Is honey better than sugar? A dietitian shares why she loves its health benefits

As a dietitian, I’m usually requested if honey is more healthy than other sugars and other included sweeteners.

The solution? Honey and sugar are both carbs, consisting of the two sorts of sugar: Glucose and fructose, both equally of which are damaged down swiftly by the entire body and can trigger spikes in blood sugar ranges.

Overeating included sugars, together with honey, can pose other health and fitness risks. Sugars have been joined to numerous well being challenges, such as being overweight, significant blood stress, heart sickness and cognitive concerns like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

But in my view, the upside of selecting honey as your sweetener of option is that it incorporates particular well being attributes other sugars really don’t have. The USDA and HHS rules advise having less than 10% of your full day-to-day energy in additional sugars.

Gains of honey

Honey has a decrease GI benefit than sugar, meaning that it does not elevate blood sugar amounts as promptly. It can be also sweeter than sugar, so you may well have to have considerably less of it, but it does have a bit much more energy for each teaspoon, so I constantly hold a close eye on portion sizes.

In accordance to a 2018 review, honey can have trace quantities of essential nutritional vitamins and minerals, like potassium, calcium, zinc and vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6.

Most recently, a 2021 evaluation found that when honey was offered for higher respiratory bacterial infections, sure indications — including cough frequency and cough severity — enhanced as opposed to typical care.

Working with honey can also assistance to recover wounds, burns, and other topical circumstances, in accordance to the peer-reviewed reserve, “Honey Investigation: New Advancements and Worries.”

How to shop for honey

Resourceful means to use honey

Regardless of the kind of honey you select, in this article are four of my beloved methods to integrate compact amounts into my diet:

1. Swap sugar for honey. Honey is essentially 25% sweeter than desk sugar, indicating you can use much less in recipes. For illustration, if what you happen to be making calls for just one cup of sugar, a good rule of thumb is to go with a ¾-cup of honey.

2. Pair it with your favored drinks. Honey is the great companion to many beverages. A drizzle of honey in tea, coffee, smoothies or cocktails is a uncomplicated way to sweeten your drink with no applying table sugar.

3. Make incredibly hot honey. Warm up some honey on the stovetop in excess of small-medium warmth for a handful of minutes and incorporate your option of spice, these types of as pink pepper flakes or chili powder. Permit the flavors merge for a minute or so, then take out from the warmth and stir. Once cooled, you can set it in a jar and use it as you wish. I love producing very hot honey to drizzle on leading of pizza for a sweet and spicy kick. It also goes properly on charcuterie boards, as an option to sugary jellies or jams.

4. Make cough drops. This basic recipe pairs ginger tea, lemon and honey to make a scrumptious, selfmade cough fall.

Lauren Armstrong is a dietitian and diet coach. She was also a nutritionist for The Gals, Toddler and Young children (WIC) system. Lauren been given her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Western Michigan College and has penned for many publications, including Livestrong and HealthDay.

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