We get a lot of questions about our brand- the most repeated question is, “Why Honey? Couldn’t you just use cane sugar?”
And simply put, we wanted to create a bar that we would be considered a healthier option. By picking a product that has local raw honey, you have made your first step to crafting a healthier lifestyle.
In general, an abundance of refined sugar is detrimental to overall health. While honey is also mostly sugar by weight, it does contain essential vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes that have demonstrated antimicrobial effects. Most zero-calorie sweeteners that are used as sugar replacements have been linked to an increased health risk, so we also try to avoid them by sticking to a sweetener that humans have used safely for thousands of years.
The benefit of eating honey as a source of energy over artificial sugars is that the sugar molecules are present as simple sugars & can be directly absorbed into the human body. In addition, Natural Honey also contains enzymes that enhance the digestion of food. In other words: Honey has nutritional advantages by providing nutrients that directly, and easily, aid digestive processes in the body! We have found that raw honey has beneficial trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-microbial properties, and localized allergen support.
Calorically speaking- the net benefit is not much different from cane sugar. Dark chocolate in general doesn't have a high percentage of any sweetener, which is beneficial for anyone trying to cut down on the percent of added sugar in their diet. Our 70% bar for example only has 64.5 calories from honey, rather than 83.5 calories in the same weight of cane sugar. And honey-sweetened chocolate bars aren't proven to be more satisfying than cane sugar chocolate. We totally believe that our chocolate is easier to eat more of- but we are obviously a little biased. This could be attributed to the smoother texture our bars have, or the deeper flavor that honey can add to the already complex flavor profile of cacao. Also, honey and sugar don't necessarily have the same impact on glucose levels in the body. The glycemic index of cane sugar is higher than honey- which means that cane sugar raises blood sugar levels just a bit more quickly (due to cane sugar's higher fructose content). Honey is made up of around 75 percent sugars (25% water, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc.), of which roughly half glucose and half fructose.
Honey is also very medicinally useful, and Haley has seen it used as an antimicrobial agent several times in her experiences in medicine- specifically with wounds that heal slowly and are prone to infection.
One of our best selling bars, the 67% Sierra Nevada bar, contains a different type of honey from the rest of our bars, Manuka Honey. Our therapeutic grade raw Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and boasts a 10+ UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). Manuka honey has a few more healing properties than regular raw honey because it has a higher level of methylglyoxal. This is because bees make the honey using a scrub plant specific to New Zealand that produces these benefits. Here are some of the amazing benefits of Manuka Honey:
- In 2007 Manuka was proven by the FDA to aid in wound healing due to antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The same properties make Manuka a go-to for sore throats.
- Manuka has been proven in animal studies to help reduce inflammation in cases of IBS and ulcerative colitis.
- By fighting harmful bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Manuka has been found to aid in treating upper respiratory infections- especially in patients with Cystic Fibrosis.
- Manuka honey is one of the few things on the planet that can help fight antibiotic resistant bacteria as it can attack the biofilm layer of bacteria.
All of our bars are made with some kind of raw honey, whether it be Manuka honey from New Zealand or locally sourced honey from St. Louis. We love our honey and all of the natural benefits we can all take advantage of!
Our sources for this blog post: