Honey is healthy! And a great alternative to white refined sugar in your coffee, baked goods, sauces, and smoothies. Whether it’s for a Paleo diet, or because you’re watching blood sugar levels, replacing white refined sugar with raw honey is a healthy choice. Honey is more nutritious, has a sweet antioxidant bonus over sugar, and may even help with those seasonal allergies.
Raw honey has a sweet edge over sugar in the nutrition department. According to the US Institute of Health, raw honey contains several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, D, E. In particular, honey has a high concentration of the B-complex vitamins including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid.
Some Honey Nutrition Facts:
- B Vitamins, combined with the glucose and fructose already present in honey, makes this sweet treat a natural energizer for the body.
- The enzyme amylase, which is present in raw honey, aids in digestion.
- Phenolic acid and flavonoids, a natural source of antioxidants, are also in raw honey. The consumption of antioxidants is thought to aid in the prevention of heart disease as well as reduce cell damage.
- Darker honey has more antioxidant, mineral and vitamin content versus pale honey.
- Honey contains trace minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
- Manuka honey is renowned for having four times the content of these minerals versus other flower honeys.
Read more: About Manuka Honey
Health Benefits of Raw vs. Pasteurized Honey
Similar to milk, honey sold in your local supermarket is often pasteurized. The high heat of the pasteurization process kills most of the beneficial enzymes and some vitamins present in honey’s raw form.
The primary function of pasteurization is to kill any yeast that may be present in order to prevent fermentation, granulation, and crystallization. Pasteurization gives honey an overall smoother, consistent appearance for the consumer, but negates the much of the natural benefits.
What looks good on the shelf, isn’t always best for your body. Raw honey, or unpasteurized honey, has more to offer as nutritious sweetener than it’s pasteurized counterpart. Raw honey contains all of the nutrients necessary for good health. Eating local raw honey can even help with seasonal allergies, and is an excellent cough suppressant!
Read more: Honey and Health
Raw Honey Nutritional Value
Keto dieters beware, there are carbs in honey. How much sugar is in honey, specifically the fructose and glucose ratio, creates honey’s sweet taste. In fact, the specific ratio of fructose and glucose causes honey to actually taste sweeter than cane sugar! Meaning you need less honey to get the desired flavor and level of sweetness in your food or drink. So while honey calories vs sugar are slightly more, the sweetness is more pronounced as is the health benefit.
How Many Calories Are in Honey?
- There are 60 calories in 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Sugar is 49 calories per tablespoon.
- Agave is 60 calories per tablespoon.
- Honey is a blend of fructose and glucose and the rest is water, pollen, and trace vitamins and minerals.
Different types of honey have different nutritional values, just as they have different flavors, textures and appearance. Honey nutrition on a basic level varies only slightly, depending on the soil content and nectar-producing plants your honey is sourced from.
As far as honey vs agave, while being similar in calories, agave is significantly lower than honey on the glycemic index, with a score of 17 for agave and a range of 60-74 for honey. Agave also contains some trace minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Is Honey Healthy?
Absolutely! Raw honey, consumed in moderation and from a reliable source is an unbeatable sweet treat. At The Bee Charmer, commitment to quality and properly sourced honey is a top priority.