Sugar as we know it, comes from a plant called Sugar Cane. The sugar is made in the leaves of the plant and is stored in the stalks. Farmers then harvest the plant and the juice is then extracted, purified, filtered and crystallized into sugar. Now honey is made by bees, and they collect nectar from various flowers, so both sweeteners come from plants, therefore making sugar and honey a natural product. The problem is, too much of either one can cause health problems. We obviously know that too much sugar can cause diabetes, and that honey isn’t that far behind, and there is no real advantage to substituting sugar for honey, because at the end of the day, both will affect your blood sugar levels. BUT, that’s not to say honey doesn’t have it’s benefits, more benefits in fact that sugar.
Honey doesn’t raise your sugar levels as quickly as sugar does due to the lowered GI value. Honey contains various amounts of amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, minerals and vitamins. Due to the makeup of Honey, the enzymes that the bee’s have added to the honey enable your stomach to break the sugars even faster, making it a lot quicker to digest than sugar. Although the calorie count in honey is higher than sugar, honey is sweeter than sugar, allowing yourself to use less to achieve the same result.
Honey has been shown in clinical studies to reduce allergy symptoms. A study conducted in 2011, showed people who suffered with birch pollen allergy, experienced a 60% reduction in symptoms, all due to the consumption of honey. They were also able to reduce their antihistamine intake by 50%. You think that because honey contains small amounts of pollen, that your allergies would be worse, but it’s because you are slowly introducing pollen into your body, it helps build immunity and desensitises your reaction to allergies.
So there are negative and positive effects from both sugar and honey. But the fact that honey has so many other positive effects, due to the nature and the composition of it, honey could help you lead a healthier life than sugar.
Leonard, J. (2017). Is honey better for you than sugar? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317728#_noHeaderPrefixedContent
Lewin, J. (N/A). Sugar substitutes – honey explained. BBC goodfood. Retrieved from: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/sugar-substitutes-honey-explained
N/A. (N/A). The Truth on Artifical Sweetners: Zero sugar at a bitter cost. JUST DATE. https://www.justdatesyrup.com/blogs/research/the-truth-on-artificial-sweeteners-zero-sugar-at-a-bitter-cost