Similarities and differences between honey and sugar. Is honey really better than sugar? Advantages and disadvantages of honey and sugar for human health. How to reduce sugar consumption.
Honey and sugar are the two most commonly used sweeteners. Honey is generally considered a healthier option, but is it so?
If sugar is used to add sweetness to a product or dish, honey is considered a wonderful nutritious and healing food on its own. Let's consider the advantages and disadvantages of honey and sugar for human health.Honey vs. Sugar: Similarities and Differences
Both honey and sugar are carbohydrates consisting of two types of sugar: glucose and fructose.
Refined fructose contained in sweeteners is metabolized by the liver and is associated with:
Both fructose and glucose are quickly broken down by the body and can cause spikes in blood sugar.
The proportions of glucose and fructose in honey and sugar are different:
The rest of the honey consists of:
Sugar has a higher glycemic index (GI) than honey, which means it raises blood sugar more quickly. This is due to the higher content of fructose and the lack of trace elements.
However, honey is a higher calorie product. Although it is sweeter than sugar, you may need less of it. Both sweeteners can lead to weight gain if consumed in excess.Useful properties of sugar
Since ancient times, honey has been used not only as a sweetener, but also for medical purposes.
It is a viscous liquid produced by bees and colored in color from straw yellow to dark brown. Honey in honeycombs keeps its freshness.
The benefits of honey include:
More nutrients and less processing
Some studies show that dark honey has more antioxidants than light honey. In addition, honey is less processed, since it only needs to be pasteurized to be ready. Raw honey is also edible and contains more antioxidants and enzymes than pasteurized varieties.
Some studies show that honey is a natural way to relieve coughs in children.
A 2007 study found that children with bronchitis who took dark honey felt better than those who took a placebo. However, the difference was small.
One study published in 2011 found that people with birch pollen allergies who took birch pollen honey experienced:
They were also able to reduce antihistamine consumption by 50 percent compared to the control group. The reason for these improvements may be the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of honey.
Honey is quite effective when applied topically, as it has antimicrobial properties:
It is easier to digest
For the digestive system, honey is a more useful product. Enzymes added by bees partially break down the sugars, which makes digestion easier.Disadvantages of honey
High calorie content
One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, while a tablespoon of sugar contains only 49 calories.
Risk of infant botulism
It is dangerous to give honey to children younger than 12 months. Bacterial spores in honey can cause infant botulism, a rare but potentially life-threatening disease.
The spores that cause botulism in babies are harmless to older children and adults. Symptoms of infant botulism include:
Effect on blood sugar level and risk of diseases
Honey has almost the same effect on blood sugar as sugar. This is especially problematic for people with diabetes and insulin resistance.
Excessive honey consumption can lead to blood sugar problems in healthy people, increasing the risk of:
Sugar is extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets. Despite the fact that it is obtained from natural substances, before becoming a finished product, it undergoes processing.
There are several different types of sugar:
Sugar contains no added nutrients. However, brown sugar, which is a mixture of white sugar and a manufacturing byproduct known as molasses, may contain some trace elements.
The advantages of sugar include:
Sugar has 49 calories per tablespoon, while honey has 64. However, honey is sweeter than sugar, so you may need less to achieve the same sweetness.
Long shelf life and low storage cost
Sugar is a cheap and affordable product with a long shelf life.Disadvantages of sugar
Sugar raises blood glucose levels faster than honey. This results in a burst of energy followed by a sharp decline characterized by fatigue, headaches and trouble concentrating.
Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes 2
Excessive sugar consumption leads to weight gain and obesity, which in turn increase the risk of other diseases.
Since the liver is responsible for metabolizing refined fructose, excessive sugar consumption can complicate its functions. This can cause:
Caries and other dental problems develop faster with high sugar consumption.
Changes in the intestines
A high-sugar diet reduces the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases.
It is more difficult to digest
As already mentioned, sugar does not contain enzymes that are in honey, so it is more difficult to digest.Honey vs. sugar: which is better?
Excessive consumption of sugar and honey is equally harmful to the body. Therefore, both products should be used in moderation or not at all. At the same time, honey has some health benefits, for example, in the treatment of coughs or allergies, or as a topical application that does not affect blood sugar levels.
If you prefer honey, choose dark varieties, which contain more nutrients, enzymes and antioxidants.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that women consume no more than 100 calories from sugar per day (about 6 teaspoons), and men - no more than 150 calories per day (9 teaspoons).
It's important to note that these amounts include added sugars, processed and prepackaged foods, and sugars like honey and syrups.Tips for reducing the consumption of honey and sugar