More and more people are using honey as a sugar substitute. After all, refined sugar is considered a completely unhealthy fattening food. But is the sweet, natural gold healthier than ordinary table sugar? We have with the expert Dr. Malte Rubach spoke. He is a nutritionist, speaker, and author.
Honey as a sugar substitute – that’s in it
According to the German Beekeepers Association, there are around 180 ingredients in honey, including minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C, B1, B2, and K – but only to a very small extent. Only vitamin K is worth mentioning, according to nutritionist Dr. Malte Rubach. “100 grams of honey contain at least 40 percent of the recommended daily dose,” says the expert. However, nobody eats that much honey, so honey is simply not a major source of vitamin absorption. “More interesting, however, is the salicylic acid it contains, which is known from medicines for headaches, mild irritation, and inflammation. It originally comes from the flowers and also serves as a defense substance for the plants. Although the content is significantly lower than in medicines, salicylic acid in honey has a preservative effect and honey also owes its use in natural medicine to it.”
Is honey healthier than sugar?
Honey is more diverse in terms of the chemical composition of sugars. “Bloom honey contains around 40 percent fructose and 35 percent glucose in pure form,” explains Rubach. Glucose gets into the blood quickly, but fructose a little more slowly. As a result, the blood sugar level does not rise too quickly. “Otherwise, honey contains several ingredients that come from the bee and the flower. A few minerals, trace elements, and vitamins are also included. Aside from the calories, you could say it’s a bit more nutritious than pure sugar,” says the expert. So honey is healthier than sugar. But one cannot speak of healthy food here either.
Is honey a suitable sugar substitute for diabetics?
If honey does not raise blood sugar levels that quickly, the question arises as to whether it will be tolerated by diabetics. The clear answer: is no. After all, sweet gold consists of 80 percent sugar. Due to the high fructose content, the glycemic index is not as high as with normal sugar, but still high enough to pose a risk for diabetics.
Can you lose weight with honey?
“Honey is no more or less caloric than any other sugar,” says Rubach. The calorie count? 330 calories per 100 grams. If you want to lose weight, you may fall into the sugar or calorie trap if you eat honey as a sugar substitute. “Compared to household sugar, honey can only be used as a natural sugar substitute, but you can’t save calories that way,” says the expert.
You do not have to do without honey completely during a diet, but it is better to cover your nutritional requirements with fruit or vegetables. After all, honey is a luxury food – just like various sweets. Anyone who automatically sweetens their tea with honey should perhaps reconsider and change this habit. The only plus point on this subject is: Honey has a higher sweetening power. Less honey is needed for the same degree of sweetness.
Which types of honey are best for health?
Is there any type of honey that benefits our health more than others? Not really. Nevertheless, you should pay attention to detail when buying. “It mainly comes down to natural origin,” says Rubach. There is now also honey, with which the bees are previously fed with sugary solutions instead of the flower nectar of nature. “That makes a difference. Therefore, it is best to buy from a trusted regional beekeeper and always pay attention to the official “blossom honey” declaration,” says the expert. Good honey isn’t always in there where there’s a nice bee on the package.
The typical taste of honey does not go with everything
Unfortunately, due to its characteristic aroma, honey does not go well with all dishes and dishes. Honey goes best with yogurt, muesli, or tea. Table sugar is better for a neutral sweetness. baking with honey? Quite possible. But only if you follow a few rules. Because when preparing cakes or desserts, you cannot replace sugar one-to-one with a natural product. Sugar just creates more bulk. And you need that when baking. Honey contains up to 20 percent water, so you should reduce the amount of liquid (2-3 tablespoons less) and the total baking time accordingly with honey. Additional tip: If you want to use honey in hot dishes, you should only add it at the end of the cooking process.