Honey is known for its sweet, sugary flavour. It’s a great natural sweetener for cooking, drinks, breakfasts and so on. But what makes it any different from sugar?
Raw, pure honey is made by the bees with the help of the flowers. They do the work, and we just collect it. This means that the ‘sugar’ in honey is natural (given that the honey has no additives, which our raw honey doesn't).
There are various benefits that honey has, in which sugar does not:
- Honey has a sweeter taste than sugar (as it has higher levels of fructose compared to glucose), meaning that less is more when it comes to sweetening food and drinks with honey.
- Vitamins, such as vitamin B and C, and minerals can be found in honey. Whereas sugar has no trace of these.
- Honey has antimicrobial properties, which can help to ease skin conditions and inflammation. This means it can be used topically as well!
- Some honeys, particularly Mānuka honey, has antibacterial properties. This can help with fighting infections, easing sore throats and the healing of wounds.
- Honey is said to be easier to digest than sugar.
- Honey doesn’t raise blood sugar levels as fast as sugar does.
So, I think it’s safe to say that honey won this round…
Note: Like sugar, honey contains glucose and fructose. This means that although it is a healthier alternative to sugar, it should still be consumed in moderation. This is especially important for those with diabetes and obesity.
Ajibola, A., Chamunorwa, J. P., & Erlwanger, K. H. (2012). Nutraceutical values of natural honey and its contribution to human health and wealth. Nutrition & Metabolism, 9, 61. https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-9-61
Alvarez-Suarez, J. M., Tulipani, S., Romandini, S., Bertoli, E., & Maurizio, B. (2009). Contribution of honey in nutrition and human health: a review. Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 3, 15-23.
Lewin, J. (n.d.). Sugar substitutes – honey explained. BBC goodfood. Retrieved from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/sugar-substitutes-honey-explained
Mandal, M. D., & Mandal, S. (2011). Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 1(2), 154-160.
McLoone, P., Warnock, M., & Fyfe, L. (2015). Honey: A realistic antimicrobial for disorders of the skin. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection, 49, 161-167.