What Does the FDA Classify Honey as – Food Group that Honey Belonging to?

You might be wondering that honey is a fruit as the bees collect the nectar from the flowers and some other secretions of the plants. Perhaps, you may be thinking it belongs to the ‘sweets group’ of the pyramid as it is sweet in taste.

Don’t get surprised, I say; honey doesn’t even lie in the food pyramid. Yes, the properties of honey don’t match with any of the food groups of the pyramid. So, are you longing to know what the FDA classifies honey as?

This article includes everything about honey, what it is, its types, how it is marketed, and how the FDA classifies it.

Before exploring the classifications of honey, it is essential to know what FDA is? What is the mission of the FDA? How does it work? What are the laws and regulations of the FDA, and how does it approve products?

So, let’s begin!

What is the (FDA)

FDA is a federal agency of the human services and health departments. The headquarters of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is in Silver Spring and Maryland, founded on 30 June 1906. The founders of the FDA were Theodore Roosevelt and Harvey Washington Wiley.

The Mission of FDA

The FDA agency is responsible for public health, as its duty is to ensure humans’ safety, security, and efficacy. FDA is also responsible for the safety of veterinary drugs, medical devices, and biological products and by certifying the safety of the public’s food supply, products that release radiation, and cosmetics.

It is responsible for advancing the public’s health by helping the rapid revolution that makes medical products safer, effective, and affordable.

The FDA also plays a vital role in the public’s counterterrorism potential, and it completes its responsibility by ensuring the food supply and security. Meanwhile, it aims to increase public health by effectively analyzing the devices and diagnostics and then making these innovations reach the physicians and patients who need them.

Nowadays, FDA manages $1 trillion worth of products in a year, and it ensures the protection of all food besides meat, poultry, and a few egg products; it also plays a role in the safety and effectiveness of all drugs, animal feed, and drugs and all biological products. It also ensures that the consumer products, cosmetics, and medical products which emit harmful radiations do not harm the public.

FDA Regulated Products

The FDA’s regulation is extended broadly, and its responsibilities are similar to those of other government agencies. In general, FDA regulates many products such as foods, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, veterinary products, and tobacco products.

How FDA Regulates Honey?

FDA works on honey, its nutritional facts, and products. The mission of the FDA is to help consumers pick pure products that don’t contain any harmful alteration.

The FDA agency also ensures that users get honey with the slightest addition of sugar and benefit from authentic honey.

The FDA also ensures that honey-based products are appropriately labeled; the labeling must satisfy all the sections (even 402 and 403) of the Federal Food, Drug, Cosmetic Act.

Now, the concept of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is clear: what it is, how it works, and a few other things too. So, it is time to know what the FDA classifies honey.

Let’s get into the details.

What Food Group is Honey in FDA

There are five groups in a food pyramid, but honey is not added to a pyramid because it doesn’t belong to any food group.

The following are the details that will make you clear why honey doesn’t fall in any food group of the pyramid.

What is Honey?

Honey is a sweet matter made by honey bees, and it is a source of concentrated sugar. There are some nutritional facts about honey: it contains 64 calories, carbohydrates 17g, and sugar 17g, but it does not consist of fat, protein, fiber, and sodium. Honey also contains small amounts of zinc, iron, and potassium.

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Furthermore, honey comes in many different forms, and like wine, it can have a different color, flavor, and texture because it depends on the colony of the bees, the area, and the pollen. Honey has been the old natural source of sweetness for thousands of years, and it is collected from the wild honey bee colonies, hives, and domesticated bees.

The sources from honey’s sweetness are monosaccharides, fructose, and glucose; it has the same relative sweetness as sucrose has.

Types of Honey

There are a few types of honey that are available at the marketplace, such as;

●      Liquid Honey

This type of honey is free from noticeable crystals.

●      Crystallized Honey

This kind of honey is guaranteed, whether fondant, creamed, candied, or spread.

●      Partially Crystallized Honey

It is a mixture of liquid honey, and that’s crystallized honey.

