What can be more sweeter than sugar? Honey of course! Honey is hailed as a healthier alternative to white sugar and that’s why people do not think twice about replacing sugar with honey because of the impression that it carries multiple health benefits. Honey has been used in ancient medicine since ages for its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory properties, to treat cough, and even accelerate wound healing and burns. This sweet, viscous liquid, that is formed by nectar collected by bees from flowers and converted into honey by mixing with their enzymes, in the honeycomb, is great for skin, hair, with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Since honey comes from a natural source with minimal processing, it’s considered to be healthier than sugar, and people are frantically replacing sugar with honey, and adding it to their bowl of oats, morning cup of green tea, to even garlic infused honey – all in the hopes to burn extra fat. So, is honey better than sugar for weight loss? Let’s find out:
There are hundreds of varieties of honey available, depending upon the region, flora, flowers, etc. Honey’s composition is mainly sugar (fructose, glucose), water, enzymes, vitamins like B and C, minerals like selenium, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, etc., and most importantly, antioxidants such as flavonoids with anti-inflammatory properties.
Honey is great for skin, hair, and overall health, but if you are trying to lose weight, you need to cut back on all forms of sugar, even from honey, and here’s why:
1. Even though honey has more fructose and less glucose (sugar is 50% fructose/50% glucose whereas honey contains 40% fructose/30% glucose with rest of it water, enzymes, minerals, and nutrients), it does still manage to raise blood sugar. But the good thing is only a little bit is needed to sweeten things up because fructose is sweeter than glucose
2. Honey has 82 gm of sugar per 100 gm and around 64 calories in 1 tbsp, that’s a slightly higher number of calories than regular sugar.
3. Even though the glycemic index of honey is slightly lesser than sugar at 58 (sugar has 60), it falls into medium GI index, and would still manage to raise the blood sugar, not ideal for people who are type 2 diabetes and trying to lose weight. Low glycemic foods rank from 1 to 55. Glycemic index of a food is determined based on how fast and how high it can increase blood glucose).
According to a study, consumption of honey delays post-prandial ghrelin response,
(https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21504975/). Also, honey has calories plus nutrients whereas white sugar has only empty calories. But when it comes to losing weight, what matters is being in a calorie deficit, and honey with 64 calories per 1 tbsp, packs too many calories, and not ideal for people on a diet. At the end of the day, you need to consume fewer calories and burn more. Even though honey is a healthier alternative, but it’s not a lower-calorie alternative. And if slashing calories is your goal, adding too much honey will throw water over your plan.
Summing up, even though honey is better than white sugar with a better nutrient profile, it still does not fit as a low-calorie alternative for white sugar in a weight loss diet and for those with type 2 diabetes. So, if you are trying to lose weight and cutting back on sugar, we would also suggest cutting back on honey as well. Though honey is beneficial to health in many ways, it still has a good amount of calories and the sugar is basically fructose and glucose, and without practicing moderation, can still hamper weight loss. If losing weight is on your mind, do checkout the Rati Beauty app for your weight loss diet plas.