Honey is often thought of as the more “natural” and “healthier” option to sugar but as we all know natural doesn’t always necessarily mean healthier. So is honey really healthier than sugar? Lets see how it stacks up...
Our body uses a sugar called glucose for fuel. White sugar is made from 50% glucose and 50% fructose (the sugar that’s found in fruit). When we consume white sugar our body breaks down the sugar very quickly and causes a massive spike in our blood sugar levels. Honey is made up a little differently which means our body processes it differently. Honey is about 30% glucose, 40% fructose and the remainder is made up of other more complex sugars and a small amount vitamins and minerals. A good quality floral honey will have a lower Glyceamic Index (GI) compared to that of white sugar meaning its released into our bloodstream slower, but unfortunately most store bought honeys have a GI very similar to that of sugar.
One other minor benefit of honey is it's less processed and therefore contains some vitamins and minerals. The amount of vitamins and minerals however is tiny and honey certainly cannot be viewed as a good source of “nutrition”. Some good quality honeys will also have a slight antibacterial property which is why people say to have honey and lemon water when you’re sick.
Despite being natural, honey only has a slight edge over sugar. Too much sugar of any kind is not good for our health and it must be remembered that honey is just another form of sugar. As with anything sweet honey needs to be consumed in very limited amounts. However if you’re wondering whether to add sugar or honey to your tea, a teaspoon of good quality honey may be the slightly healthier option.