Can You Use Honey to Sweeten Your Coffee? Sugar is the most popular sweetener used in coffee, but it is not the only one. People use different types of sweeteners in their coffee, including artificial and natural ones. An alternative sweetener that is sometimes mentioned, especially by tea drinkers and those looking for a healthier alternative to sugar, is honey. Sure, you can put honey in coffee, but should you? Here is a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using honey instead of sugar in coffee.
Is Honey a Healthier option than Sugar?
When considering the health effects of coffee sweeteners, there are two important factors: the amount of sugar introduced into your body and what your body can do with those sugars.
The first part of this question is somewhat complicated. You can measure the total amount of sugar you eat by thinking about calories used to measure energy in food. A comparison shows that honey has more sugar. A teaspoon of white sugar contains 16 calories, while the same amount of honey contains 23 calories.
At first glance, it may seem not very clear to think that honey contains more sugar than sugar. After all, isn’t sugar just pure sugar?
2. Types of Sugar
We commonly use refined white sugar, which is made with beetroot or brown sugar. The refining process converts it to sucrose, which is a combination of glucose and fructose.
So when you eat pure white sugar (or drink it in coffee), you are ingesting something your body can break down into sugar. Honey is composed of glucose and unrefined fructose, facilitating the digestion of the body.
That’s why when we compare the same amount of honey and white sugar, white sugar seems to be the healthiest option. But this is not the most useful comparison.
3. Which is Sweeter?
Since honey is made up of more basic sugars (fructose and glucose), it actually tastes much sweeter than white sugar. To get the same sweetening effect in coffee, you only need to add about 2/3 of the sugar amount. That’s why you might notice that tea drinkers throw three or four packets of sugar in a coffee shop, but other tea drinkers only take a little honey in a spoon to mix: those different amounts of the sweetener have the same effect.
This difference in sweetness means that you will be able to use less honey than you sugar, actually much less than actually consuming fewer calories.
4. Other Benefits
Honey also provides natural antioxidants and has antibacterial properties. These types of compounds are quite important for your health, and if you consume them regularly naturally, for example, through honey, you should not take artificial food supplements. Since honey is less processed than white sugar, it contains other trace nutrients with additional health benefits.
- Antibacterial properties
- Minerals (including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, chlorine, sodium, and sulfur)
- Vitamins (including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and C)
Honey Has More Calories – But Is the Better Choice?
Honey has more calories, but it is the best option. Honey technically has more calories than sugar. A teaspoon of honey has around 21 calories, while a teaspoon of white sugar contains around 16 calories. However, if you consume more calories using honey or sugar, it is not as clear as this comparison might seem.
There are other considerations to keep in mind that arise from the molecular differences between honey and sugar.
- Honey is mainly composed of glucose and fructose. Glucose, in particular, is a basic sugar that is easy to burn. Fructose does not burn faster and is more likely to turn into fat, but the body can still use it quite easily.
- White table sugar contains disaccharides, which are more complex sugars. Although the disaccharides present in sugar are broken down into glucose and fructose by the body, they take longer to process and do not burn immediately.
These molecular differences have three significant effects that influence how many calories are left in your body when you use honey or white sugar:
- The sugars in honey taste sweeter than white sugar, so you can use less honey than sugar to sweeten the coffee.
- Since sugars in honey are processed faster, they are less likely to turn into fats and stored in your body.
- The sugars in honey have a lower glycemic index than those of white sugar, which means that honey will have a lesser effect on blood glucose levels.
In summary, although honey has more calories than table sugar, sugars in honey are preferable to those of table sugar.
Health Benefits of Honey
- In addition to having a low glycemic index, honey contains many vitamins and minerals. Vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin C, B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and amino acids, while minerals include magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, sulfur, copper, iodine, zinc, and phosphorus.
- Honey is also an antioxidant. This means that it contains molecules that will inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. This helps prevent cell damage. Honey also acts as an antifungal and antibacterial agent!
- Honey is a simple carbohydrate and is a great way to get a boost of energy! Since it has a low glycemic index, honey in coffee puts you to work without falling over. Besides, it does not have the adverse side effects of commercial energy drinks.
- Honey can be used as a home remedy too. It can control digestive problems such as diarrhea, indigestion, and stomach ulcers. It can also be used as a medicine to treat persistent coughs!
How does Honey affect the Taste of Coffee?
Of course, health problems are not everything. We also want a coffee that tastes good.
This is one of those situations where everyone will have a slightly different opinion. While white sugar adds a little sweetness to your coffee, honey can add other flavors, some of which you might like and others that can make your coffee a little strange.
Different coffee beans grown in other regions have slightly different flavor profiles and various types of honey in the same way. These are the specific bees and, above all, the flowers the bees feed on. This is the reason, for example, clover honey tastes so different from tupelo honey.
Read more about How to Recover From Stomach Problems From Too Much Caffeine.
It is worth experimenting a little. You may find that adding honey to your favorite coffee leads to a strange combination of flavors, but try mixing your coffee or exploring new types of honey.
Honey can be a delicious and healthy sweetener for coffee. It is made up of essential sugars that are easy for your body to digest. Although it contains more calories, it is also sweeter than white sugar, so that you can use less of it. Besides, honey contains antioxidants and has antibacterial properties. If you can adapt to the difference in taste, you may find a new way to enjoy coffee, and it will be useful to know that you are choosing the healthiest option.