How nutritionists now see oil, honey and calories

Cara Rosenbloom tells us in the Washington Post how a friend of hers was trying to lose weight and asked her opinion about her own nutritional strategies. These consisted of counting all the calories you consumed, avoiding nuts and dried fruits and fats like olive oil because of its high calorie content and all the snacks you consumed were made up of carbohydrates, sugars and no fat. With new advances in research, what would nutritionists say now?

This conversation took place in 1993, and at that time most of the scientific community would agree with it. However, to this day, science has evolved. The theories of the time are outdated and the current nutritional advice has been changing. Let’s see how the views of fat have changed, including olive oil, sugars, including honey and the calories we eat.

If you want to know more about honey, you can read: Unpasteurized raw honey

Fat and olive oil

Cara tells us in her article, as she remembers a breakfast on a college campus where she often ate around 1994, which consisted of a New York style doughnut with no fillings. At the time I thought eating fat made me fat. Fats like butter, cheese cream, olive oil and nuts limited them. Nutritionists said that fat-free food was better for health, so nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil were left behind. The ideal diet was a diet low in fat and high in carbohydrates, believing that we could control body weight and improve our cardiovascular health.

Let’s analyze our daily menu! If when we eat pasta, a salad or any other dish, we don’t give it a good drip of extra virgin olive oil, or if we don’t spread peanut butter on our breakfast toast, our diet doesn’t go the right way. Fat is now welcome and especially certain fats are now considered very beneficial, fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil, fish and avocados. All of them will strengthen our health, help us control our weight and reduce our risk of developing diabetes.

Among the fats, the extra virgin olive oil stands out, being one of the few oils where no chemical processes are used for its extraction. In this way it maintains all its properties of a natural fruit. Spain, being the world’s largest producer and producing the best olive oil, offers a wide variety of products: arbequina, picual, cornicabra, hojiblanca… with well known production areas such as: Baena, Jaén, Sierra de Cazorla, Sierra Magina, Priego de Córdoba and Toledo.

Fructose (fruit sugar), honey and diabetics.

The book written by the same author in 1995 on nutrition said: “Fructose is not related to high blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. Fructose is the natural sugar found in fruit, and is good in small doses even for diabetics.

In the 1990s, large food industries used fructose in large quantities as a main sweetener in the production of their processed food, as science at the time thought it was much healthier than refined white sugar. This excessive consumption of fructose, mostly in the form of corn syrup, is blamed for the increase in cases of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in society. Excessive consumption of fructose causes metabolic disorders, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, excessive fructose is not recommended for diabetics or the rest of the population.

Honey is another sweetener that is mainly made up of fructose and glucose, but unlike other sweeteners, honey and mainly quality honey, raw honey also provides minerals, enzymes and vitamins, so honey is one of the healthiest sweeteners of all. Amo

All calories are the same:

Cara remembers in school how one of her nutrition teachers said, “It doesn’t matter if you eat 300 calories of apples or chocolate – a calorie is a calorie. In the mid-1990s, all calories were treated equally, regardless of the source, a carbohydrate that is fat, lard that is olive oil, refined sugar that is honey.

This vision is what we call colloquially, a tunnel vision, leaving us with many other very important factors along the way. However, the vast majority of nutritionists now recognize that calories are not all the same. Empty calories from refined white sugar, a food that only provides empty calories, are not the same as honey, which, apart from calories, provides minerals and vitamins. Another example to compare is the olive oil, it is not the same a recent extra virgin olive oil of the year full of vitamins and minor components very beneficial for the health, that an old or refined olive oil that has lost all of them.

Sugar causes cavities

Rosenbloom continues in his article by talking about sweets and sugar. “My bedroom was full of candy, sweets and candy, all fat-free but sugar pumped. As for the high sugar content of my teeth, I don’t think it was a big problem because I brushed my teeth twice a day.

From 2017 onwards, scientific studies began to link the excessive consumption of sugar, especially the most industrial sugar from saturated soft drinks and industrial food, with the increased risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, dementia and heart attacks. Therefore, sugar should be limited in its consumption. The American Heart Association recommends no more than five teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and nine for men.

As for honey, which is another sugar, it is different as we have indicated above in addition to providing calories, provides a lot of nutrients, so if we replace sugar by raw honey will be a good decision that will benefit our health.

Picture 1: Raw honey from Guadalajara: multifloral and eucalyptus

Calories consumed versus calories consumed

Previously, it was believed that weight loss was simply due to eating more calories than you ate. To put it more clearly, get more exercise and eat menos´para lose weight. Obesity was blamed on laziness and overfeeding. With the advance of science, it has been discovered that obesity is much more complex than it seemed, which is also marked by genes, psychology, levels of physical activity, the environment, diet and even socioeconomic status.

They have recently discovered how obesity is closely related to the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Now we see obesity as a disease and we don’t blame it all on those who suffer from it. In any case, there are still many unresolved questions on this subject, because science is evolving as well as man is evolving, and the theory that we love it today for good tomorrow could not carry any weight. It will be very interesting to read this article in a few decades’ time.

Picture 2: Weight control

Let’s enjoy our Spanish olive oils and honey
Breaking the myths of limiting fat intake, we can now enjoy our extra virgin olive oil more fully. Let’s enjoy for each dish a different olive oil; picual, arbequina, empeltre, etc. and discover the different production areas of Spain: Baena, Jaén, Sierra de Cazorla, Sierra Magina, Priego de Córdoba, Toledo, Valencia…

As for the use of the sweetener, let us always consume in moderation a true honey, a raw or pure honey and let us know the different varieties with their aromas, properties and flavours: orange blossom, heather, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, thyme….. In our shop in Las Rozas de Madrid you can find all these products and many more.


The American newspaper The Washington Post . “Fat, fructose and calories: 5 nutrition “facts” we used to believe”. https 29 de agosto del 2017

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