the best properties of honey, in my opinion.

There's even medical-grade honey that hospitals use to help cure burns. It's amazing!