Is honey better than sugar?

Is honey better than sugar?

Last Reviewed : 12/25/2020
Is honey better than sugar?

The debate on “Honey vs Sugar” has been on for donkey’s years. Guess what, it is still to date. But then, what are your views on it? Which of them would you possibly go for? Just before you share your views with us, just read on to learn more about the topic. Essentially, honey and sugar are the natural sweetening substances that are readily available. Both can be used to enhance sweetness of any food. But the compositions of both are different.

  1. Sugar is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose
  2. Honey contains 40 percent fructose and 30 percent glucose. The remaining 30 percent consists of water, pollen, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants etc. These are the nutritional contents that make honey different from sugar. They contribute to additional health benefits of honey over sugars.

Sugar is higher on the glycemic index (GI) than honey. It means that it raises blood sugar levels more quickly. This is due to its higher fructose content, and the absence of trace minerals. On the other hand, honey has more calories than sugar. It is easier to digest than sugar as it already contains enzymes.

Advantages of honey over sugar

  1. Nutritional composition is different from sugar. So, the nutritional value is higher.
  2. Low glycemic index than sugar, so it is well tolerated by diabetics.
  3. Honey is less processed than sugar. Raw honey is also edible and contains more antioxidants and enzymes than pasteurized varieties.
  4. It can be used as cough suppressant too. Dark honey is better in this aspect than lighter one.
  5. Plus, it is considered as one of the alternative treatments for allergies.
  6. It is also known for its antimicrobial properties.
  7. Still, it has better wound healing properties.
  8. It is used in the treatment of various skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis.

Studies that support the use of honey

  1. A study was conducted to investigate the effect of natural honey on body weight and some biochemical blood indices of diabetic subjects. During the study, patients were divided into two groups. One was given honey and the other group was not. After 8 weeks, weight measurements were taken and fasting blood samples were drawn. Honey provides several antioxidants, such as phenolic acids and flavonoids. When used in place of sugar, it may not increase your blood sugar levels as much and may help lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Body weight, total cholesterol, low-density lipo protein-cholesterol and triglyceride decreased, and high-density lipo protein-cholesterol increased significantly in honey group. It was concluded that the consumption of honey could provide beneficial effects on body weight and blood lipids of diabetic patients1.
  2. Honey is an alternative medicine that is considered to be a suitable therapy with improved outcomes. It is a cost-effective and safe natural agent with rapid diabetic wound healing capacity2.
  3. Meanwhile, other research suggests that it may also be a useful treatment for skin conditions, such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and herpes3.
  4. High-quality honey is rich in several essential antioxidants like phenolic acids and flavonoids that are essential for better health. These compounds play a central role in health and disease with some research suggesting that they may protect against chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancers, and diabetes.


To conclude, we must establish here that this guide has be informative and educational. No doubt, you must have learned something from it. The question now is: “Between honey and sugar, which would you go for?” Despite the glaringly obvious benefits you derive from consuming honey, a vast majority of people prefer sugar to honey. According to one study, people are likely to consume sugar 40 times higher than honey. In fact, this begs the question as to why people settle for sugar whereas honey apparently offers more nutritional benefits. Regardless of the sweetening substance that tickles your fancy, the aim of this guide is to open your eyes to the perks your body derives from it.


  1. 1. Bahrami M, Ataie-Jafari A, Hosseini S, Foruzanfar MH, Rahmani M, Pajouhi M. Effects of Natural Honey Consumption in Diabetic Patients: an 8-week randomized clinical trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Nov; 60(7):618-26. doi: 10.3109/09637480801990389.
  2. Alam F, Islam MA, Gan SH, Khalil MI. Honey: a Potential Therapeutic Agent for Managing Diabetic Wounds. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014; 2014:169130. doi:10.1155/2014/169130
  3. Fingleton J, Sheahan D, Corin A, Weatherall M, Beasley R. A Randomised Controlled Trial of Topical Kanuka Honey for the Treatment of Psoriasis. JRSM Open. 2014;5(3):2042533313518913. Published 2014 Feb 26. doi:10.1177/2042533313518913
  4. Dzugan M, Tomczyk M, Sowa P, Grabek-Lejko D. Antioxidant Activity as Biomarker of Honey Variety. Molecules. 2018;23(8):2069. Published 2018 Aug 18. doi:10.3390/molecules23082069
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