Honey and sugar are some of the sweeteners most widely used. Honey is always seen as the healthiest choice, but is that really the case? Let us see why people should drink more honey than sugar.
Honey and sugar add sweetness to foods and snacks. However they have varying tastes, textures and nutritional profiles.
Honey and sugar are carbohydrates composed of two forms of sugar: glucose and fructose.
Processed fructose is metabolized by the liver and is linked to sweeteners: obesity, fatty liver disease, diabetes.
On the glycemic index (GI), sugar is higher than honey, implying that it increases blood sugar levels more rapidly. This is because of the higher content of fructose and the lack of trace minerals.
Honey, however has slightly more calories than sugar, even though it is sweeter, so it might need less. If overused, both sweeteners will contribute to weight gain.
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Benefits Of Honey
Honey has been used as both a sweetener and medicine since ancient times.
It is a viscous liquid that honeybees create which varies from straw yellow to dark brown in color. To freshen it up, the bees gather nectar from flowers and combine it with enzymes to form honey before storing it in honeycomb cells.
Several advantages are associated with honey such as:
a. Increased and less refined nutrients than sugar
Based on the sources of the nectar used to produce it, honey ranges in its nutritional composition. In addition, along with other products, it contains trace amounts of local pollen such as: amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, minerals, vitamins.
Some study shows that there are more antioxidants than light honey in dark honey.
Honey is therefore less refined than sugar since it is normally only pasteurized prior to use. Raw honey is also edible and contains more than pasteurized types of antioxidants and enzymes.
b. cough Pain reliever
Some evidence indicates that honey in children is a natural way to alleviate a cough.
A research in 2007 showed that children with bronchitis who received dark honey had greater symptom relief than those who received a placebo. The advantages were slight, though.
More latest literature indicates that honey is better for a cough than no medication at all although some drugs give greater relief from symptoms.
c. Relief from allergies
Anecdotal reports suggest that honey produced locally can help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Clinical trials have not reliably shown this however.
One research conducted in 2011 found that individuals who took birch pollen honey with birch pollen allergy experienced:
- A drop in symptoms by 60 percent
- 70% less days with serious symptoms
- Without symptoms for twice as many days
Compared to the control group, they were also able to decrease their antihistamine consumption by 50 percent.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory advantages of honey may have exacerbated these advantages.
Also by repeatedly adding small quantities of allergens, one cure for allergies is to desensitize the body to reactions.
Major disadvantage and dangers of honey
Some of the most common honey-related drawbacks and dangers involve:
a. High amount of calories
One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, which is 49 calories per tablespoon, greater than that of sugar.
b. Danger of botulism among infants
Giving honey to infants younger than 12 months is not healthy. Honey’s bacterial spores, a rare but potentially life-threatening illness, may cause infant botulism.
In elder children and adults, the spores that causes botulism in infants are harmless. Infant botulism signs include: constipation, generalization, fatigue, a weak cry.
c. Effect on blood sugar and disease risk
Honey has similar effects on blood glucose levels, such as sugar. For individuals with diabetes and insulin resistance, this is particularly troublesome.
In healthy individuals too, too much honey can lead to blood sugar problems, raising the risk of: Gaining weight, Diabetes Type 2, Cardiac Disease.
Benefits Of Sugar
There are several different sugar types and except for molasses, they have no additional nutrients.
Sugar is extracted from sugar cane or beet sugar. Although it is extracted from natural products, until it becomes the finished product, sugar requires a lot of refining.
There are several distinct sugar forms, such as: Muscovado, Brown, Powdered, turbinado, raw, white.
Glucose and fructose, which bind to form the sugar known as sucrose, compose all these sugar types.
Sugar doesn’t have any nutrients attached. Brown sugar, which is a mixture of white sugar and a by-product of the processing of sugar known as molasses, can however, have some trace minerals.
The principal benefits connected with the use of sugar involve:
a. Lower calorie content than honey
There are 49 calories per tablespoon of sugar, while honey has 64. Honey, however is sweeter than sugar, so less might be required for the same sweetness to be achieved.
b. Low-cost and long life shelf
Sugar is inexpensive, readily available, and has a long shelf life. It also makes many items more palatable, and so it is an enticing staple of the supermarket cupboard.
Disadvantages and risks of sugar
There are some disadvantages and risks associated with sugar consumption.
a. Higher on the glycemic index than honey
Sugar can spike blood glucose levels faster than honey. This leads to a quick spurt of energy, followed by a sharp decline characterized by tiredness, headaches, and difficulty concentrating.
b. Increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
Weight gain and obesity are associated with high sugar consumption, increasing the risk of illness.
In summary, consuming more honey than sugar is recommended, particularly for adults, but not for infants.