Honey vs. Table sugar

Sucrose (table sugar) consists of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule together. Honey is almost identical to sucrose in a chemical perspective because honey also contains glucose and fructose molecules in almost equal amounts. Enzymes in bees stomachs separate some of the glucose and fructose molecules which results in honey looking and tasting a little bit different than sucrose. Bees store honey in combs and fan it with their wings to reduce moisture content which also alters the appearance and texture of honey.

Honey doesn’t contain any more nutrients than sucrose so it is not a healthier alternative to table sugar. Also, per tablespoon, honey actually has more calories than sugar because the crystals in table sugar take up more space on a spoon than honey, so a tablespoon contains less sugar. Some people argue that honey tastes sweeter so you use less than you would sugar, but that is your opinion.

Honey also may contain bacteria that can cause fatal food poisoning in infants. The more mature the digestive system of older children and adults is, the more immune to the effects of these bacteria you are. This is why babies younger than 12 months should never be given honey.

Neither of these contain many nutrients that are important for health which is why highly sweetened products are known as “empty calories.” This is important to realize when choosing the foods that you eat because you want to get all the nutrients you need for the day in before thinking about discretionary calories.


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