Sugar is Sugar, Honey is Not More Healthful
by Gabe Mirkin, M.D.
as your body is concerned, there is no difference between honey and table sugar.
Honey contains two simple sugars called glucose and fructose. Table sugar has the
same two sugars, only they are bound together to form a double sugar called
sucrose. In your body, they end up in exactly the same way. Once sucrose, the
double sugar, reaches your intestine, it is broken down into the single sugars glucose
and fructose.

Honey and table sugar are processed in the same way by your body, and honey
cannot be a quicker source of energy. An advertisement for honey claims that
"ounce for ounce, honey has fewer calories than refined sugar." This is true but
deceptive because honey contains water which has no calories and refined sugar
does not. A tablespoon of table sugar has 64 calories while a tablespoon of honey
contains water so that it has only 46, but they are both equally fattening. You add
sweeteners by taste, not by careful measurement, and you will use the same
number of calories to obtain the same sweetness using either sugar or honey.

It's ridiculous to claim that honey is an excellent source of minerals such as iron and
calcium, while sugar is not. To meet your needs for iron, you would have to take in
10 cups of honey a day, and for calcium, you would have to take in 40 cups.

By the same reasoning, your body handles white granulated table sugar in the same
way that it processes brown sugar, turbinado sugar, maple syrup, fructose, and all
other sugars. Brown sugar is slightly less refined than white sugar, but the difference
has no nutritional significance. It makes no difference to your body whether
extracted sugar comes from beets, sugar cane, honey, apples or grapes, or maple
trees. If you are a diabetic, or store fat primarily in your belly, have high blood
triglyceride levels, have a very low blood levels of the good HDL cholesterol that
prevents heart attacks, or are trying to lose weight, you should avoid all refined
carbohydrates, and that includes all sugars that have been extracted from any

About The Author

Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician
for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports
medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports at
.  .
Many health writers make the topic
of sugar so complicated that nobody
can understand it. It's very simple.
Sugar is sugar is sugar. Your body
treats the sugar in an apple the same
way that it treats all other sources of
sugar. The difference is that an apple
also contains fiber that slows the rise
of blood sugar after you eat it.

Some people believe that honey is
more healthful than sugar. They tell
us that honey is a quicker source of
energy and a richer source of
minerals, and is less fattening. All of
these clams are nonsensical. As far
Copyright ©
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
this website is for educational purposes only.  Please consult with your physician before using natural
remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise
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