Is Honey Better Than Sugar?
Is Honey Better Than Sugar?
Consuming too much refined sugar won’t do your waistline any favours. What’s worse, an overly sweet diet can contribute to a whole host of health issues including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain type of cancer and poor brain functioning. Natural sugars, like honey, are often said to be more nutritious and less hazardous to your health, but are they really?
Honey vs. Sugar
Honey and sugar are both sweet carbohydrates, but they do have some major differences.
Honey is a sweet and viscous fluid produced by honeybees from the nectar of flowers. It contains around 38% fructose, 31% glucose, 17% water, 7% maltose and small amounts of disaccharides, other higher carbohydrates, sucrose, trace vitamins, enzymes and minerals, including potassium, calcium and magnesium. Refined sugar by comparison is 50% fructose and 50% glucose.
While raw honey is 100% natural, it is still high in sugar. Honey is higher in calories than refined sugar, but it is also sweeter tasting and so less is usually required. Also, honey has certain beneficial antioxidant, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which are not present in refined sugar. What’s more, raw honey is a powerful probiotic that contributes to gut health, is nutritious and delicious!
Consuming refined sugar increases your blood sugar levels, which will drop just as quickly, leaving you with a strong feeling of hunger, and a craving for more sugar. Honey has a lower Glycaemic Index (GI), which measures the negative impact of a given food on the blood-glucose level. White sugar has a GI of 65, while most floral varieties of raw honey have a GI that ranges from 35 to 55. This means that raw honey will provide a much slower absorption of sugars into the bloodstream, hence more even levels of energy, over a longer period of time, as compared to white sugar.
Honey and Diabetes
Honey can be healthy for many people with diabetes and can fit into a moderate or low-carb diet in small amounts with other nutritious foods. When eating other carbohydrates, it is best to eat honey with a source of protein, fibre, and/or fat to keep blood sugar from spiking too fast. However, it is always advised to ask your doctor’s advice if you are unsure how best to fit honey into your diet.
How Much Honey is Too Much?
The amount of honey considered to be optimum depends a lot on a person's diet and lifestyle.
Regardless, it is important to consume honey in moderation. Think of a serving size of honey as about a tablespoon (15-21 gr). Aim to keep your daily intake under 4-5 servings. It is ideal to consume a tablespoon or two of honey in the morning with fruit, vegetables, yogurt or cereal, one or two tablespoons with fruit snacks, in baked goods, or in cooking at around lunchtime and one tablespoon at bedtime with tea.
Also you should aware that, it is not advised to give honey to children under one year of age.