Though honey and sugar are two of the most commonly used sweeteners, honey is considered to be a healthier choice because of its nutritional components. Honey and sugar are both sources of carbohydrates composed primarily of glucose and fructose and can contribute to weight gain if overused.
The nutritional makeup of honey, its taste and textures may varies based on its origin. Alfalfa, wildflower, tupelo, golden blossom are for instance some of the many varieties of honey with each variety having a distinct color and flavor. But is honey truly a healthier choice? Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about the both sweeteners and an answer to whether honey is truly the healthier option or not.
What is Honey?
Bees produce honey by collecting nectar from flowers. The nectar is mix with enzymes to form honey before storing it in honeycomb cell to keep it fresh. It is a thick substance and typically consumed in liquid form.
Pros of Honey
While the exact nutritional component of honey may varies based on its origin, honey is composed primarily of 17% water, 38% fructose, 31% glucose and 7% maltose. It also contain some trace amount of enzymes, B vitamins, amino acid, Vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants. The antioxidants found in honey are classified as flavonoids which may aid in inflammation reduction.
Research has shown Honey to have other healing elements. Its been known to soothe sore throats, hacking cough, healing of minor burns and wounds.
Cons of Honey
At around 22 calories per tablespoon, honey is slightly higher in calories per serving than sugar, hence should be consumed sparingly. This is especially true if you have health concern such as obesity, heart disease or diabetes.
Honey may also be dangerous for infants younger than a year as it contains bacteria spores that can cause botulism, a rare but serious illness in infants.
What is Sugar?
Sourced from sugar cane or sugar beet, sugar is made up of monosaccharides; 50% glucose and 50% fructose bonded together to make sucrose.
Pros of Sugar
Sugar is significantly lower in calories compare to honey, with one tablespoon coming in at around 16 calories. It is often cheaper, more accessible and has a longer shelf life. Sugar is also typically considered better for baking and cooking.
Cons of Sugar
Sugar has no nutritional value because of the lots of processing it goes through. Eating too much of it can increase your risk of certain diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Sugar is also higher on the glycemic index than honey, meaning it will raise blood sugar level quickly. This is due to the higher concentration of fructose in sugar.
The bottom line
Although Honey maybe more nutritional or have a better reputation, the both sweeteners can have a negative effects on your health if used in excess, hence they are best used in moderation.
If you're however concerned about managing your weight or health condition, speak with a healthcare professional or dietitian about your dietary needs.
Article credit : Cocci Beauty