Whilst growing up, I recall being very conscious of my sugar consumption. This was majorly because of a relative that was at that time battling diabetes. It seemed very scary to me as a little child, so much so that I stayed away from sugar as best as I could and stuck to using honey. My dad has always been a fan of honey, so I never ran out of honey and in fact my parents admired me for trying to eat healthy as most children just loved sugar. It was so serious that I would use honey for my tea, pap, and even garri.
It has been many years and of course I am wiser now. I now understand that it is not the sugar itself that is unhealthy but excessive consumption of sugar. I recently stumbled on an article comparing honey to sugar and I asked myself: Is honey truly healthier than sugar?
Here’s what I found out:
Actually honey contains the same basic units as normal table sugar: they both contain glucose and fructose. While in table sugar, the glucose and fructose are hooked together, in honey they stand as individual components. And since glucose converts to energy more efficiently than fructose, it is easier for table sugar to convert to fat stores than honey.
Honey is actually still sugar. Despite the differences in the chemical composition of honey and sugar, it is important to note that the body still reacts to honey in the same way as it does to sugar – both resulting in a spike in blood sugar, leading to production of more insulin. This eventually leads the body to store fat and gain weight.
So whether it is honey or sugar, excessive consumption is unhealthy as it can lead to obesity and diverse manner of diseases.
There is a general misconception that honey is “healthier” than sugar. I beg to disagree. Although a spoonful of honey contains some minerals absent in table sugar and is actually sweeter than a spoonful of table sugar, it contains more calories and it can also lead to teeth decay, obesity and other sugar related diseases if not taken in moderation.
Conclusively, honey is also sugar and is also capable of doing us harm if taken excessively. Hence, I would conclude by saying: whether you opt for honey or sugar, MODERATION IS KEY!