Author Topic: runny honey  (Read 15007 times)

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Offline svrn

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runny honey
« on: August 25, 2012, 04:35:29 am »
i heard a lot of people say that raw honey isnt necessarily solid and can be extremely runny but i am suspicious of these claims. What I would like to know if anyone has encountered very runny honey that they knew for a fact was raw (saw it coming out the hive or something). I am very suspicious of this runny honey and need to know from someone who has no doubt that raw honey can be liquid for me to believe it.
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Offline Haai

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2012, 04:52:41 am »
Bees drink honey through their proboscis. It has to be liquid for them to be able to do this.
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Re: runny honey
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2012, 06:46:07 am »
Yes, raw wild honey can be runny. Different honeys, different viscosities.

Also different colors, tastes, smell, etc.

What we are suspicious about is honey that solidifies in the freezer.
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Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2012, 07:17:12 am »
i heard a lot of people say that raw honey isnt necessarily solid and can be extremely runny
Quite correct. The notion that honey has to be solid to be raw is an urban legend. Despite my and others' efforts try to explain this (such as mine here: http://www.rawpaleodietforum.com/primal-diet/thinrunny-honey-batch-(honey-pacifica)/msg76805/#msg76805 and GoodSamaritan's above and here: http://www.rawpaleodietforum.com/primal-diet/thinrunny-honey-batch-(honey-pacifica)/msg76811/#msg76811) ), the legend persists. 

Also, thickness/crystallization does not guarantee rawness, as you may be aware. There are plenty of heated crystallized honeys on the market.

Quote
What I would like to know if anyone has encountered very runny honey that they knew for a fact was raw (saw it coming out the hive or something). I am very suspicious of this runny honey and need to know from someone who has no doubt that raw honey can be liquid for me to believe it.
What is the honey brand?

Unless you're extremely paranoid, asking a beekeeper or two (such as here: http://www.beesource.com/forums/forum.php) should be sufficient evidence that a honey can be both liquidy and raw. Beekeepers can be surprisingly ignorant about some things, but this one should be pretty easy for them (fingers crossed).

If you're a fan of Aajonus and trust his reports, he certifies honeys as completely raw. One he certifies is the Really Raw brand. They sell both a solid, crystallized raw honey and a thick liquid one that's raw fermented. The liquidy raw fermented one is actually the best honey I've tried (and I've tried probably around a dozen or so raw or nearly-raw ones and another dozen or so heated over the years). Better than any crystallized or comb raw honey I've tried by far, when considering taste, how I feel during and after eating it, and health benefits. It's actually the only honey that has provided me with any noticeable health benefits.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Duke

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2012, 04:48:56 pm »
The best raw honey i have tried were from this; manuka active +15 raw honey
http://www.synergy-co.com/v/healing_honey.html

your second best bet is this; very tasty and excellent quality you can tell from the first mouthful. 

http://www.ojaivalleybeefarm.com/royaljellypage.htm

Both are solid or with high viscosity and taste like no other honey; they smell and taste medicinal.
I love raw honey with Avocado. I try to limit my intake to two tablespoons a day.

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2012, 07:43:13 pm »
Honey is just flower nectar which is a liquid to begin with. When the honey is regurgitated by the bees it still has a very high water content. This is removed by the temp of the hive and assisted by the 'fanning' of the bees' wings. We had beehives put on our farm a couple months ago and I've had the good fortune of accompanying the keeper to open the hives and check on their health and development a few times. I got to taste the honey while it was in this very liquid state fresh off the hive. It just depends on when the honey is harvested. Personally I would prefer the honey at this more liquid and less dehydrated state, but it's difficult to get because most people consider high water content to be low grade, that is based on a different value system. System sugar is my personal achilles heal I would just as soon have the honey as soon as it's regurgitated without any dehydration at all, but who is going to sell that? Not good for biz!

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2012, 08:14:10 pm »
The best raw honey i have tried were from this; manuka active +15 raw honey
http://www.synergy-co.com/v/healing_honey.html
Thanks for the recommendation. I'm always on the lookout for the world's best purchasable honey, so I ordered it in the Sweet C Pack.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2012, 08:16:55 pm »
Thanks for the report straight from the hive, Thoth.  :D
Honey is just flower nectar which is a liquid to begin with. When the honey is regurgitated by the bees it still has a very high water content.
Yeah, and you could turn crystallized honey back into liquidy honey by just adding some water, which is useful if someone with crystallized honey wants a pourable/drippable honey.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline raw-al

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 07:50:38 pm »
We picked our honey up as the guy was basically cleaning the machine he used to extract it. It was runny. It stayed runny for awhile and gradually solidified over the winter. Same thing every year.
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Offline Isthmus

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 05:29:56 am »
All honey will crystallise in time. So I am lead to believe one of the reasons commercial honey is heat treated (the other being that it lowers the viscosity and makes it easier to handle) is that heating it prevents it crystalising for much longer. It is assumed that you're average customer will be put off by the appearance and consistency of honey that starts to go kind of gooey and odd when its half way between being liquid and going more solid, and heating it makes the process take much longer, so it looks nice and clear and runny in the jars on the shelf.

