Sweetening Your Diet With Nature's Sugar

Experts say locally grown honey is not just a tasty treat.

With obesity and diabetes reaching epidemic proportions, some shoppers are moving away from processed sugars and turning to honey as a natural sweetener.

Nathan Sheets, owner of North Dallas Honey said there's a movement away from processed foods toward holistic and organic products.

Local growers say raw honey contains antioxidants and pollen from local vegetation that helps allergy sufferers relieve their symptoms.

"So many of the people who eat North Dallas Honey originally start out eating for allergy purposes, and so, I think that the progression in the food of wanting unprocessed, green food is really just a movement that started a long time ago," Sheets said.

He said a woman who had been on prescription medication for 30 years e-mailed him to say that she is rid of allergies with a tablespoon of honey per day.

Chef and dietitian Jennifer Hood said she uses honey in her everyday cooking.

Honey is fresh, natural and very versatile and can be used on its own to highlight the sweetness of products such as brae cheese and cranberry sauce, she said. Hood said she has also found crowd-pleasing ways to use honey in meat or side dishes and, of course, deserts.

"So going green with honey will be fun and delicious and healthier for the entire family," she said. "There are numerous recipe books using honey as the key ingredient, and there is nothing better than bringing the whole family together for some sweetness at the table."

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