●      Filtered Honey

Filtered honey is a form of honey filter to a certain degree, and after removing all suspensions, the honey is gathered.

●      Strained Honey

Strained honey is any honey that is strained from a combination or any other place where honey is commonly found.

Honey can be Marketed as

The honey can be marketed in the following ways:

●      Cream Honey

It is pure honey which is glucose crystallized.

●      Comb Honey

Comb honey is marketed with the beeswax comb.

●      Cut Comb Honey

This liquid type of honey is crammed with a significant portion of honeycomb.

●      Dry Honey

Dry honey is also called dried or powdered honey; it is made when water is eliminated from liquid honey.

FDA Classifications of Honey

According to the FDA, honey can be classified as;

●      Monofloral Honey

This honey is produced from a single botanical source. It can be classified according to the type of flower from which the nectar extract was extracted.

●      Polyfloral Honey

This honey is made from a variety of botanical sources rather than a single main floral source. It comes from a blend of flower nectar that is often categorized after a season and gathered rather than floral sources.

Color Types of Honey in the Market

The color of honey is an essential consideration in honey marketing. The USDA recently discovered seven different types of honey. They are as follows:

  • Colorless honey or watercolor honey
  • Darker honey
  • White color, honey
  • ELA honey
  • LA honey
  • Amber honey
  • Dark Amber, honey

Benefits of the Honey

There are many benefits of honey, such as it helps to treat cough because it provides smoothness to it, it also helps reproductive health, and honey assists in the healing of wounds. Furthermore, honey is not an allergen; it reduces the risks of cancer and protects the brain.

A Good Source of Antioxidants

There are some arrangements of plant chemicals in the raw honey that perform as antioxidants. There are different types of honey depending on their various raw meat colonies of honeybees and area, with as many oxidants as fruits and vegetables have.

Antioxidants assist in protecting the body from cell damages caused by the free radicals because free radicals lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart diseases. These free radicals also contribute to the procedure of aging.

It is shown in the research that the compounds of antioxidants in honey are called polyphenols, and it prevents heart diseases.

Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties

Research shows that honey can kill unwanted bacterias and fungus because it naturally contains hydrogen peroxide and an antiseptic. The effectiveness of its antibacterial and antifungal properties vary according to the type of honey, and it works to treat such kinds of infections.

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Heal Wounds

Manuka honey (not raw honey but is antibacterial and bacteria resistant ) is used for wounds in medical settings because it is considered an effective germ killer. It also assists in tissue regeneration.

Moreover, manuka honey helps to boost the healing time, and it reduces infections. It is necessary to keep in mind that the honey used in medical settings is inspected and sterile; it’s not better to use the honey to treat the cuts that you buy from stores.

Help for Digestive Issues

There is another benefit of honey that is used sometimes to treat some digestive issues such as diarrhea. It has proved that honey to be effective, can be used to treat Helicobacter Pylori bacteria that is a common cause of stomach ulcers.


It also helps to nourish the good bacteria as it is a potent prebiotic, and such bacterias are occupied in the intestines. Such bacterias are essential not only for the digestive system but also for overall health.

Soothe a Sore Throat

If you have a sore throat, take one spoon of Honey because Honey is an old remedy used to cure sore throat. When a cold virus hits you, you need to add honey into hot tea with lemon to treat it.

Research shows that honey works as a suppressant for cough, and it is effective dextromethorphan, a common ingredient and used to combat cough and for cough medications.

Phytonutrient Powerhouse

Phytonutrients are the compounds that help protect the plants from any harm because these compounds are found in the plants as; some keep away the insects and protect the plant from ultraviolet radiation.

The phytonutrients contain antioxidants properties and have antibacterial and antifungal power as well. These are also the reasons for boosting immune system properties and anti-cancer benefits; heavy honey processing destroys these nutrients.

Protection of the Brain

Honey has anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatory is a property that helps reduce swelling or inflammation) and antioxidant powers that protect the brain. In animal research, it was found that a rat who ate honey was protected from the brain damage which was caused by exposure to lead.

Raw honey also contains some ingredients that fight against the inflammation in the hippocampus, and it is a part of the brain involved in memory.

