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This vs. That: Honey and Sugar

Honey and sugar are both very popular sweeteners. They are both commonly used in many treats and dishes in the kitchen, leaving many to have a preference of one over the other. However, the two are not equal, making each of them them ideal for different things.


Honey is produced by bees and is then harvested and sold to consumers. It is made up of two substances called fructose and glucose. Within the honey, the two are separated. Because of this, honey is easier to digest as the body is able to digest the separated molecules with a lot more ease. Honey has more calories per serving than sugar does, which is why it is denser and heavier. Additionally, honey has a lower glycemic index, making it a safer option for diabetics. Honey is less processed than sugar because it is only pasteurized, making it the ideal choice for those who prefer unprocessed foods. Perhaps the greatest benefits of honey are its ability to help relieve symptoms, such as coughs, allergies, as well as its ability to help heal wounds. Honey has been found to help with colds, which is why many recommend drinking tea with honey when you are sick. A downside to honey is the fact that it is not safe for babies under the age of 1. Honey contains a certain bacteria that infants are not able to tolerate, which can cause infant botulism. Though this disease is rare, it can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.


Sugar often comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, which are two plants that are harvested and used to produce the product. Similarly to honey, sugar is also made up of fructose and glucose. The difference is that in granulated sugar, the two come together to form another substance called sucrose, which is undigestible by the body. This makes sugar a less ideal sweetener as it is difficult on the digestive system. Sugar also has a higher glycemic index, making it less manageable for diabetics. However, sugar is lower in calories than honey and has a longer shelf life than honey. Excessive sugar consumption can cause problems for the liver, as well as increase the chance of becoming obese or developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Without proper dental care, excessive sugar can also cause cavities.


Overall, both sugar and honey have their pros and cons, but honey comes out on top. The only issue is that honey cannot be used as conveniently as sugar, making it slightly harder to incorporate into ones diet.