Honey and Sugar Content

Honey is usually regarded as a natural, healthier sweetener. But you will be disappointed that honey has minor nutritional advantages.  Though I previously discussed the health benefits of honey, not the nutritional aspects. For years, honey has been a traditional sweetener, even before the discovery of extraction and refining of sugar beet and sugarcane.

Honey is an attractive sweetener like maple syrup, agave, and molasses. Therefore, you can regard it as sugar especially for those with diabetes or on a weight loss diet. Just like sugar, honey can also contribute to tooth decay.

Honey and Sugar Content

Have you ever thought of how much sugar honey contains?

Honey and sugar content, honey and sugar benefits, or honey and sugar calories? These are questions that would have crossed your mind in one form or the other.

Honey does have a lot of sugar content.

So, how much sugar does honey have?

Sugar contains 100% sucrose, while honey contains 75% of sugar (40% fructose 30% glucose). While the other 20% – 25% is water with traces of fat, fiber, and protein. So naturally, honey has fewer sugars or calories compared to white or brown sugar weight by weight.

Comparing honey and sugar calories; 100g of white sugar has 406 calories while 100g of Honey has 334 calories.

What are the nutritional benefits of honey if taken as a sweetener?

As discussed earlier, honey is used as sweetener before sugar cane, and sugar beet refining was discovered. Regards diabetics and weight gain it is important to know if it has less or more sugar content compare to white Sugar.

How We Consume Honey and Benefits

Does honey have nutritional benefits?

Most of us consume honey using a tablespoon or teaspoon. Only a few people eat it by weight. So consuming honey measure for measure (tablespoon or teaspoon), honey contains more calories than white sugar because honey is denser. One tablespoon of sugar weighs 16 grams, while one tablespoon of honey is 28g. Almost double, so if you decide to eat honey instead of sugar, measure for measure, one tablespoon of honey has more sugar or calories than white or brown sugar.

However, when eaten weight for weight, 100g of sugar has more cal to 100 g of honey. So honey is regarded as a high carbohydrate food but has a moderate to low GI value.

What is honey GI VALUE?

GI is known as a glycemic index which is the classification of carbohydrate level in foods based on how they affect blood glucose level. The more the GI, the faster it is for carbohydrates to digest and absorb into the body and faster in rise of blood glucose level. The lower it is, the slower it becomes for carbohydrates to digest and get absorbed and slower in rise of blood glucose, i.e. insulin level.

The GI level of commercial honey is between 45 and 64, while sugar (brown and white) is at 65. However the floral honey (Raw honey) gotten from plants have lower GI to both the commercial honey and sugar (brown and white). Which means, the floral honey cannot cause a rise in blood sugar levels quickly. This means people with diabetes can consume it. However, in moderation because a tablespoon of honey has more calories than tablespoon of sugar as explained earlier.

So if you are thinking of honey and sugar benefit, or honey and calorie benefit, there is no real benefit by replacing sugar for honey in your food because both of them will eventually raise the blood sugar levels. One might just be slower than the other might.

Despite the minimal refining and being natural, honey, is not superior to Sugar. But floral honey like Manuka, Ironbark, and Yellow Box have lower GI which slows digestion rate and causes a slow rise of blood sugar.

The pure or flora honey also has antibacterial qualities, which makes them more beneficial. So if you prefer taking honey instead of sugar try taking floral or raw honey. It contains some enzymes, vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants than white sugar. Nevertheless, consume in moderation.

Don’t forget that honey has minor nutritional benefits, very negligible.

By now, I believe you should be enlightened about “Honey and sugar content, honey and sugar benefits, or honey and sugar calories.”

Generally, you should always remember that honey is a form of sugar — something we use to enhance our food like smoothies, bread, and tea among others. Personally, I prefer raw honey to commercially blended supermarket ones.


Written & Edited by: Mr. Adegbenro Tajudeen.

Entomologist, MyAgricWorld Agribusiness Consulting Firm

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