Honey vs. Sugar: Which Sweetener is Better for You?

When you brew a cup of hot tea, do you usually take sugar or honey? Both of them add sweetness to your drink, but their nutritional benefits vary. Sugar and honey are carbohydrates composed primarily of glucose and fructose and are commonly used to add flavour to recipes and prepackaged foods. Before you add them to your diet, here is more about the different types of sweeteners along with their benefits and disadvantages.

Structure

Sugar is a carbohydrate composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. It is also packed with calories. The amount of calories can vary depending on its source. The addition of sugar to beverages also adds to its water content, increasing its caloric density.

Honey is a natural sweetener that is made from stored honey and not from processed sugar or corn syrup. It is composed of glucose and fructose, which makes it sweeter than sugar. Honey also contains vitamins and minerals and is often used as a health food.

Composition

Sugar and honey have the same caloric content. The caloric content of sugar and honey is measured based on 100 g of their respective products.

Both sweeteners are made of glucose and fructose. Sugar is composed of equal parts of glucose and fructose, while honey has twice as much fructose than glucose. A 100-gram serving of sugar contains 4.5 g of fructose and 4.0 g of glucose. Honey contains 4.0 g of fructose and 1.0 g of glucose.

Nutrients

Sugar and honey are both made of carbohydrates, which are the body’s primary energy source. Sugars have 4.0 calories per gram, while honey contains 3.2 calories per gram.

Energy density means the number of calories in your food per unit volume. Adding sugar to your desserts, drinks, or other food can contribute more calories per unit volume, which can make you gain weight more easily. Carbohydrates also contain a little bit of protein, but the rest is composed of water and fibre.

Both sweeteners contain vitamins and minerals. While sugar contains vitamin C, calcium, and iron, honey contains vitamins A, C, and E, as well as calcium and iron. However, it's important to note that honey is also packed with potassium.

Foods To Avoid

Honey and sugar have similar effects on the body. They stimulate insulin release, leading to weight gain, increased blood sugar levels, and less energy used by the body. Interestingly, excessive sugar consumption has always been linked to a variety of health issues like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, adults should not have over six teaspoons of table sugar on a daily basis. Honey does not have as much sugar as sugar, but it is still a sugar-rich food. Consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The American Heart Association also recommends not consuming more than half a cup of honey daily.

Conclusion

Honey is better than sugar. It is simpler and easier to digest, promoting better gut health. It contains more nutrients than sugar and is also sweeter, which means you can use less of it.


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