Honey VS Sugar VS Jaggery: Which is Better for Your Health?

a bowl of honey and bananas

Honey VS Sugar VS Jaggery

Do you use honey or sugar or jaggery when you make a cup of hot tea? Although they can sweeten your drink, their nutritional benefits are different. Both honey and sugar are carbohydrates that are mostly made up of glucose and fructose. They're found in a variety of packaged goods and dishes. If used excessively, both can lead to weight gain. 

Although honey's reputation for being healthy has some merit, it is not regarded as a healthy food. So, which sweetener is better for you? 

The fundamentals of honey 

Bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers. The colour of this thick substance, which can range from pale yellow to dark brown, is commonly taken in liquid form. Water and two sugars, fructose and glucose, make up the majority of honey. There are also trace levels of: 

  • amino acids enzymes 
  • Vitamins B, C, and E, as well as minerals and antioxidants 

Flavonoids make up a large portion of the antioxidants contained in honey. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory qualities, which could be beneficial to your health. 

Honey's nutritional profile differs depending on where it comes from. Honey comes in over 300 different kinds, including: 

  • Tupelo 
  • golden 
  • blossom 
  • eucalyptus 
  • alfalfa 
  • wildflower 

Honey is available in a variety of colours and flavours.. Buckwheat honey, for example, is popular dark honey with a malty flavour. Fireweed honey is a light variety with a tea-like flavour and a virtually translucent tint. Any form of honey can raise blood sugar levels and blood pressure, regardless of which variety you favour. 

What are honey's advantages? 

Honey has a higher fructose content than glucose. Because fructose is sweeter than glucose, you may be able to use less honey without sacrificing sweetness in your food or drink. Honey's trace levels of vitamins and minerals may provide additional health benefits. These sums, however, are insignificant. 

Local pollen is found in trace levels in raw, unpasteurized honey, which may assist to desensitise allergic reactions. 

Honey has a number of other health advantages: 

  • It can aid in the healing of wounds and small burns when applied as a salve in gel form. 
  • It may aid in the relief of coughing and sore throats. 
  • Honey, on the whole, undergoes less processing than sugar. 
  • Only pasteurization is required to make it table-ready. 
  • Honey can be eaten raw as well. 

Honey has slightly more calories per teaspoon than sucrose, at roughly 22 calories per teaspoon. It is mostly made up of sugar and should be used in moderation. This is especially true if you have diabetes, heart disease, or obesity as a health problem. Honey may be harmful to infants under the age of one year. This is due to the presence of bacterial spores that might cause botulism in children. Honey's stickiness may also make it a messy option for families with small children. 

Sugar fundamentals 

Sugar is made up of two sugars: glucose and fructose, which combine to make sucrose. There are no vitamins or nutrients added to it. Sugar comes from sugar beet and sugar cane plants and is a calorie-dense carbohydrate. Before it becomes the refined, granulated table sugar we use most regularly, it goes through several steps of processing. 

White, brown, and raw sugar are the most regularly used forms of sugar among the numerous available. Brown sugar is made out of white sugar and molasses, and it may include trace nutrients. It's mostly used in baking. Stevia is a healthy and natural sugar substitute.

Raw sugar is a form of white sugar that has been left undefined. It's light brown in colour and has bigger crystals in it. In terms of nutrients, raw sugar is identical to white sugar. Powdered, turbinado and muscovado sugar are examples of other sugars. 

What are the advantages of sugar consumption?

Sugar, as a carbohydrate, has the potential to provide quick energy. To function properly, your brain requires 130 grams of glucose every day. This naturally occurring chemical is similarly low in calories, providing only about 16 calories per teaspoon. White sugar lasts a long time and is simple to work in baking and cooking. Sugar is often inexpensive and readily available. 

Are there any drawbacks to sugar cravings? 

Consuming too much sugar raises your chances of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Sugar is found in a lot of processed goods, so you can be eating more than you realise. Obesity and weight gain may result as a result of this. 

Sugar consumption should be monitored by diabetics because it might cause blood sugar levels to rise. Sugar can deliver a fast burst of energy followed by a sharp loss in energy if ingested in quantities greater than your body requires. 

Jaggery fundamentals

What exactly is jaggery? 

Jaggery is an unprocessed sugar that is created by heating sugar cane extract until it hardens. It's then powdered and sold as sugar, shaped into patties or split into blocks.

Jaggery has the greatest nutritional density of all of the options we've looked at so far. Here's a short rundown of what each 100 gm contains:

  1. 4 grams of protein
  2. 1 gram of fat
  3. Iron: 11 mg, or 61% of the recommended daily intake.
  4. Magnesium: 100–150 mg, or around 30% of the RDI
  5. Potassium: 1050 milligrams, or 30% of the recommended daily intake.
  6. Manganese: 2–0.5 mg, or 10%–20% of the RDI

Jaggery isn’t any better than sugar as When ingested in the same quantity, it induces a comparable insulin increase.

Take Away 

The flavours and textures of these three commonly used sweeteners are vastly different. You might prefer the tenderness of honey on your morning toast over the molasses flavour and moisture of brown sugar in baking. Experiment with each while keeping track of how much you use to see which is best for you. 

Although honey has a better reputation, all three honey, jaggery and sugar can be harmful to your health if consumed in excess. All added sugars should be consumed in small amounts. If you have diabetes or heart disease, or if you're worried about losing weight, talk to a doctor or a nutritionist about your nutritional requirements. They can collaborate with you to come up with the ideal dietary strategy for you.