THE SUGAR COMES A LONG WAY BACK
The concentrations of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins are so low in honey that the intake of nutrients is neglectable, except empty calories in the form of carbohydrates.
Theoretically, honey contains small amounts of substances with action favorable effect on health, especially inhibins and enzymes or ferments. Inhibins have an inhibit action of braking on microorganisms. Unfortunately, this inhibins are very unstable. They disappear from the heated honey or honey cakes. Also, they are destroyed by enzymes in the digestive tube that their action, at best, can only take place in the mouth, pharynx and esophagus.
Ecological, honey is an compelling advantage because the sugar production occupies large surfaces, that could be used for the cultivation of cereals and vegetables. Also, refining the sugar consumes much energy and contribute to environmental pollution. However, due to refining the sugar does not contain harmful substances.
Bees, however, are dependent on the environment, which, if it is polluted, the honey is polluted too.
Another danger linked to honey is the possible presence of Ceostridium botulinum spores. In the absence of air, the spores can germinate and can produce a toxin responsible for botulism symptoms. A California study showed that the rats that were receiving honey in their food had more caries than those recieving sugar.
Of course, for honey lovers, nothing tastes better. But this love is not due the nutritional value, but rather taste and aroma. Perhaps the best advice in relation to honey comes from the wise Solomon: “It is not good to eat a lot of honey “(Proverbs 25.27)
And if neither honey nor sugar are not good to use, with what else should we sweeten?
One possibility would be a dried fruit, for example, figs, dates, containing 50-60% sugar, but related on ballast substances. They also contain a appreciated quantity of mineral substances.
But the rest of products used for sweetening, like saccharin and other? They don’t contain calories, have no damage effect on teeth nor affects blood sugar levels. But they maintain the habit and taste for sweet and are not natural substances. On the other hand, still not sure if their prolonged use has no negative effects.
With an average annual consumption of 35 kg of sugar, we can not say that europeans do not enjoy the pleasure of sweet. The Americans consume annually 50kg of sugar per person.
Whatever the form is: cubic, granulated or powdered, ice cream, chocolates, cakes, candies, jellies, marmalades, beverages or hidden in many foods, sauces and preserved, the sugar became a sweet drug, that it seems we have become addicted to.
In ancient times, the Chinese and Indians extracted from plants known today as a sugarcane, a substance referred to as SARKARA in Sanskrit, where the modern term sugar originates. Transmited to arabs by persians since the third century BC, sugarcane culture gradually spread in North Africa and then generalizes in the Mediterranean. Better known in the West after Crusades, sugar, then called “sweet salt” becomes an extremely expensive article for consume. Sugar consumption increases only much later, after the introduction of sugarcane in the Antilles, by Christopher Columbus, who founded and sugar trade colonies.
Even if already in the late sixth century it was noted content high sugar beet of some varieties, had to be waited until 1745, when a german chemist Andreas Marggraf crystallized the sugar extracted from this root.