Honey Versus Sugar- The Similarities and Differences

Honey Versus Sugar- The Similarities and Differences

Nowadays, people are becoming more health conscious. Most of them are using honey instead of sugar for sweetness in their daily diet.

Both the sugar and honey are carbohydrates, consisting of glucose and fructose.

Do you know?

The fructose and glucose are broken down quickly in the body that cause a sudden rise in the blood sugar level. If overused, both honey and sugar can result in weight gain.

The proportion of glucose and fructose is different in sugar and honey.

  • Honey consist of 40% of fructose and 30% of glucose.
  • Sugar contains 50% of fructose and 50% of glucose.

The refined fructose found in sweeteners is responsible for obesity, diabetes and fatty liver problem.

Apart from glucose and fructose, honey contains pollen, water, minerals including potassium and magnesium. These remaining components are responsible for the health benefits in honey.

Honey benefits

Honey is made from bees. The bees use the nectar from the flower and mixes with the enzymes to produce honey.

Raw honey contains pollen

Honey is basically a viscous liquid that is pale yellow in colour.

Let us see the benefits of honey as follows:

  1. Honey is having a less glycemic index compared to the sugar. This means there is less chances for honey to raise the blood sugar level compared to refined sugars.

This is due to the lesser fructose content in honey as compared to sugars.

  1. Honey is having more nutrients as it is less processed as compared to refined sugars.

It contains antioxidants, enzymes, minerals, amino acids, vitamin B and C.

According to a study, dark honey is considered to have more antioxidants when compared to light honey. Also, Honey is said to have an indefinite shelf life.

  1. Honey is easier to digest as compared to sugars. This is due to the enzymes added by the bees into the honey, the sugars in honey are partially broken down, making the honey to digest more easily.
  2. Honey is said to be a cough suppressant. Researchers have found that honey can ease the cough, especially in children.

According to a 2007 research study conducted, the children suffering from bronchitis were given dark honey and they could experience a much more symptom relief as compared to those taking placebo.

So in short, it is better to use honey for cough suppressant than no treatment at all.

  1. Honey can be used for allergy relief.

According to a research work, people who suffered from birch pollen allergy, was given birch pollen honey and they experienced a 60 percentage reduction in symptoms. Also, the antihistamine intake was reduced by 50 percentage compared to the control group. Honey is considered to have an anti-inflammatory benefits.

  1. Honey is considered to have an anti- microbial property.

Honey can be used for wound healing such as for ulcers, burns and chronic wounds.

Raw honey can be used for the treatment of Seborrheic dermatitis.

Also honey is used for the treatment of hair loss.

Limitations of Honey

  1. High calorie count

Do you know?

Honey has more calories as compared to the refined sugar.

  • One tablespoon of honey= 64 calories.
  • One tablespoon of sugar= 49 calories.
  1. Risk of illness

Over use of honey can raise the blood sugar levels and can increase the risk of type 2   diabetes, weight gain and heart disease.

  1. Infant Botulism

Warning!!!!    Honey is not safe for infants younger than 12 months. The bacterial spores   present in honey can cause infant botulism, a life threatening disease in infants.

Sugar benefits

Benefits of sigar

Sugar is made from sugar beet or sugarcane. Sugar undergoes a lot of processing, making them unhealthy.

Sugar consist of glucose and fructose, they bond together to form sucrose.

Let us see the benefits of sugar as follows:

  1. Sugar is having less calories as compared to honey. But less honey is required as its sweetness is more compared to sugar.
  2. The cost of sugar is cheaper and has a long shelf life.

Limitations of sugar

  1. Sugar is more difficult to digest as compared to honey, sugar does not contain any enzyme as compared to honey. The nutrient content in sugar is less compared to honey.
  2. A higher sugar intake can cause changes in gut bacteria. Also, sugar intake may give rise to chronic diseases.
  3. Dental cavities can arise due to high sugar intake diet causing faster tooth decay.
  4. Sugar is considered to have a more glycemic index as compared to the honey, hence sugar intake can cause a sudden rise in the blood sugar level causing tiredness and headaches.
  5. High sugar intake can lead to health problems like heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  6. High sugar intake can damage the liver. The liver metabolizes the high refined fructose, which can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cholesterol.


Both honey and sugar should be consumed at a moderate level.

According to the American Heart Association, women should not consume more than 100 calories a day from sugar (6 teaspoons) and men should not consume sugar more than 150 calories per day (9 teaspoons).

From the above, it is clear that honey has some advantage over sugar, but you should remember that over consumption of honey and sugar can give rise to health problems.

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