In my experience good quality runny honey quickly starts to crystallise and set, i.e. couple of weeks there will be at least some evidence of the process occurring if not a major change in consistency.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 08:11:17 pm »
All honey will crystallise in time.
Interestingly, raw fermented honey is less prone to crystallization than the unfermented form of the same honey, though it does eventually crystallize after being exposed to air and when most of the jar has been eaten and the thickest, bottom part is exposed. Despite being less crystallization-prone, I find the fermented form to be far superior to the unfermented form.

Quote
It is assumed that you're average customer will be put off by the appearance and consistency of honey that starts to go kind of gooey and odd when its half way between being liquid and going more solid, and heating it makes the process take much longer, so it looks nice and clear and runny in the jars on the shelf.
I wonder if it's also because more liquidy honey pours/drizzles easier, as people nowadays tend to think of honey as something to drizzle into tea or onto toast. When I give thicker honeys to people who are trying to eat semi-Paleo or gluten-free, some ask how they can eat honey if they can't put it on toast. Quite a shame.

Quote
In my experience good quality runny honey quickly starts to crystallise and set, i.e. couple of weeks there will be at least some evidence of the process occurring if not a major change in consistency.
That's not my experience with these excellent runny honeys:

Puremiel Organic Wild Forest Honey
http://www.amazon.com/Puremiel-Organic-Wild-Forest-Honey/dp/B0040HSA6A
"Wild forest honey is an exclusive honey harvested from one of the most treasured parts of Spain - the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Forest. This lush park in Andalucia has the highest levels of rainfall in all of Spain. Dark colored and rich in minerals with a slightly earthy flavor, wild forest honey is delicious spread on your favorite bread or as a sweetener for a mug of hot herbal tea. Certified organic by the USDA, Puremiel wild forest honey is collected by beekeepers with five generations of experience. This unique raw honey is free of preservatives and artificial flavors."



Heavenly Organics™ Rare Wild Forest (Neem) Honey
Wild Beehives in Virgin Forests
http://www.heavenlyorganics.com/productsho/honey_forest.aspx
"Our rare, organic, unheated, Wild Forest Honey is collected from wild beehives by traditional groups of tribal honey foragers living in the virgin forestlands of central India. These experts travel deep within the forests to gather the wild honey, well beyond the reach of automobiles and other pollutants. ....

Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Honey Harvesting Methods
Traditional bee keepers hand-harvest this extremely rare, multi-floral honey. They are careful to use eco-friendly, natural methods that protect the bees and preserve all the natural pollen, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes of the honey."

"'Wild Forest' Neem Honey
Organic, Raw, Sustainable, Wild-Collected, Health-Promoting, Fairly-Traded (12oz. jars)
Heavenly Organics "Neem Wild Forest Honey" is collected from wild bee hives by indigenous tribes in the dense forests of Central India. This area is famous in South Asia for the collection of wild-crafted herbs used in the preparations of medicines according to the ancient Science of Life, Ayurveda. Chief among these is Neem, known in India as "the village pharmacy" and prized throughout the world for its wide-ranging health benefits. And it is excellent drizzled on apples, pears and strawberries or, as many of its fans advise, "It is great all by itself." Please view the fascinating 5 minute video on our home page to see the sustainable, cruelty-free, fair-trade, wild collection practices used in gathering our "Chambal" Wild Forest Neem Honey."


Whereas this honey by the same honeymaker, Wild Organics, is already very crystallized when first purchased, and I find the more liquidy Wild Forest honey to be superior in both taste and health effects:

Both the liquidy honeys are tree honeys, so I wonder if there's something in tree sap or tree bud nectar that makes the honey less prone to crystallization?
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 10:28:06 pm by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2012, 08:45:20 am »
"She's as sweet as Tupelo honey." ~Van Morrison

I Googled a bit and as I suspected, I found that tree honeys tend to be less prone to crystallizing than other honeys, though there are also many tree honeys that do crystallize rapidly.

