How is honey healthier than table sugar?

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Natalie Castro-Romero, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Honey is not much healthier than sugar. Basically, you are still using sugar if you have switched to honey. Honey contains 40% sucrose (table sugar) and 60% fructose (fruit sugar).

Sugar is a natural food. It comes from sugarcane or sugar beets. It is considered an empty calorie, since it contains no vitamins or minerals. Some advocates of honey claim that honey has vitamins and minerals. Honey does contain some nutrients, but one tablespoon of honey provides less than 1/100 of your recommended dietary allowances (RDA) of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, calcium and iron. This is not a significant nutrient contribution to your diet, and honey adds calories along with those trace amounts of nutrients.
Kate Geagan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Honey is significantly sweeter than table sugar (about 25% sweeter), meaning you’re satisfied with less. This can shave calories off of your morning cup of tea, your oatmeal (just add a drizzle), or even the amount of sweetener you need in a recipe when baking.

Another plus? Honey has long been loved by athletes as a source of a lower glycemic carbohydrate, which means it enters your bloodstream more slowly than other refined sugars, giving you sustained energy to power your performance. In ancient Greece, athletes feasted on honey and figs prior to the Olympic competitions; today, my colleague, a sports nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals, has her pro ball players eat honey sandwiches (with all-natural peanut butter and whole wheat bread) for sustained energy prior to a game.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.