There are two products, which are essential for making food sweet. These products are Honey and Sugar. However, when it comes to overall health of an individual, many feel that Honey is healthier than plain sugar. Honey and sugar while making foods sweet have a lot of difference based on their taste, texture and their nutritional values.
Both Honey and sugar have fructose and glucose as their main constituents. Honey and sugar have their own risk and benefits, but overuse of both of them is not advised as it leads to potential weight gain.
While there are some ingredients in Honey which make it healthier than sugar, but excess of even this sweet substance can lead to diabetes. So is Honey better than Sugar is a question that has been answered in detail in the article below.
Comparison of Honey and Sugar
This question can be answered by weighing the various risks and benefits of both honey and sugar along with what they are made of. Both Honey and Sugar are made up of fructose and glucose, which make them sweet in taste. Thus, consuming both honey and sugar can cause a significant increase in the overall blood sugar levels in the body.
However, the percentage of glucose and fructose in Honey and sugar are different. While sugar contains 50% of both glucose and fructose Honey has only 40% of fructose and around 30% of glucose with remaining 30% having minerals, proteins, and water. Looking at this data, it can be said that the spike in sugar levels caused by Honey will be less when compared to plain sugar.
Additionally, the other minerals and proteins found in Honey have some health benefits. While spike in blood sugar levels with plain sugar is more than honey, on the other hand honey puts in more calories in the body than sugar. This means that the chances of weight gain with honey is more than plain sugar if overused.[1, 2]
Is Honey Better Than Sugar?
Most Definitely YES!
Honey Is Rich In Nutrients When Compared To Sugar(3): YES, Honey is definitely better than sugar. Honey has been used for centuries as a sweetener and also for its various medicinal properties. Honey has more nutrients required by the body than plain sugar and also it does not require the level of processing that is required in plain sugar. Honey is rich in antioxidants, amino acids and various enzymes which are extremely beneficial for various medical conditions.
Honey Has Anti-Inflammatory Agents(3): Honey is also believed to be an excellent home remedy for cough caused by condition like bronchitis; especially in children. Honey is also quite beneficial for treating symptoms of various forms of allergy although more data is required to firmly substantiate this claim. However, various studies suggest that people who took honey for allergy symptoms required lesser amount of antihistamines for treatment proving that honey is a good anti-inflammatory food substance.
Honey Is Antimicrobial And Helps In Healing(3): Honey also has anti-microbial properties and if applied topically treats various skin disorders. Honey is used to expedite wound healing and also treat ulcers and burn injuries. Medical conditions like seborrheic dermatitis can also be effectively treated with honey.
Honey Is Easily Digestible When Compared To Sugar: Honey also addresses the problem of hair loss that comes along with seborrheic dermatitis and prevented recurrence of this condition in many patients (3). Additionally Honey is easy on the stomach and digests easily in comparison to plain sugar
Some Disadvantages of Honey over Sugar
Honey Is Higher In Calories: However, there are also certain disadvantages of Honey. The first and foremost is the high amount of calories that is ingested with every teaspoon of honey amounting to about 50-60 calories.
Honey Is Harmful for Infants: If Honey is given to children under 1 year of age, then there is a risk of Infant Botulism, which is a potentially serious condition, characterized by constipation, weakness and extremely weak crying .
Honey Increases Sugar Levels: Another problem with honey is the spike in overall blood sugar levels risking an individual to many medical conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular ailments.
Some Advantages of Sugar Over Honey
On the other hand, sugar also has some advantages over honey.
Sugar Has Longer Shelf Life, Is Less In Calories And Is Cheaper Than Honey: Sugar has far less calories than Honey. Additionally, sugar has a longer shelf life than honey, meaning that sugar can be stored for a longer period of time than honey. Also, sugar is cheap in comparison to honey.[1, 2]
The Final Verdict
It may be somewhat difficult to determine if sugar is better or honey, as they both have advantages and disadvantages. But we can conclusively say that honey is better than sugar for your health. Excess of both of these products is harmful for the overall health of an individual. Too much of Honey or Sugar can increase the risk of weight gain, diabetes, and dental problems to include premature tooth decay. However, we can definitely conclude that honey has more advantages over sugar than disadvantages.
Thus, it is recommended to use both products in moderation. Honey is better than sugar in cases where an individual is suffering from cough or seasonal allergies and this by far the only advantage that Honey has over plain sugar. If an individual chooses to use Honey instead of sugar, then it is recommended to use raw variety of honey, which is dark brown in color as it has more minerals, enzymes, and proteins which is good for the body.(4) Ideally, according to American Heart Association it is recommended to not use more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for females in a day and not more than 9 teaspoons for males.[1, 2]
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