Regarding the common claim on the Internet that crystallized "raw" honeys are less likely to have been heated than liquidy "raw" honeys, it turns out that the opposite is true, ironically. The notion was probably extrapolated from the fact that most cheap commercial honeys are heated to prevent crystallization. When it comes to top quality honeys claimed to be raw, the situation reverses. Honeys that are not prone to crystallizing quickly don't need to be heated to avoid crystallization. Plus, "There is evidence that when stored properly, unprocessed or raw honey, which comes straight from the honeycomb and is slightly more expensive to the buyer, resists crystallization longer than processed honey" (Why does honey crystallize? http://scienceline.org/2007/04/ask-westly-crystallizedhoney). So honeys advertized as raw that naturally don't crystallize for months or years are the least likely of all honeys to be heated, as heat isn't necessary to aid in the extracting and packing of the honey, nor to avoid later crystallization to keep it liquid for drizzling/pouring.

The honey most famously known for rarely if ever crystallizing is also considered one of the world's best, known as "the champagne of honeys"--tupelo honey. Around the world, the honeys considered the best tend to be tree honeys. Tupelo honey comes from the N. ogeche species of the tupelo tree genus of the dogwood family. White tupelo honey reportedly never crystallizes (http://www.floridatupelohoney.com/tupelofacts.cfm).

"This award winning masterpiece comes to you straight from the marshland forests of Northern Florida. ... Its distinctive flavor, unique aftertaste, and the fact that it is one of the few raw honeys that never naturally crystallizes, [explains why] this honey has become one of the most sought after of all honeys." (Savannah Bee Company Tupelo Honey 12.6oz, http://www.beelimitless.com/shop/savannah-bee-company-tupelo-honey-12-6oz)


The single biggest factor in crystallization is reportedly glucose/water ratio. Tupelo honey doesn't tend to crystallize because it is lower in glucose and higher in fructose than most honeys. (http://www.floridatupelohoney.com/tupelofacts.cfm)

Other tree honeys that are not very prone to crystallizing include pine, fir, basswood, acacia and neem tree honeys, though some can eventually crystallize (some requiring more than a year to crystallize).

Honey sure is more complex and interesting than I would have imagined.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Isthmus

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2012, 02:39:10 am »
Wow great research, thanks for all the interesting information Phil

I know from experience that some of the best honey's I've ever gotten hold of (not tree honey) do set very quickly or are already set when I have received them, however.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 02:47:11 am by Isthmus »

Offline aLptHW4k4y

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2012, 03:19:30 am »
Come on guys, read some wikipedia:
Quote
At room temperature, honey is a supercooled liquid, in which the glucose will precipitate into solid granules. This forms a semisolid solution of precipitated sugars in a solution of sugars and other ingredients.

The melting point of crystallized honey is between 40 and 50 °C (104 and 122 °F), depending on its composition. Below this temperature, honey can be either in a metastable state, meaning that it will not crystallize until a seed crystal is added, or, more often, it is in a "labile" state, being saturated with enough sugars to crystallize spontaneously.[11] The rate of crystallization is affected by the ratio of the main sugars, fructose to glucose, as well as the dextrin content. Temperature also affects the rate of crystallization, which is fastest between 13 and 17 °C (55 and 63 °F). Below 5 °C, the honey will not crystallize and, thus, the original texture and flavor can be preserved indefinitely.

That tupelo honey is naturally high in fructose, which prevents it from crystalizing. So you could say the typical cheap honeys in the markets are more high fructose syrup than honey if they don't crystalize.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2012, 10:04:53 am »
You're welcome, Isthmus.
Come on guys, read some wikipedia:
That tupelo honey is naturally high in fructose, which prevents it from crystalizing. So you could say the typical cheap honeys in the markets are more high fructose syrup than honey if they don't crystalize.

Thanks for trying to help, aLptHW4k4y. I had already read the Wikipedia and found other even better sources. If you read the posts above, you'll see that I already wrote about fructose in honeys, including the high fructose content in Tupelo honey and that the #1 reported factor in honey crystallization is the glucose/water ratio, so a honey high in fructose will indeed tend to crystallize less, because it will have lower glucose. It was also already mentioned that cheap supermarket honeys tend to be heated at rather high temps to reduce the chances of crystallization, likely in order to enable pouring/drizzling of honey onto toast or into tea, which is how most Americans unfortunately use honey.

I find honey fascinating, particularly after obtaining some health benefits from raw fermented honey, so I have done a lot of reading on the topic and recommend it to all as a subject worthy of investigation. For example, one of the more interesting and seemingly paradoxical aspects of honey is that it can help with diabetes, according to some studies.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline jessica

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2012, 10:47:43 am »

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2012, 05:08:31 am »
Thanks much, Jessica. This image from that article makes a mockery of the notion that anything more than a smidgeon of honey now and then is not Paleo.


