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Is Honey More Healthful than Sugar?

Have you heard that honey is better than sugar because it's a quicker source of energy, a richer source of minerals and less fattening? Honey and table sugar are similar. Both contain two simple sugars called glucose and fructose.

Table sugar has its sugar bound into one molecule, but it is split immediately in your intestine to two single sugars. Since honey and table sugar are processed the same way, honey is not a quicker source of energy.

Ounce for ounce, honey does have fewer calories than sugar, but honey contains water which has no calories and refined sugar does not, so a tablespoon of table sugar has 64 calories while a tablespoon of honey contains water so it has only 46 calories. To obtain the same amount of sweetness, you need the same amount of calories, so they are equally fattening. Honey does contain iron and calcium while table sugar does not, but to meet your needs for iron, you would have to eat 10 cups of honey a day, and for calcium, you would have to eat 40 cups.

More on honey

Checked 3/3/13

June 2nd, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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