Honey and yogurt are two tasty foods that pack a nutritional punch, and you can combine the two to make a delicious snack with a number of health benefits. Make sure you're choosing the right yogurt for your dietary needs, as many store-bought yogurts contain high amounts of added sugar. You can also use honey and yogurt for face masks.
The benefits of yogurt and honey as a snack include portability, high protein content and a low calorie count.
Benefits of Honey
Historically, honey — a sweet substance produced by bees — was used as an edible sweetener long before cane sugar became widely available. There are two main types of honey: Raw honey is harvested directly from beehives, and processed honey is treated with heat or filtered in some way. Store-bought honey is often treated with heat to remove any impurities and to extend the shelf life of the product.
Harvard Health Publishing explains that honey is made of 17 percent water, 31 percent glucose and 38 percent fructose. It also contains some vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
The vitamins found in honey include ascorbic acid, niacin and riboflavin, and the minerals found in honey include zinc, manganese, calcium, iron and potassium. However, these are only available in trace amounts, so don't count on honey to contribute much to your vitamin and mineral intake!
One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories and 17.30 grams of carbs, of which over 12 grams are sugars.
Benefits of Yogurt
The Nutrition Source at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health explains that plain yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium, but it also contains live bacterial content. These live microorganisms are called probiotics, and they can help improve your immune function, improve your digestion and possibly even protect against infections from harmful bacteria.
One cup of plain, low-fat yogurt contains around 415 milligrams of calcium. The National Institutes of Health recommends a daily calcium intake of 1,000 milligrams for men and women aged 19 to 50, 1,000 milligrams for men aged 51 to 70, 1,200 milligrams for women aged 51 to 70 and 1,200 milligrams for anyone over 70 years of age.
Healthy calcium intake can help decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease that is typically found in older adults. Calcium also plays a role in clotting your blood, helping nerves send and receive signals, flexing and relaxing your muscles and keeping your heartbeat regular.
Read more: 13 Surprising and Beneficial Probiotic Foods
Carbs in Yogurt and Honey
Honey yogurt is a popular choice. Many store-bought yogurts come with a packet of honey attached to be mixed in. These yogurts can contain high amounts of carbs and sugar. Fage Honey 0% Fat Free Greek Yogurt contains 20 grams of carbs per 100 grams, of which over 19 grams are sugars. A 100-gram serving of Chobani Lowfat Greek Yogurt, Clover Honey contains 21 grams of carbs, of which 19 grams are sugars.
Yogurts that are honey flavored tend to be lower in carbs than those with pure honey attached for mixing in. Karoun Original Greek Honey Yogurt contains 13 grams of carbs per 100 grams, of which 8 grams are sugars.
Because of the high carb and sugar counts, honey yogurt may not be the best food choice for people following a low-carb diet or for anyone who suffers from diabetes.
Read more: The "Do Not Eat" List for Low-Carb Diets
Protein in Honey and Yogurt
Despite the relatively high amount of carbs and sugars in yogurt and honey, a small serving of the snack can provide a good amount of protein and not too many calories. A 100-gram serving of Fage Honey 0% Fat Free Greek Yogurt has 113 calories and provides 8.67 grams of protein.
There are 127 calories and 7.33 grams of protein in 100 grams of Chobani Lowfat Greek Yogurt Clover Honey and 154 calories and 3.52 grams of protein in 100 grams of Karoun Original Greek Honey Yogurt.
All the protein in yogurt and honey comes from the yogurt, not the honey. A 100-gram serving of plain, low-fat yogurt typically contains 5.25 grams of protein.
Read more: The Dangers and Benefits of Raw Honey
Dangers of Yogurt and Honey
Yogurt is safe to eat provided it has not spoiled, though obviously, you may want to avoid yogurt if you're lactose intolerant. There are no dangers in using yogurt for face masks. Honey is generally very good for you, but in some situations, it can be dangerous.
The Mayo Clinic advises against giving raw or heat-treated honey to babies under 1 year of age, because wild honey may be a source of spores that can cause a rare but serious condition called infant botulism. This condition, caused by exposure to Clostridium botulinum spores, can cause muscle weakness and decreased breathing.
You may also want to avoid honey if you've received an organ transplant. In February 2016, the American Academy of Family Physicians published a set of guidelines for organ transplant recipients in which they noted that transplant recipients might be more susceptible to foodborne pathogens.
As such, the guidelines recommend that organ transplant recipients avoid eating unpasteurized dairy products, deli meat, undercooked meat, any unwashed fruits and vegetables and raw honey.
Honey and Yogurt on Skin
A literature review published in the August 2016 issue of the Central Asian Journal of Global Health concluded that honey can help treat inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea and dermatitis, and may also help heal partial thickness burns and other wounds.
An earlier review of literature, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in December 2013, established that honey can help keep skin young, prevents wrinkle formation, regulates skin pH and has "soothing" effects.
A number of store-bought masks contain honey and yogurt ingredients, but you can also combine yogurt and honey to make an easy DIY face mask. Mix one tablespoon of raw honey with two tablespoons of plain, whole milk yogurt.
Apply in a thick layer to your face and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the mask using a washcloth soaked in warm water. If you have sensitive skin, remember to test any new mask or product on a small area like the inside of your arm before using it on your face.
- Mayo Clinic: "Honey"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Yogurt"
- USDA: "Yogurt, Plain, Low-Fat"
- National Institutes of Health: "Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at Every Age"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "The Benefits of Probiotics Bacteria"
- National Osteoporosis Foundation: "Calcium/Vitamin D"
- Mayo Clinic: "How Can I Protect My Baby From Infant Botulism?"
- MedlinePlus: "Infant Botulism"
- American Academy of Family Physicians: "Primary Care of the Solid Organ Transplant Recipient"
- Central Asian Journal of Global Health: "Honey: A Therapeutic Agent for Disorders of the Skin"
- Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology: "Honey in Dermatology and Skin Care: A Review"
- USDA: "Honey"
- USDA: "Fage, Total 0%, Nonfat Greek Strained Yogurt, Honey"
- USDA: "Chobani Lowfat Greek Yogurt, Clover Honey"
- USDA: "Karoun Original Greek Honey Yogurt"
- MedlinePlus: "Calcium in Diet"