Difference Between Sugar and Honey

While cooking any dessert our mind is driven towards the two most common sweeteners; sugar and honey. They are capable of working as each other alternatives and yet they are not the same. The form, structure, production and even their purposes are different.

Sugar vs Honey

The main difference between sugar and honey is that sugar is a crystalline form whereas honey is found in a thick form. Being a processed food item sugar does not contain much nutritious value but honey is a nutrient-rich food item. Honey is natural and raw and sugar sacrifices all its food value in the making process.

Sugar vs Honey

Sugar is a processed sweetener that does not contain any health benefits. Sugar is generated from the stems of sugarcane and the roots of the sugar beet. Sugar can be classified based on its colour, we mainly have two types of sugars, white sugar and brown sugar. An excess amount of sugar can lead to many health diseases.

Honey is essentially the nectar of flowers. Bees collect this nectar from various flowers and make honey by spitting it out in beehives. Honey is the main food of the bees but it also gets used as a natural sweetener in our foods. It has many health benefits and it possesses components that fight bacteria.

Comparison Table Between Sugar and Honey

Parameters of ComparisonSugarHoney
Texture Calories Nutritious value Production Classification Protein It is in crystalline form.It is in a dense, thick form.
Calories1 gram of sugar contains 20 kilocalories.1 gram of honey contains 25 kilocalories.
Nutritious valueSugar does not contain any vitamins or minerals.Honey carries several vitamins and minerals.
ProductionSugar is produced from stems of sugarcane and roots of sugar beet. Honey is produced by insects such as bees, bumblebees, honey wasps.
ClassificationThe classification of sugar is done based on its colour.The classification of the honey is done based on its flower source.
ProteinSugar does not have protein in it.Honey contains protein.

What is Sugar?

Sugar is processed food that goes through many refinement processes to be made. It is the extraction of roots of sugar beets and sugarcane stems. The sugar we intake is chemically called sucrose. It contains the basic unit of glucose and fructose that reside in a bounded form. Sugar can be regarded as the most popular and easily accessible sweetener in the world.

As stated before sugar is a processed food item and in the course of production, all its nourishing elements get eliminated and the calories it retains are of no use and the number of its health benefits are zero. Sugar gets used to sweeten cold juices as well as hot beverages like tea and coffee. Baked goods, candies and other sweet foods also use this to gain sweet taste.

Sugar can be proven to be dangerous as it raises our blood glucose levels rapidly and that impacts our metabolism which results in obesity. Consuming sugar damages our teeth and an excess amount of sugar can also lead to Alzheimer. The largest production of sugar happens in Brazil, India, China, and many other places.

What is Honey?

Honey is made by the genus Apis, and it gets used as a natural sweetener. This thick, raw sweet-tasting food comes with a host of health benefits. Many health-conscious people switch to honey to lead healthier lives. Honey can be consumed by mixing in beverages and spreading on bread.

Honey contains many nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, protein, calcium etc. Honey has no harmful effect on health however, on infants it might have some severe allergic reactions. Its anti-inflammatory factors are useful to treat wounds and mild burns.

The honey we get at the market and use goes through some processing but it is a lot less than sugar. Raw honey can be eaten as well but that might cause some allergies. Along with all its benefits, honey also contains a high level of calories, so the amount of honey consumed should be limited.

Main Differences Between Sugar and Honey

  1. Sugar is solid crystalline form whereas honey is dense and thick in form. Sugar tastes less sweet than honey.
  2. Both honey and sugar contain similar types of glucose and fructose, however, in sugar, glucose and fructose are bound together and in honey glucose and fructose stay separately.
  3. Sugar is produced through various refinement processes and during this process, sugar loses its nutrition elements and thus it does not contain any type of vitamin or minerals. Honey, on the other hand, being a natural sweetener, carries several vitamins and minerals.
  4. Sugar has no health benefits but on the contrary, honey is capable of working as an antioxidant and it also possesses anti-bacterial components.
  5. Sugar is the main source of energy for the metabolism of the plants and honey is the main source of food for bees.
  6. The classification of sugar is done based on its colour, for example, we have white sugar and brown sugar and the classification of the honey gets decided based on its source, such as if the honey comes from only one flower then it is called Monofloral honey and if it comes from several different flowers then it is known as Blended honey.

Conclusion

In today’s day and time, when unhealthy foods are available in abundance, many of us want to select healthy food choices. Recent studies and experiments have found how unhealthy sugar is for our bodies. Scientists and doctors have been advocating honey and other natural sweeteners such as maple syrup over sugar. Sugar has proven to upsurge diseases such as diabetes, obesity, tooth decay.

On the other hand, honey is a much healthier choice. Honey contains many nutrition elements and its anti-oxidants help in the purification of our body. Honey is a natural sweetener and for a healthy lifestyle, consuming honey instead of sugar is a smart choice. According to WHO sugar intake should not cross more than 10% of the total energy consumption.

References

  1. https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/abs/10.12968/jowc.2007.16.7.27053
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2005.tb08320.x
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