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Monday, September 27, 2021

Is it safe to have frozen honey? Here’s what experts say

TikTok's now #frozenhoney trend has more than 600 million views on the hashtag, and more than 80 million on #FrozenHoneyChallenge

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 5, 2021 3:42:15 pm
frozen honeyShould you be trying the #frozenhoney trend? (Source: Lohee's Natural Honey/instagram)

Food trends and challenges continue to catch people’s fancy. A new one that’s doing the rounds on TikTok is #frozenhoney. The trend cashes in on the ‘fun challenge’ of freezing a bottle full of honey and then squeezing it out and enjoying as a popsicle.

Take a look.

While the trend has generated more than 600 million views on the hashtag, and more than 80 million on #FrozenHoneyChallenge, consuming honey in large quantities is not advisable, note experts.

How does honey crystallise?

Natural sugar in honey binds together and starts forming little crystals, which harden the honey.

According to The Independent, while it is unclear who started the trend, people are now even forming their own versions of it. Some are adding corn syrup to the blend to make the nectar less thick.

However, there were users who were not amused.

“[Be right back] gotta go get my stomach pumped,” wrote one user after eating a chunk of the frozen honey.

“I feel sick now,” wrote another person.

honey Here’s what to keep in mind when having honey. (Source: Pixabay)

Is consuming frozen honey advised?

Frozen honey or raw honey kept in the refrigerator (50 degrees Fahrenheit) is unsafe, said Dr Pooja Thacker, head of department- dietetic, Bhatia Hospital Mumbai. “Unprocessed honey has spores and clostridium botulinum bacteria which can cause neurological disorders, and gastrointestinal diseases. It is not recommended for diabetic and fructose-intolerant patients,” she said.

Ayurvedic practitioner Dr Dixa Bhavsar added that honey should only be consumed in small quantities, and at room temperature. “Gobbling up a large amount of honey is not ideal,” she told indianexpress.com.

According to Ayurveda, honey is sweet and astringent in taste. “Its vipaka (post-digestive effect on liver) is sweet while it is hot in potency (ushna virya). That makes it ideal for kapha and pitta disorders (obesity, cough, cold, high cholesterol, etc). Honey is dry in nature (ruksha) which means it increases vata dosha (problems related to vata are bloating, constipation, joint pain, etc) when consumed in excess,” Dr Bhavsar explained.

Honey is also a form of sugar. So, excess may cause headaches, upset stomach, and in some cases, diarrhoea and or bloating, doctors warned.

According to Dr Navneet Kaur, general physician, Apollo Spectra Nehru Enclave, Delhi, the trend is seen to be “dangerous” as one can get diarrhoea, stomach cramping, bloating, feel sick, and even feel nauseated. “To top it all, you may end up damaging your teeth,” he said.

How much honey should one have?

1 tsp to tbsp per day; not more, said Dr Bhavsar.

On freezing honey, it gets granulated and when you consume it as a popsicle, the amount you consume is way more than 1 teaspoon or tablespoon, which can lead to gut issues — from diarrhoea to high sugar to bloating and skin disorders.

“Also, eating frozen honey increases vata dosha in the body as it’s already drying in nature. When it is frozen, it makes it more cold and anything that is dry and cold causes aggravation of the vayu in the body leading to joint pain, gastric trouble, headache, etc. Along with vata, it also increases kapha dosha (due to freezing- it becomes cold) and consumption of cold food or drinks leads to cough/cold/throat infection. So, doing this will just reverse the effect of honey (instead of separating and eliminating cough, it’ll cause more cough and congestion in the respiratory tract,” she mentioned.

She also pointed out that in the frozen state, even a small quantity is more concentrated which leads to excess consumption that can negatively affect blood sugar, cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, obesity, and more issues.

How should you have your honey?

Ayurveda suggests having honey at room temperature (that’s the best way to consume and procure maximum benefits from it). When we consume anything in its natural state, it definitely gives us better and quicker results (as its easily digestible and is unprocessed). Processing is more like interfering with its natural state which can harm us (depending on how it’s processed), said Dr Bhavsar.

The final word

Do not follow any trend blindly. “First, check its authenticity. You must consult an expert as your health should be your first priority. It is okay to miss out on a few trends that can be dangerous for your health. In case, you want to do something like this then just ask an expert about the ideal way of doing it. Certain trends can be risky. So be cautious and alert before falling prey to them,” said Dr Kaur.

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