Cooking with honey. Is it not so funny?

So i was about to bake some cookies using honey as a sweetener rather than sugar and a friend who is an Ayurveda practitioner said honey should never be heated or warmed and that any form or applying heat to honey makes it toxic. I certainly didn't want to scoff at her as I've cooked with honey before.... have i been "living on the edge"?

  • Posted by: saenyc
  • March 7, 2012


Beekeeper August 8, 2014
Utter bollocks
pooja K. January 15, 2014
please try to understand that HMF is not found in fresh food and is generated gradually during storage or by processing the food, such as heating or drying, which deteriorates the nutritional value of the food. a second major concern is that when honey is heated, it alters its molecular structure and thus the heated honey is not actually honey, but a different compound ( highly toxic) with an entirely different composition. also, the formation of peroxides after the honey is heated should be taken seriously.
Diana M. January 9, 2014
I'm sorry, but this must be nonsense. Honey has been used, heated and enjoyed since ancient times... If it was so toxic, I don't think this would be the case. Regarding the most recent answer from pooja, look up HMF - it occurs in many foods, not just heated honey.

Anytime I hear anything 'scary' like this, I always pose the question... how long have humans been doing / eating it? If you think about it that way, you're likely to get the right answer!
Devangi R. March 7, 2012
Further to support what I said above that it changes some properties of raw honey VS heated honey - Ross Conrad , a fellow Vermonter and author of Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture. He said the suggestion that honey becomes toxic in hot water is really not accurate.

“The idea is that heat destroys enzymes. And basically any time you are going to heat honey the enzymes are going to get destroyed and as a result dilute a lot of the medicinal value of the honey. Raw and unfiltered honey has incredible antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s very, very healing in many ways.”

That said, there’s no evidence that heat-treated honey is actually toxic
pooja K. January 8, 2014
this is true that HONEY SHOULD NEVER BE HEATED AT ALL. I have myself seen this poisonous effect on one of my relatives who used to take honey in hot fluids. this affected him badly. when he went to the doctor, and after months of diagnosis, he was diagnosed with the accumulation of a glue like substance in his body, and very late it was discovered that this was due to the heated honey.
the heating of honey changes the molecular structure of the honey and makes it highly toxic. it should be made compulsory by all the legislations in the world to mark on the bottles that honey should not be heated. also, it is a shame that too many companies these days are marketing their cereals with honey, whose preparation involves heating the cereals to cook them. the right procedure is only to cook the cerals, then make them luke warm and thereafter only add honey. these companies who are marketing so many sorts of “processed foods” as “healthy choices for people” should be banned by people, as no government around the world have hands big enough to ban these big and powerful brands. this has been scientifically proven that when honey is heated, it forms a chemical called as hydroxymethyl furfuraldehyde (HMF) and also chemically alters its basic structure/ composition while increasing peroxides.
Devangi R. March 7, 2012
I can understand your friend's concern, but Miranda is right as my mother-in-law is also Ayurveda doc and she opposes such things. But, if you are taking honey in form of medicine or ayurvedic diet then certainly they do not want you to heat it as compared to raw honey just because it would change its properties, but does not make it toxic. There are lot of things I get to hear from my mom in law about not having certain food combinations, but I still do..and I am fine..I would like to further ask you that is there a way you can add honey once your food is prepared or heated, then you can add it at the end, thus you won't be heating it.
I found this article a little helpful which says something your friend suggests but still has a scope of heating honey.


Voted the Best Reply!

aargersi March 7, 2012
I heat and/or cook with honey a lot and I am still kickin'!!! I have never heard that is goes toxic on you
Miranda R. March 7, 2012
Nope - there is nothing wrong with heating honey! She probably means that if you're following an Ayurvedic diet, you would consider heated honey to be "toxic", but health & nutrition-wise, warm honey is not at all harmful.
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