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9 Risks And Side Effects Of Eating Too Much Honey

Honey is a natural sweetener produced by the honey bees using nectar of the flowers. It is known for its medicinal properties, and is an essential part of many ayurvedic treatments. Even present day medical science agrees with the potential benefits of honey. Honey is loaded with essential nutrients, and provide many health and beauty benefits. However, there are also some side effects of eating too much honey.

Side Effects of Eating Too Much Honey

honey side effects

Some major side effects of eating too much honey are as follows.

(1) May Cause Digestive Problems

Eating raw honey improves our digestive health as digestive enzymes ( diastases, invertases, and proteases) in it breakdown starches, sugars, and proteins of the food. 

However, too much of these digestive enzymes may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, headache, and nasal congestion etc.

Honey improves our body’s ability to absorb nutrients such calcium.

Don’t eat too much honey as the high fructose content of honey may decrease our body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food, and cause digestive problems such as constipation, bloating, and diarrhea.

(2) Honey And Diabetes

There are several reasons diabetic patients often subsitute sugar with honey thinking that it help them with the diabetes. These are.

  1. Both honey and table sugar have a glycemic index of 58 and 65 respectively. Fructose, a natural sugar in the honey has a low glycemic index of 19.
  2. Because of its low glycemic index, honey release sugar into the bloodstream at a slow pace.
  3. Honey contains about 40 percent fructose, the sweetest naturally occurring carbohydrate.
  4. Honey is sweeter in comparison to table sugar, and can be added to foods and drinks in smaller quantity without sacrificing sweetness.

However, there are few points to keep in mind.

  1. Eat honey in moderation as too much sugar ( irrespective of the type of sugar) may increase the risk of obesity, cardiovascular problems, cause and worsen diabetes, inflammation, and fatty liver disease.
  2. Consume honey in small qualities as it is sweeter than the table sugar. It is easy to forget this, and end up eating more honey than required.
  3. Honey might interact with the diabetic medication prescribed by your doctor. Consult with him to ensure that there’s no honey-drug intolerance.
Also Read:   44 Amazing Health And Beauty Benefits Of Honey

(3) Malfunctioning Of Gastrointestinal Tract

Overeating honey increases fructose level in the bloodstream. Too much fructose might interfere with our small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food, and increase the risk nutritional deficiencies.

Honey is slightly acidic with pH ranging from 3.5 to 5.5. 

Over-consuming acidic foods for a long time may malfunction gastrointestinal tract by eroding lining of stomach, esophagus, and intestines.

Limit your honey to 1-2 tablespoons per day to minimize the risk.

Avoid honey if you experience gastric problems like indigestion, abdominal pain, bloating, and burning sensation in the stomach etc.

(4) May Cause Weight Gain

Eating too much honey may lead to weight gain as it has high calorific value of 304 calories per 100 grams.

Fructose in honey stimulate higher food consumption, and alter metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates. It promotes synthesis and accumulation of fat.

(5) Not Suitable For People With Allergies

Avoid honey if you are allergic to pollen, celery, and other allergies related to bee activities.

Some of the allergic reactions that may arise are lung inflammation, voice change, itching, difficulty in swallowing and wheezing, hives, swelling of mouth, throat or skin.

(6) Honey And Blood Pressure

Antioxidants in honey helps in lowering blood pressure, and regulates hypertension.

Hypertension is a silent killer that causes cardiovascular problems, and affect millions around the world.

However, eating too much honey may drop blood pressure abnormally, and may cause symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, fainting, dehydration, blurred vision, and lack of concentration, etc.

Honey might interfere with the blood pressure medication prescribed by the doctor.

Eat honey in moderation, and after consulting with your doctor to eliminate food-drug intolerance risk.

(7) Increases Risk of Bleeding

Honey is a natural anticoagulant that reduces blood clotting, and increases risk of internal and external bleeding.

People with bleeding disorders, and those who are on anticoagulants should avoid honey as it may cause bleeding and bruising.

Also Read:   23 Amazing Health Benefits Of Jaggery

(8) Erode Enamel Of Teeth And Cause Cavities

Too much honey is bad for the teeth as the acid ( gluconic acid) in it weakens our teeth by eroding Teeth enamel.

Honey may attract acidophilic bacteria, and cause dental cavities, and stains on the teeth.

(9) Increased Risk of Infant Botulism

Honey is not suitable for babies under 12 months of age as honey is at a higher risk of being contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, and may cause infant botulism.

Infant botulism is a bacterial infection of the large intestines of babies that causes symptoms like trouble feeding, muscle weakness,difficulty breathing, trouble swelling, excessive drooling,slow or no reflexes,and unfocused eyes.

However, older kids are not at risk as their digestive system is mature,and can take care of the bacteria before they cause any harm.

Also Read:   13 Major Health Benefits of Palm Jaggery

Honey can be eaten in moderation during pregnancy and nursing period, but, first consult with your doctor to ensure there’s no food-drug intolerance risk.


The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.

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