Caption: "Kattunayakan honey harvesters can tell from the ground whether a hive 60-80 feet up in the air has honey or not and whether it is worth the effort to climb there. Children as young as eight go along not just as spectators but to actively participate. By the time they are 12 they are full members of the team. Photo by: Tarsh and Tariq Thekaekara."

"We have lived with the bees since the days when our ancestors walked these forests, when time began."

Source: New Internationalist Magazine, http://www.newint.org/features/2009/09/01/tribal-peoples/"

I will add the Kattunayakans to my growing list of honey peoples.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 05:14:00 am by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Isthmus

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2012, 04:39:40 am »
Thanks much, Jessica. This image from that article makes a mockery of the notion that anything more than a smidgeon of honey now and then is not Paleo.


Caption: "Kattunayakan honey harvesters can tell from the ground whether a hive 60-80 feet up in the air has honey or not and whether it is worth the effort to climb there. Children as young as eight go along not just as spectators but to actively participate. By the time they are 12 they are full members of the team. Photo by: Tarsh and Tariq Thekaekara."

"We have lived with the bees since the days when our ancestors walked these forests, when time began."

Source: New Internationalist Magazine, http://www.newint.org/features/2009/09/01/tribal-peoples/"

I will add the Kattunayakans to my growing list of honey peoples.

LOL, amazing. I have been eating a fairly large quantity of honey as a staple food for about six months or longer now.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2012, 05:15:57 am »
I try to limit my intake to no more than about 1.5 tbsps at one sitting, because if I eat more it tends to spike my BG pretty badly. I never would have guessed it without measuring my BG, because even when the raw fermented honey does spike my BG I don't notice any negative effects from it, though I do wonder if it has contributed to the very gradual worsening of my myopia over time, though that was already ongoing before I added honey to my diet, after a brief period of improvement after I first went gluten-free.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline svrn

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2012, 11:42:54 am »
Honey with lots of pollen mixed in has definitely recently become a large part of my diet. especially the runny honey. I feel its easier to eat lots of it. I think it gives me lots of energy and makes my digestion great.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 01:52:34 pm by TylerDurden »
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Offline Isthmus

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2012, 12:19:52 am »
I try to limit my intake to no more than about 1.5 tbsps at one sitting, because if I eat more it tends to spike my BG pretty badly. I never would have guessed it without measuring my BG, because even when the raw fermented honey does spike my BG I don't notice any negative effects from it, though I do wonder if it has contributed to the very gradual worsening of my myopia over time, though that was already ongoing before I added honey to my diet, after a brief period of improvement after I first went gluten-free.

Yeah, I don't believe I eat more than around that much in one sitting, either. Usually after a few teaspoonfuls it starts to taste overly sweet and not as satisfying as the first two or three! I never imagined that eating large quantities of sugar would be a good thing either (even such stuff as raw honey), but it's pretty much the only carbohydrates I've been eating for a while now, except some fruit when I feel like it.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2012, 07:26:33 am »
Yeah, I don't believe I eat more than around that much in one sitting, either. Usually after a few teaspoonfuls it starts to taste overly sweet and not as satisfying as the first two or three! I never imagined that eating large quantities of sugar would be a good thing either (even such stuff as raw honey), but it's pretty much the only carbohydrates I've been eating for a while now, except some fruit when I feel like it.
Indeed, I was quite surprised when raw fermented honey provided me with more benefits than any other carby food; even the best of fruits and "safe starches." Quite the contrary of what most scientists, nutritionists, physicians, and folks on the Internet claimed. Interestingly, recent research has indicated that raw fermented honeys and nectars may have millions of years of ancestral history behind them (http://www.livescience.com/7540-tree-shrew-sober-drinking-day.html). Maybe I stumbled upon one of the key aspects of human/primate physiology?

Given my much greater negative effects from fruits than most folks in this forum, I suspect that my tolerance for carby foods like honey is much less than the healthiest of hunter-gatherers, who consume enormous quantities in one sitting, from what I've seen. I don't yet handle that well.

Congrats, Troll; which honey, specifically, do you eat?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 07:32:38 am by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline svrn

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Re: runny honey
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2012, 03:46:49 am »
eating a half pound of honeyin a day is no problem. especially the runny stuff which i really love now. Maybe id eat more if i had more money. I think honey is perfect for me right now. especially for digestion. great energy too. iv actually replaced most of my fruit intake now with honey and it feels awesome.
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