I’ve read many different articles about the health benefits of honey over white, granulated sugar. Honey is high in calories, as is sugar (a teaspoon of honey contains 22 calories; there are 16 calories in a teaspoon of sugar).
So, the question is, IS honey better for you than sugar?
In reading up on the differences between honey and sugar, I learned that both contain fructose and glucose. The difference is that the fructose and glucose in sugar are “hooked” together, whereas the fructose and glucose in honey are “unhooked” or independent units. Why is that important, you ask? Well, I found through my readings is that this is important if you have digestion issues. During digestion, the “unhooked” independent fructose and glucose units in honey get absorbed in our intestinal tracts, while the “hooked” fructose-glucose units in sugar have to first be broken down (into separate units like in honey) before it gets absorbed. The enzymes in our bodies do a good job of breaking down sugar (sucrose) molecules, but not all of them are absorbed. This is where it could cause an issue for some people. (If you have a sensitive stomach, stop reading. I’m going to talk about bacteria in our intestines now.) The sugar molecules that don’t get digested or absorbed in our intestinal tracts feeds the bad bacteria in our intestines. Where this is not so good is when there is an over-population of bad bacteria that feeds off the undigested sugar, which in turn causes some by-products, one of which is the production of different gasses, methane gas among them. Again, putting it simply, you end up farting a lot. 😉
It stands to reason that if you substitute honey for sugar in most of your foods, you will be less gassy (your significant other will thank you for this). 😀
Another interesting bit of information I found through my readings is fructose is sweeter than glucose, which is one of the reasons fructose is used in so many food products today. However, fructose does not convert to energy as efficiently as glucose. As a result, processed foods containing granulated sugar high in fructose convert to fat more easily than honey. Hmmm…less fat production by using honey in foods? I’m sold!
Actually, I like using honey because it is plain and simply DELICIOUS. Not to mention that I buy my honey from local Colorado bee farmers, and anything I can do to help our local economy, I’m all over it.
Oh, as an added bonus, honey doesn’t spoil! I don’t worry about honey going to waste in my house…we use it up pretty quickly. Luckily for us the Busy Bee Farm in Larkspur, CO is not too far from where we live that we can get a resupply when we need it.
So, whether you add honey to your diet instead of sugar for it’s pure deliciousness or supposed health benefits is up to you. I recommend buying raw honey (honey that is unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed) if you can find it.
What can you make with honey?
I use honey in my marinades, to sweeten our Cream of Wheat (or oatmeal), and in baking (I make some mean Honey Wheat Rolls). Check out some of my recipes at the links below.
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