Healthy Living

Honey As Coffee Sweetener: A Healthy Idea?

Honey is used in place of sugar to cut down calories and to replace artificial sweeteners with this natural substitute. Many people like the thickness and flavor honey adds to their tea or coffee drink. Ultimately, it depends on individuals' taste and food-related goals.  

Though honey enjoys a reputation of being healthier than sugar, it is not considered a superfood because, scientifically speaking, it is not an alternative to regular sugar. While both contain glucose and fructose, sugar provides zero nutrition except for carbohydrates, whereas honey has trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. 

The differences between sugar and honey are subtle. For instance, honey has more fructose than glucose. Hence it is sweeter than sugar and smaller quantities can be added, which does not compromise on the sweetness. The choice is up to each person. Here are a few important factors to ponder over while choosing honey to sweeten your morning coffee. 

Trace Amount of Nutrients

Honey is filled with dietary antioxidant flavonoids. However, only trace amounts of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins B and C are derived from honey. The antioxidants could help reduce the spread of free radicals and inflammation. For this reason, it may seem to provide many nutritional benefits as it is touted by many health-conscious individuals. In reality, this is to a very limited degree. 

Raw honey also has trace amounts of pollen and it can bring down allergies, and has a positive impact on immunity. Compared to sugar that has zero fats and proteins, honey is slightly more nutritious but the significance is very little. 

More Calories

One teaspoon of honey contains 22 calories, whereas one teaspoon of sugar contains 16 calories. Smaller proportions of honey are advised to be consumed since it could end up in diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Honey has bacterial spores that lead to botulism among infants, hence it has to be kept away from children. 

Added sugars should not exceed 5 percent of the daily calorie intake. Hence the amount of honey added to coffee should be watched since people tend to drink many cups everyday. 

The bottomline is that restraint has to be exercised by using only half a teaspoon of honey to prevent the many potential health risks.

Honey Chinese ethnic Lisu honey hunters cut fresh beehives after gathering wild cliff honey in a gorge on May 31, 2019 near Mangshi, in Dehong prefecture, Yunnan province China. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

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