Helps to Treat Diarrhea

A study found that 150 children were involved with acute gastroenteritis. Those who got honey with an oral rehydration solution had a better recovery from diarrhea than those who did not get honey.

Take a teaspoon of raw honey or mix it in the water; it will help to treat mild diarrhea. It is better to keep in mind not to take much honey because excess sugar will worsen diarrhea.

Improves the Quality of Sleep

Honey is also helpful for those facing problems regarding sleeping because it helps to produce melatonin (known as the sleeping hormone and is responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Add 1/2 teaspoons of honey to the tea and drink it before going to bed.

Helps to Control the Weight

Organic honey is an excellent substitution for sugar, especially when you are trying to control your weight. Because the glycemic index of honey is a measurement that helps determine how fast foods can increase blood sugar levels, it is lower than the sugar, standing at a range of 54 to 59. The glycemic index of other forms of sugar can reach as high as 105.

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For managing weight, it is essential to use high-quality brand honey because there will be an addition of syrup with low quality.

FDA Classifies Honey as which Food Group

According to the current guidelines, honey has been classified as a thick, sweet, syrupy substance that honeybees make as food from the nectar of flowers and store it in honeycombs.

Honey is considered a food that is more valuable than food containing sugar and honey, in addition to food containing both corn syrup and honey. Across the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, and Europe, Honey is considered a sweetener and sugar, and it falls into the group of ‘Carbohydrates.’

Based on the US Government’s food pyramid, honey is considered an added sugar, and this sugar is not found naturally in foods, fruits, and milk. However, it is added to foods and drinks as a sweetener. Honey is included in the group of corn syrup, brown sugar, molasses, and others.

According to the FDA, honey is “Added Sugars.” Naturally, it doesn’t belong to any food group, like vegetables, fruits, milk, or any other. It is actually like corn syrup, molasses which is added to lift up the taste. On the internet, a rumor is going on that the US FDA has classified honey as raw meat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Manuka Honey FDA Approved?

In 2007, manuka honey was approved by the US FDA (Food and drug administration), and it was an option for treating wounds. It is considered that manuka honey is used to treat inflammatory skin conditions, improve oral health, and heal wounds. It is better not to use manuka honey when you are a diabetic patient, allergic to honey bees, or underage.

Is it True or a Myth that Honey is Classified as Meat by the FDA?

Honey is classified as a plant product collected by the bees, and it is not at all meat; it’s a myth. Beekeepers increase the population of bees by breeding them and treating several diseases such as Varroa Mites.

Raw meat and raw honey are only allowed to be imported into the US under rigorous conditions to avoid the spread of disease pathogens. Someone appears to have twisted this intentionally or mistakenly into this statement that honey is raw meat that is not true. This type of error or information goes viral because of the deficiency of fact-checking.

Does Honey Expire?

No, honey doesn’t expire, but it undergoes several changes and becomes dark over time. It also loses its aroma and flavor; moreover, it crystallizes as the temperature changes.

So, these are only a few changes in honey’s structure, but it is always safe to eat honey because it never expires. If you want to consume old honey, you can keep its jar in warm water to make the crystals dissolve.

What are FDA Honey Nutrients Facts?

The below are detailed honey nutrition facts of pure honey:

Nutrition NameCalories (amount per serving calories for 1  Tbsp)
Trans FatO mg
Saturated Fats0 mg
Sodium0 mg
Total Carbohydrates17 grams
CholesterolO mg
Calcium0 mg
Dietary Fiber0 mg
Total Sugar17 grams


Honey has been the most popular food for centuries; it includes a large number of nutritions. But, people are always surprised why the FDA hasn’t categorized honey as any food group.

So, we tried to cover the reason in this article and reached the point; according to the FDA, honey is a thick and sweet substance that doesn’t belong to any of the food groups. It is one of its kind sugar; in general, it is far better and nutritious than white sugar.

Using honey or honey products is hugely beneficial for human health; you can use honey for the cure of several ailments, and using it as a replacement of sugar is also a healthy step.