Honey Vs Sugar: Which Is Better?
Honey vs Sugar has been a hot topic of debate for people with a sweet tooth since time immemorial. But in vain. While doctors, nutritionists and dieticians swear by the health benefits and natural sweetness of honey, there still are people who prefer to add sugar to their drinks and desserts because they think it tastes better. So, is sacrificing one’s health for taste a wise thing to do? Does sugar actually taste better than Honey? Questions we need to find answers for!
HOW IS HONEY MADE?
Honeybees use nectar, sucked from various variety of flowers, to produce Honey . The nectar collected by them gets broken down into simple sugar, through a natural process, which is then stored in a honeycomb. The unique design of honeycomb coupled with constant fanning of bee’s wings, which causes the evaporation to take place, ultimately results in the final product that we know as Honey.
Composition of Honey:
- Proteins etc.
The sugar present in Honey are of three kinds. These are:
- Fruit sugar, also known as fructose and amounts to a total of 41% of the total sugar. It is fructose that provides sweetness to Honey.
- Grape sugar, known as glucose and has a share of around 34% of the total sugar
- Normal sugar and it occupies 1-2% share of the total sugar component in Honey
- Improves digestion
- Boosts energy
- Provides relief in cough & cold
- Adds natural glow to the skin
- Betters metabolism
Though honey is a preferred choice, it still has to be consumed with certain limitations for it to effectively work wonders.
- Honey is high in calories. Since, 1 teaspoon of honey has approximately 22 calories, it should be consumed moderately.
It may not be safe for infants’ younger than a year. This is because it contains bacterial spores that can cause botulism or food poisoning in them.
HOW IS SUGAR MADE?
- Sugar is made up of a combination of glucose and fructose, which bond together to form sucrose. It has no added vitamins or nutrients.
- It is derived from sugar beet and sugar cane plants and requires multistep processing before it finally takes the form of the granulated table sugar.
With no added vitamins or nutrients in it, sugar still carries some pros.
- 1 teaspoon contains about 16 calories (approximately)
- Sugar is a potential source of fast fuel, filling in the required amount of carbohydrates for our brain to function better.
- It has a long shelf life and goes well with baking and cooking.
- Sugar can increase your risk of a lot of diseases. Excess quantities can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart ailments.
- It may be harder to digest as compared to honey as it doesn’t contain enzymes.
If both honey and sugar contain glucose and fructose, then how is it that Honey still manages to take precedence over sugar as a preferred choice of sweetener?
Both Honey and sugar differ in their process of manufacturing. Sugar manufacturing process destroys the organic acids, protein, nitrogen elements, enzymes and vitamins in it. Whereas Honey, a natural sweetener, subjects only to minimal heating. Also, honey has been a source of certain beneficial antioxidant and antimicrobial properties which the table sugar lacks.
IS HONEY HEALTHIER THAN SUGAR?
Honey and sugar both fall under the category of sweeteners. However, the theory of “not all sugars are created equal” comes to the helm of affairs when the question arises about how honey being healthier than sugar.
Let’s take a look at the comparison between Honey and sugar that will make you feel good about eating the former:
- Honey, being a natural sweetener, contains protective nutrients and amino acids that work together to maintain metabolic functions. With lesser glycemic index (GI) than sugar, it does not rush sugar into the body as fast as processed sugar.
- Honey is sweeter than sugar, which means one would add lesser amount of it in their tea or dessert as compared to the amount of sugar they would want. This would lead to lesser consumption of calories as well as cutting down on consumption of sweet from the daily diet.
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HONEY
For all the privileges that Honey enjoys (over table sugar), it certainly bears the brunt of a lot of misconceptions.
- A lot of people think that Honey comes with an expiry date and should be thrown away once it has passed its expiry date. The fact remains that if stored well and as per the instructions mentioned on the bottle, Honey never goes bad. You can safely use way past its expiry date.
- Another popular thought is that crystallization of Honey is a sign of it being spoiled. It is not the sign of it being spoiled but of it containing more sugar than it naturally holds. An over-saturated sugar solution is bound to get crystalized. Therefore, one must always opt for organic or raw honey to make sure that whatever they are buying is best for their health.
- If you are suffering from diabetes your immediate reaction would be to shun everything sweet from your diet. On the contrary, depending on the type of diabetes you have, you can continue eating sweet things but only if they have natural form of sweetness in them and are eaten in moderation. Replacing sugar with Honey will still add sweetness to your meal, albeit in a more natural form.
In conclusion, Honey is no longer just a storehouse of health benefits. It is also a healthy substitute for refined sugar. While both honey and sugar contain glucose and fructose, honey additionally contains a special enzyme that the bees add to it while the liquid is being made. Moreover, sugar lacks proteins, enzymes and vitamins, which get destroyed during the process of manufacture. Honey, on the other hand, is a natural sugar and hence retains its nutrients. Being a reservoir of so many health benefits, honey surely sounds like a convincing switch. Try Dabur's tasteful honey that combines the best of taste with the best of health. Learn about the various honey benefits today.
Here are some FAQ’s related with Honey vs. sugar debate:
Is honey as sweet as sugar?
No. In fact, honey is sweeter than sugar.
Is honey a simple sugar?
Honey isn’t just sugar. It is super-saturated sugar which contains high amount of water that makes it easy to digest as compared to regular sugar.
Is it better to use honey or sugar in tea?
Honey definitely is a better option. A small amount of honey (1 gm) works rather well than consuming the same of amount of sugar.
Honey or sugar for diabetics- which is better?
A diabetic can very easily enjoy honey when taken in a controlled way, thereby calculating the sugar and mineral compounds intake. However, it is advisable to get in touch with your doctor before adding it to your diet.
What makes honey sweet?
Same as what makes sugar sweet. It is made up of fructose, glucose and traces of sucrose, from where it gets its sweetness.
Is raw honey sweet?
Yes. Raw honey is the sweetest and purest form of Honey that honeybees produce from the nectar of flowers.
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