Is honey healthier than sugar (or brown sugar)?

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Sugar alternatives are in, and ‘natural’ products are becoming increasingly popular. That’s why many people are turning to golden bee honey. But is it better than household sugar?

In our society, we can’t avoid sugar. It is omnipresent and is even found in many baby food products.

Sweet seduction
Focus Gesundheit Arztsuche reports that in the 7955 products examined in Budapest, Haifa, Sofia and Vienna, around a third of the calories came from added sugar, fruit juice concentrates or other sweeteners.

If the taste buds of babies under six months are already accustomed to the rewarding sweetness, the urge for sweetness later in life is no surprise. This is because “the human body reacts to sugar by releasing dopamine, which triggers our body’s reward system,” as Deutschlandfunk Nova reports.

Sugar vs. honey
But let’s get back to honey. It has a better reputation than white household sugar because it is, after all, more “natural.” According to Utopia, however, a distinction must be made here.

If you look at the composition of the various sweetening options, it becomes clear:

In terms of the type of sugar we ingest, there is no difference between beet sugar, cane sugar and honey.
Honey comprises almost 80 percent fructose and glucose; the rest is water. The chemistry school explains that normal, white sugar consists of the disaccharide sucrose, which is obtained from sugar beet, sugar cane and sugar palm, among others. This sugar also contains fructose and glucose, hence the double sugar.

In terms of composition, honey is, therefore, not significantly different from household sugar. According to Ökotest, it does contain minerals, proteins, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and presumably antioxidant secondary plant substances, but in small quantities.

Is brown sugar better?
And what about brown sugar? The sobering answer is that it performs worse on the ecological balance sheet. This is because it is obtained from sugar cane, which only grows in tropical regions. This means longer transport routes, environmentally harmful fertilizers and resource-intensive processing.

Unfortunately, the bottom line is that sugar and honey are converted in the body similarly, i.e., broken down into fructose and glucose. This is more a matter of personal preference than a health issue.

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