How Many Calories Are in Honey?

Written by laila alvarez
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How Many Calories Are in Honey?
(Wikimedia Commons)

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What is Honey?

Honey is a sweet, sticky syrup produced by bees with nectar from flowers. Bees create honey as food for themselves, however many animals enjoy honey as well. Specifically, honey is bee vomit. It may sound gross, but a bee's stomach is like a factory for honey. A bee will ingest, then regurgitate the honey multiple times until it is digested to the consistency desired. It's not just one bee, but many bees, that will help out in the process.

Once they've got to a good consistency, the honey is put into a honeycomb, where the bees flap their wings in order to aid evaporation of any water left over in the syrup. The diminished amount of water raises the sugar-to-water ratio and prevents fermentation.

After evaporation, the final product can be sealed and has a long shelf life.

How Many Calories Are in Honey?
Bee getting nectar to make honey

Nutritional Value of Honey

Honey is a natural product with no need for any additional additives like sugars or salts. The finished syrup is mainly natural sugar at 16 grams per tablespoon.

According to the National Honey Board, there are 64 calories per tablespoon of natural honey.

The nutritional values are as follows per tablespoon, according to the National Honey Board:

Water: 3.6g

Total Carbohydrates 17.3g Fructose: 8.1g Glucose: 6.5g Maltose: 1.5g

According to the honey board, honey contains some acids (amino and organic) along with antioxidant enzymes and vitamin C.

Protein: 0.266 per cent Nitrogen: 0.043 per cent Amino Acids: 0.05 -- 0.1 per cent

Vitamin C: 0.1 milligram

Honey also contains very small amounts of the minerals calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, copper, chromium and manganese.

How Many Calories Are in Honey?
Honeycomb

Uses of Honey

Honey is used mainly as a sweetening agent for food. Honey can be put on breads, fruits, meats, candies and more. Honey also can be used as a preservative for food. Meat can marinate in honey for a while without going bad, and studies have shown honey to reduce the browning of fruit.

For children over 12 months old, honey can also be used as a calming agent to help them sleep. Do not give honey to an infant.

This natural syrup can also be used to aid sore throats as its thick, sticky quality helps to coat and soothe.

Honey, like other natural products (green tea, avocado) can be used directly on the skin to moisturise and to prevent acne. Many face lotions already contain some amount of honey.

Like Vitamin E, honey can help soothe burns. It's a natural antiseptic that contains small amounts of hydrogen peroxide. Use honey inside bandages to help a burn heal faster.

Honey on toast. / Photo by Vaskoni | IST
Honey on toast. / Photo by Vaskoni | IST

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