Sugar and honey are both deliciously sweet treats that can sweeten a morning cup of tea like a game of Sloto Cash can sweeten an afternoon break!
Although they are both carbohydrates that are well-suited as your sweetener of choice, they vary in nature and composition, which is why they can affect the consumer’s health differently.
One might think they have a similar function to add sweetness. I mean, if they both are kind of just sugars, what’s the difference? The secret is everything else that’s in honey other than sugar and water.
Nutrition facts about honey and sugar
Honey with high nutritious value is extracted from the swarm of bees that makes it from flower nectar. It is highly nutritious because of its extraction and direct utilization in its pure form. It is not only a good food additive but can also have possible medicinal benefits because of its antibacterial and antioxidant characteristics.
On the other hand, sugar also has high nutritious value but only in its natural form, e.g., in the form of any fruit. Otherwise, refined sugar is processed so that it only provides some energy due to carbohydrate content.
That is why it is suggested to take sugar in a moderate amount; otherwise, its excess will create serious health issues. Honey is preferred over the use of sugar.
What makes honey superior to sugar?
Honey, either in its raw form or processed, contains a trace amount of proteins, fibers, and amino acids. It means it is a low-calorie sweetener and because it is sweeter than sugar so used in fewer amounts.
Health benefits of honey to know about
Due to its high nutritious value, honey has great potential to provide health benefits both for animals and humans.
Healthier composition than white sugar
Honey contains healthier contents such as more carbohydrates, calories, and sugar. It also contains health-promoting nutrients along with health-protecting agents, that’s why always been preferred over sugar.
It is more advantageous because of the following;
- Low quantity of glycemic acid
- The high content of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Health-promoting bioactive substances
A little bit amount of proteins and fibers
Most importantly, its healthier composition does not affect the blood sugar level, which is its major advantage over white sugar. Health-beneficial ingredients and their minimum processing make it more beneficial.
Honey needs little processing, such as pasteurization, or could be used in its raw form, but white sugar requires a whole process to be manufactured. This processing greatly impacts the nutritional value of white sugar.
Health-promoting bioactive substances
Honey contains health-promoting substances that make it healthier and preferable even to use as a sweetener.
Bioactive substances such as antioxidants present in honey make it protective for the human body. They keep our gut functional by feeding the beneficial bacteria present there. Side by side also protects in response to the disease-causing agents that finally lead toward cell damage.
Along with antioxidants, it also has anti-bacterial potential. Anti-inflammatory substances mainly contain vitamin C, flavonoids, and phenolic acid. All of them greatly contribute to making honey health-promoting and saving.
Both antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties facilitate in suppressing the disease-causing agents.
Home cough suppressant
Anti-bacterial agents present in honey make it a potential source of cough suppressant. Specifically, children suffering from bronchitis could be immunized and treated with an optimized dose of honey.
The potential of honey to provide health benefits depends upon its darkness. For example, using dark honey instead of light would quickly relieve a disease like a cough. Also, it is observed that the upper respiratory infection is recovered instantly by honey than usual treatments.
That’s why whenever you are sick from a cough, you first reach for the honey bottle to make your cough soothing. Hence it is also called a home cough suppressant.
Home remedy for allergies
The bioactive substances also make it able to treat seasonal allergies. So, it’s a home remedy with no side effects if taken in a moderate amount. But its remedy potential depends on whether it is used when the disease is at its peak or the beginning.
Specifically, raw honey is used to cure seasonal allergies by simply ingesting it in a moderate or recommended amount or by desensitizing the body with it.
Wound healing potential
Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agents such as garlic acid and quercetin are both helpful for healing wounds. But dermatologists always suggest that before its use on a burn or any other wound, consult your doctor first. However, it is proven as more effective than traditional antiseptics.
For example, it could be used in its raw form to heal the itchy or flaky scalp. Along with healing potential, it could also be used to enrich hair with necessary nutrients. For that purpose, honey could be applied to hair once a week.
Easier on the digestive system
Honey is easier to digest than sugar again because of its ingredients and overall composition. Honey already contains an enzyme that is added by bees after collecting it from flowers to preserve it in a mob. This will make it easier on the digestive system.
On the other hand, sugar is less easy because of its processing, so before digestion, it is simply ingested to break it down into pieces.
Sweeter than sugar
Honey is sweeter than sugar, so it could be used in fewer amounts with moderate calories. It means it is more beneficial to add honey as a sweetener instead of sugar. It will not only develop a good taste but also produce soothing effects both in the oral and digestive systems.
It is observed that where sugar is required in a good amount, a swap of honey is needed there. Hence it is advisable to add 25% of honey instead of one cup of sugar.
For example, it could be used in many food items to avoid sugar;
Pair up honey with beverages
It is always a good experience to add honey to drinks to make them sweet without increasing calories. Hence without adding one tablespoon of sugar, a drop of honey is added to make tea, coffee, and other drinks sweet.
Pair it with any recipe
As per as the taste of honey is concerned, it is used in combination with different chili sauces and flakes to give a drizzle of sweetness and spice to any recipe. So it could not only be used to add sweetness but also be used in combination with chilies with no or little effect of calories on consuming body.
This pairing is done by heating honey slightly with chili flakes.
Homemade cough drops
Honey, when paired up with tea, specifically with ginger or lemon tea, becomes a cough drop. Also, honey contains anti-inflammatory substances that feed beneficial bacteria present in the digestive tract. That’s why it becomes soothing when it’s taken in combination with ginger tea or lemon tea while having a sore throat.
The same biomolecules manufactured by combining the same sugars (glucose and fructose) could behave differently depending upon their source and way of processing. All factors, substances, and use suggested that honey has health-improving potential over sugar.