Most people have a sweet tooth—a little itch that compels them to turn every snack into a mini dessert. For some, eating sweets becomes so automatic that they don’t even think about the amount of sugar they add to their tea, breakfast cereal, or grapefruit. For those seeking a healthier alternative, there are legitimate reasons why honey is healthier than sugar.
Honey Has Essential Vitamins
In the interest of full transparency, it would only be fair to say that honey is not the healthiest food on the planet. Much like sugar, honey is high in calories and is best in small doses. If you are at risk for diabetes, heart disease, or obesity, it’s best to limit your intake of both honey and sugar.
However, when it comes to vitamin content, honey is far and away the superior choice. Honey is an excellent source of vitamins B and C, which help to form red blood cells, maintain the central nervous system, and promote healthy teeth and gums. Sugar has small amounts of B vitamins, but this sweetener will mostly just fill you with empty calories.
Honey Has Antimicrobial Properties
One primary reason why honey is healthier than sugar is that the sticky liquid has spectacular medicinal applications. Raw honey is a known antimicrobial, meaning it can fight the microbes that cause viral infections such as influenza and measles.
There is still some uncertainty about why honey is so effective as an antimicrobial, but it could have something to do with its hydrogen peroxide content. Its sugar content, as well, may stop the growth of certain bacteria.
You can actually apply honey directly to a wound to lessen its infection, but you can also ingest it to help quell internal infections. Sugar does not have any of these antimicrobial properties. Aside from satisfying a craving, there is little benefit to eating sugar.
Less Is More
Honey is quite a bit sweeter than sugar, so when you pour your tea and need to decide between honey or sugar, just know that you can use less honey than sugar to get roughly the same amount of sweetness. Less honey means fewer calories, which will help you stay healthy in the long run.