Honey or sugar for weight loss?

1 tbsp of honey at breakfast is beneficial for weight loss. Honey is a better sweetener as compared to sugar for weight loss, as it:

  • has fewer calories
  • improves the antioxidant status of the body
  • regulates appetite

Honey has fewer calories than sugar!

Honey is a natural sweetener with many calories. A tbsp of honey has 64 calories. All calories come from sugars! Actually, 82% of honey is sugar. The rest is water. Actually, honey has no protein or fat. Moreover, honey has only traces of minerals or vitamins.[1]

Actually, honey has fewer calories as compared to table sugar. Honey has 300 calories, whereas white sugar has 385 calories per 100g. Honey has 22% fewer calories than sugar!

Certainly, honey can make us gain weight if we consume too much! On the other hand, limiting to 1-2 tbsp of honey a day won’t make you fat. But, this should be the only amount of sugar you’ll consume in a day!

What’s the Glycemic Index of honey & sugar?

Honey contains glucose and fructose. Table sugar is 100% sucrose.

The Glycemic index of honey varies significantly, depending on the variety, the processing methods, and the percentage of fructose. As a rule of thumb, the glycemic index of honey is about 58. On the contrary, the glycemic index of sugar is 60. Therefore, both sweeteners will rise blood sugar and insulin levels the same way.[2]

Foods with high glycemic index tend to increase appetite. They keep us hungry all the time, making it difficult to follow a hypocaloric diet for a long time. High glycemic index diets have been associated with increased fat mass and insulin resistance.[3]

Honey or sugar for weight loss?

Both honey and table sugar are high in calories, have almost the same glycemic index, and above all, they’re poor in vitamins and minerals. But, honey is a healthier sweetener than sugar.

Honey has antioxidants

First, honey has a high antioxidant content. Honey has polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids, and antioxidant enzymes, such as glucose oxidase, and catalase. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body. Too many free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which is a common reason for obesity.[4]

Certainly, we shouldn’t depend on honey for antioxidants. Actually, fruits and vegetables are the best dietary sources of antioxidants. We should eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day in order to lose weight.

Above all, high doses of sugar can increase free radicals in the body, leading to chronic diseases and obesity. Actually, high doses of all types of sugars can make us fat. We should limit the consumption of table sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, and even honey to the minimum.[5]

Honey may decrease appetite compared to table sugar

Additionally, honey won’t affect our body weight, as much as table sugar because it regulates appetite hormones! In comparison to table sugar, honey can help us consume fewer calories.[6,7]

Although honey contains negligible amounts of fiber, it has prebiotic properties, as it contains oligosaccharides. These compounds can delay gastric emptying, slow digestion rate, and prolong satiety! Also, it affects the secretion of appetite-regulating hormones, such as ghrelin and peptide YY3-36.[8]

Furthermore, honey is particularly rich in polyphenols, which prevent weight gain by reducing energy intake. Also, they help burn belly fat.

What’s the best time to eat honey or sugar for weight loss?

The best time to eat honey or sugar for weight loss is at breakfast or after/before exercise. At that time, the body has increased insulin sensitivity! It stores more sugar as muscle glycogen.

In fact, one of the best beverages for athletes is green tea with honey and lemon juice.

So, 1 tbsp of honey with 1–2 slices of whole wheat bread at breakfast is beneficial for weight loss.

But, you should avoid consuming honey with white bread. Actually, white bread has a pretty high glycemic index of 70. Honey and sugar have a lower glycemic index!

You could benefit from consuming reasonable amounts of high-quality honey, as part of a well-balanced diet. You’ll find a wide variety of organic honey brands on iHerb.

Which are the best & worst sweeteners for weight loss?

Certainly, you could prefer other sweeteners with zero calories to lose body weight. For instance, stevia can help you lose weight, as it has no calories, and it’s much sweetener than table sugar or honey!

Above all, you should avoid sweeteners high in fructose, such as agave, or honeys high in fructose. These sweeteners aren’t good for weight loss, despite their low glycemic index. Fructose has to be metabolized in the liver. High fructose doses put tremendous stress on the liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease!

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