Sugar vs Honey as a Sweetener

From past few years people have started to move away from Sugar and that place is being captured by Honey. We were told that Honey is Natural while Sugar is prepared after a chemical process. This fact matters a lot for those who want to live a better life by being close to natural products. Here we will discuss if honey is really better or not, and can it be used as a sweetener in place of sugar.

Composition of Sugar vs Honey

Both Brown and White Sugar are 100% sucrose. They are made after extracting it from Sugarcane or Beetroot.75% of Honey is some form of sugar. Half of this 75% is Glucose and half is Fructose (this proportion varies depending on what bees are feeding on). Remaining 25% are protein, fat and fibre.

Calories in Honey and Sugar

  • Sugar: 100g white sugar has 1700kJ/406Cals
  • Honey: 100g of honey has 1400kJ/334Cals

Do you measure honey by a spoon ?

If you take 1 tablespoon of Honey in place of 1 tablespoon of Sugar, then you are doing nothing good to yourselves. Honey is denser than Sugar.
1 tablespoon of Honey = 28 Grams
1 tablespoon of sugar = 16 Grams
So if you really want to get benefit from Honey reduce the tablespoons to half, else the extra sugar and extra calories will get deposited in your body as fat.

What is Glycemic Index or GI ?
Glycemic Index is the relative ability of a carbohydrate food to increase the level of glucose in the blood. The GI value of a food item is directly affected by fructose level in it. Higher fructose level means a lower GI value. Know more about Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index of Sugar and Honey

  • Sugar: Both White and Brown sugar have a GI value of around 65.
  • Commercially Blended Honey: GI value varies from 45 to 64.

If the Honey you are eating has a GI value above 60 then you are doing nothing good to you. GI value of Honey is directly affected by fructose level. If the bees have used more nectar of flowers then its rich in fructose and thus lower GI value. Floral Honey can be consumed by diabetic people as its effect on blood sugar is very mild.

Don't give Honey to Kids under 1 Year

Honey can sometimes contain inactive spores of Clostridium botulinum, the tiny bacteria responsible for botulism food poisoning. Usually healthy adults can't get sick from them but infants can easily get infected. Honey is OK for kids above 1 year of age.

Honey is an attractive sweetener by its better to reduce its quantity if you are on a weight loss diet. Honey can also contribute to tooth decay just like sugar.

Some usage of Honey for your Health

  • According to some researchers honey acts as mild disinfectant. It can be taken with hot water and lemon to sooth sore throat.
  • Honey is an important part of weight loss programs. Its consumption with lukewarm water in the morning helps you in being slim. Ayurveda on Using honey for Weight Loss
  • Honey is well known for its antibacterial effect. It is used in dressing of minor wounds, skin ulcers and burns.
  • Honey is also used as a mild laxative.

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