This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

Thoughts on Honey [update]


[update 25.02.2015]

Increased my honey intake to 250g per day.

After a few weeks I started to get headaches and felt naseaus all day.
Pretty much exactly like a hangover.
I actually had to stop eating any sugar (even from fruit sources) for a few days until it went away.

The whole "We can only process 20g of fructose per day" thing is obviously bullshit.
Seems like my liver reached it's limit at around 200-250g fructose per day though.

Anyways, I decreased the honey to around 150g a day and everything is fine again.

I might experiment with larger amounts of coffee in the future to see if that helps with metabolizing the honey more efficiently.


Ray mentions honey as a good sugar source (if it isn't allergenic) a few times.

It seems like fruit would still be the more nutritious option, but honey does have a significant amount of antioxidants, some nutrients and a strong antibacterial effect.

Traditional and Modern Uses of Natural Honey in Human Diseases:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758027/

Honey - A Novel Antidiabetic Agent:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3399220/

Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609166/

Has anybody here used honey in large amounts on a daily basis (200g+) ?

I have been eating 150g of honey per day for the last few weeks without any problems.
I was thinking about increasing the amount to 200g-250g /day.
Any reason why this is a stupid idea?

asked Jan 15, 2015 by skally
edited Feb 25, 2015 by skally

Honey saved me back when I was on paleo and sugar starved. I told myself I was only allowed one tablespoon per day of that evil sugar, and as soon as I started I'd get through ten tablespoons in one sitting, roughly 150grams, close to daily.

Now that my diet is sorted out, I can't eat more than two tablespoons in a sitting before it's too sweet for me. I still think it's far superior to white sugar, if you can afford it, and definitely notice the anti-bacterial effect - gets rid of mouth ulcers and burns a little in my throat in a good way.

4 Answers

There is some anthropological precedent for eating large amounts of honey.

One of the more interesting examples:

"The Efe have a 'honey season' that lasts from July–August (Terashima 1998). During this season, they move deep into the forest in search of the liquid honey and larvae of both stinging and stingless bees. During the honey season, they rely almost entirely on honey, brood, and pollen (Ichikawa 1981; Turnbull 1976). Men and women collect honey together in family groups and share their yield once they have returned to camp. The average amount of honey and brood collected by the average person per day is 3.32 kilograms, and the average amount consumed per person per day is 0.62 kilograms of honey (dry weight), which is calculated as 1,900 calories per day (Ichikawa 1981). Honey contributes roughly 70 percent of the diet by weight and 80 percent by calories (Ichikawa 1981; Terashima 1998), making it the largest component of the Efe diet during the wet season."

answered Jan 17, 2015 by Kasra

Interesting stuff, thanks.
I did know about the hadza tribe but never heard about the other ones mentioned.

I think the total daily calories is something that should definitely be taken into consideration.
For someone who is eating 2000kcal a day, getting 250g honey daily (760kcal) is something that might displace to many more nutrient dense foods in the long run.

I plan on upping my calories to 3500kcal-4000kcal, so the 250g of honey would be around 20% of my total daily caloric intake and 35% of my carb intake.

I will give it a shot for a few weeks, see how I feel and maybe get a blood test done.

I added honey to my diet too, I eat a few spoons everyday, I cannot eat more because it's way to expensive. I want to gain weight too.

Any reason why this is a stupid idea?

Because you need a balanced diet?

answered Jan 15, 2015 by ballomar

I'm not planning on using honey as my only carb source. I'm also not replacing any foods with honey, I'm adding more honey on top of my current diet.
At 250g/day it would be 20% of my total calories.

The only reason why I want to increase my honey intake is because I want to increase my calories and this is just the easiest way.

It's fine. Eating a lot of honey is not necessarily dangerous in and of itself, but I would not recommend basing the majority of your carb intake on it on a regular basis. Don't go to great lengths to crowd out fruit and potatoes with honey. Bad things happen when you consistently take in more pure sugar (be it sucrose, fructose, glucose or any combination thereof) than sugar that is accompanied and balanced out by the vitamins, minerals and other nutritious substances in fruit and certain starches.

Personally I prefer honey over sugar and buy it in 60 lb buckets, so I have occasionally eaten that much honey in a day when I've run out of other carb sources and haven't had time or $ to go restock at the store. It's not a big deal. I definitely eat a massive amount of honey if you were to cumulatively measure it over time, but overall I do a lot better treating it as a supplemental sugar source, not a primary one.

answered Jan 15, 2015 by loess
edited Jan 16, 2015 by loess

Thanks for your input.

My main reason for upping the honey intake is to increase my calories to 3500kcal-4000kcal (I do eat 3000kcal at the moment but would like to gain some weight)
I do eat a lot of potatoes, orange juice und apple sauce daily, but try to keep my fat intake relatively low because I feel better this way.

Honey is just a very calorie dense way of upping my carb intake, I definitely do not plan on making it my main carb source.

[update 25.02.2015]

Increased my honey intake to 250g per day.

After a few weeks I started to get headaches and felt naseaus all day.
Pretty much exactly like a hangover.
I actually had to stop eating any sugar (even from fruit sources) for a few days until it went away.

The whole "We can only process 20g of fructose per day" thing is obviously bullshit.
Seems like my liver reached it's limit at around 200-250g fructose per day though.

Anyways, I decreased the honey to around 150g a day and everything is fine again.

I might experiment with larger amounts of coffee in the future to see if that helps with metabolizing the honey more efficiently.

answered Feb 25, 2015 by skally
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