The Hidden Dangers of Honey

By:Himanshu Sharma, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Feb 20, 2015

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Honey is hailed for its many healing properties and medicinal benefits, but there is also a darker side to it. Raw honey is not heated or filtered and has been associated with certain health risks.
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    The Dangers of Honey

    Honey is hailed for its many healing properties and medicinal benefits, but there is also a darker side to it. Raw honey is not heated or filtered and has been associated with certain health risks. You can enjoy the health benefits of raw honey, but you need to ensure that it comes from a safe source. Here are the dangers and mistakes of the natural sweetener that you must be wary of.

    (Image source:Gettyimages)

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    Food Poisoning

    There is a risk that honey can become contaminated with germs from plants and bees. The issue of contamination is also there during collection, production and processing. Most of the harmful organisms cannot survive or reproduce, but bacteria that reproduce using spores may remain.

    (Image source:Gettyimages)

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    Infant Botulism

    Raw honey is a potential source of the Clostridium botulinum spores. According to The Centers for Disease Control, don’t give honey to infants under the age of 12 months as there lies a risk of infant botulism. The rare disease caused by the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum can cause varying degrees of paralysis.

    (Image source:Gettyimages)

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    Allergies

    There can be allergic reactions such as (itching, puffy skin and rash) in response to consumption of raw honey. Anaphylactic shock is a form of severe allergic reaction with symptoms of difficult breathing, low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, heart failure and possible death.

    (Image source:Gettyimages)

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    Intoxication

    According to the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, honey may have grayanotoxins and can cause trouble if large amount of it is consumed. These are  chemicals that are toxic to your nervous system. Honey intoxication side-effects include weakness, dizziness, sweating, nausea, vomiting and a prickling sensation. Heart problems are another possible side-effect.

    (Image source:Gettyimages)

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    Diabetes Complications

    Consumption of raw honey is tied to changes in cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose. In diabetes, raw honey intake can increase HDL cholesterol. One of the studies also found a rise in HbA1c (a marker of blood glucose levels) with raw honey consumption.

    (Image source:Gettyimages)

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    Risks from Omega-6 Fatty Acids

    Omega-6 fatty acids along with omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats. However, omega-6 fatty acids have been linked to health issues when taken from raw foods.

    (Image source:Gettyimages)

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    Honey Dosage

    Consumption of honey in moderation is equally important. Make sure you measure your servings to avoid accidentally over-consuming honey as one tablespoonful can give you 50-80 calories.

    (Image source:Gettyimages)

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