Raw honey and refined white sugar are both sweeteners and are relatively calorie dense foods. But when feeding your sweet tooth, there is no question that raw honey is better for you than white sugar. Here are 5 reasons why:
- Honey is sweeter, so you can use less. A few years ago, a customer stopped by our place to buy some some honey. As we were chatting, he mentioned that he had stopped eating white sugar, and had replaced it with honey. With this one change to his diet, he had lost 10 pounds over the course of a year. This is an interesting result, given that 1 tablespoon of white sugar contains 49 calories, while 1 tablespoon of raw honey contains 64 calories. But because honey has a sweeter taste, you can use less in your food and with therefore consume fewer calories overall.
- Honey does not spike your blood sugar like white sugar does. Raw honey and white sugar are both carbohydrates, and both contain two primary sugars: fructose and glucose. But white sugar is 100% sugars (50% fructose and 50% glucose), while raw honey is about 85% sugars (with fructose and glucose ratios that vary with each honey variety). The remaining 15% of honey is water, pollen and trace minerals. Because of this different makeup, white sugar is absorbed into the body and blood at a faster rate than honey. Sugar absorption is measured by the glycemic index (GI). White sugar has a GI of 65, while most floral varieties of raw honey have a GI that ranges from 35 to 55. This means that raw honey will provide more even levels of energy, over a longer period of time, as compared to white sugar. Generally, raw honey with a higher percentage of fructose as compare to glucose will have a lower glycemic index. These higher fructose honey varieties (such as tupelo honey) will also crystallize at a slower rate as compared to other raw honey varieties with more glucose.
- Raw Honey contains additional, important nutrients. Have you ever heard the phrase: "White sugar is empty calories"? That's because white sugar contains sugars and nothing else. But raw honey contains additional nutrients, including amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. These phytochemicals have anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties, which all contribute to a stronger immune system and better health.
- Consuming raw honey provides added health benefits. In addition to providing your cells with needed energy and boosting your immune system, raw honey offers several other important health benefits. Honey is a proven cough suppressant and also relieves sore throats. For many people, raw honey helps to moderate the sinus and throat irritation caused by pollen allergies. Honey is easier to digest as compared to white sugar. And honey can also promote better digestion and better sleep. How's that for a collection of added benefits?
- Raw honey tastes better. Okay, this one is a no-brainer. White sugar tastes like . . . white sugar. But raw honey is so much more than a simple sweetener. The flavors and complexities of raw honey are varied and wonderful. From the light, vanilla tones of acacia honey, to the floral-fruity surprise of tupelo honey, to the strong assertive flavor of buckwheat honey, each honey variety is unique and wonderful. It is hard to pick just one as a favorite, so we encourage you to try as many as you can. Sometimes, customers ask us for "regular honey" and not "flavored honey." All of our raw, liquid honey varieties are completely natural - nothing is added and nothing is subtracted. The delicious flavor varieties of raw honey are based on the different plant nectar sources that the bees are tapping. Turning this nectar into sweet honey is pure alchemy, known only to the bees, and loved by people everywhere.