Raw Honey vs Sugar
Most articles comparing raw honey vs sugar will point to differences in either macronutrients or micronutrients. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are the macronutrients you receive from food, while micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and various other compounds that foods provide in varying quantities. Below, we compare raw honey to sugar through both a macronutrient and micronutrient lens - and declare one the more nutritionally superior.
A thorough comparison of honey and sugar requires data. We’ll look at the nutrition facts of each (sourced via nutritiondata.self.com) side by side.
Macronutrient Result: Push. Both raw honey and sugar are very similar from a macronutrient perspective.
Vitamins & Minerals
The amount of vitamins and minerals in raw honey should lead you to the conclusion that raw honey shouldn’t be viewed as your multivitamin replacement, but where sugar offers no vitamin or mineral content, raw honey does.
Antioxidants & Enzymes
Sugar has very minimal antioxidant activity and contains no enzymes. So below we'll focus specifically on the antioxidant properties and enzymes often found in raw honey...
- Diastase speeds up the process of transforming starches into maltose and, ultimately, glucose. With a lack of diastase in your system, you might suffer from partial digestion, which can prohibit your body from extracting all the nutritional value out of consumed food and leave you feeling bloated. As you age, the body begins to slow the natural production of enzymes, therefore the elderly and people who consume a lot of processed foods can greatly benefit from a bump in the amount of diastase in their diet.
- Invertase assists in the breakdown of sucrose (table sugar) into its components of glucose and fructose. Invertase is critical to the prevention of toxic fermentation, ulcers, and other digestive diseases by reducing the stomach toxicity by quickly creating pre-digested simple sugars from sucrose which prevents the fermentation process from occurring. Fermentation in your stomach can often result in the fostering of bacteria and disease in the digestive tract.
- Glucose oxidase assists in the breakdown of glucose into hydrogen peroxide and gluconolactone. The production of hydrogen peroxide within the body is critical, as hydrogen peroxide is often the first weapon the white blood cells (immune system) in your body will deploy to fight parasite, bacteria, toxins, and viruses.
Micronutrient Result: Raw honey. Raw honey simply has more micronutrient activity than sugar.
Similar from a macronutrient point of view, but quite different when viewed through a micronutrient lens, we believe that the health benefits of raw honey prove it to be a much superior sweetener than sugar. Not to be confused with much of the highly processed honey you’ll find in a large grocery store, honey should be raw to ensure its powerful micronutrients are preserved.
Finally, while artificial sweeteners offer the lowest calorie option to satiate a sweet tooth; they have been linked with potential side effects, so tread cautiously when considering a zero calorie substitute.