You’ve probably heard it over and over again; honey is a natural sweetener and so it’s better than sugar. But how true is this?
Let’s examine some of their differences. First, honey has been around for thousands of years. Honey is really natural as it is said but sugar, not so much. Bees make the honey. Humans make the sugar in factories.
In natural unprocessed honey, there are small amounts of antioxidants and other nutrients. They are in very small quantities but at least they’re there. In granulated sugar, what little vitamins and minerals were in the sugar cane before processing, is lost by the time the sugar is made, making white sugar just empty carbohydrate.
To say the truth, the nutrients in honey are just in such small amounts that you can’t count on it as a significant source of nutrients. All the same, this makes honey slightly better than granulated sugar, pound for pound.
Now, deeper into their contents.
We all know the body breaks down food into glucose which it uses as its main fuel.
The composition of white sugar is typically half glucose and half fructose (fruit sugar). They are bound together as the molecule sucrose. Honey on the other hand is made up of about 30% glucose, 40% fructose and many other sugars. They exist in their free forms and are not bound together as a single molecule. Accordingly, the body has it slightly easier digesting honey; another plus for honey.
While there are about 15 grams of carbohydrate in a spoon of sugar and slightly much more (about 17 grams) in a spoon of honey, honey is usually sweeter than sugar so when used as a sweetener, you’re not likely to use so much of it.
A spoon of honey has more calories than a spoon of sugar. While a teaspoon of honey has about 22 calories, a teaspoon of sugar has about 16 calories. However, to repeat, honey is sweeter and you’re usually not likely to use so much of it.
Overall, it appears honey has a slight edge over sugar, especially if it’s raw and unprocessed. However, the merits of honey over white sugar are so little that it shouldn’t come up for debate. And just like sugar, you can’t have so much of honey just because it’s natural and is said to be a better choice for a sweetener. Too much of honey and you’ll have regrets.
If you can’t get honey, your white sugar should do just fine.