Can honey make you fat?

honey makes us fat

Honey can make us fat, if we eat too much. Especially, if we combine it with other refined carbs, such as white bread. On the other hand, honey is a better sweetener compared to table sugar, due to its antioxidant content.

How many calories does honey have?

Honey is a natural sweetener with lots of 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]

Also, honey has fewer calories compared to table sugar. 100g of honey has 300 calories. 100g of white sugar has 385 calories.

Certainly, honey can make us gain weight, if we consume too much! Honey can make it difficult for you to be in a caloric deficit.

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! You should consider the amount of sugar in processed products, as well. Most processed foods are packed with cheap sugars. So, it’s easy to overdose on sugar. Honey is also pure sugar.

What’s the Glycemic Index of honey?

Furthermore, 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.[2] On the contrary, the glycemic index of sugar is 60. Therefore, both sweeteners will rise blood sugar and insulin levels the same way.

Foods with high glycemic index tend to increase appetite. They keep us hungry all the time, making diet more difficult. Moreover, 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 much better sweetener than sugar.

Honey has antioxidants

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

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. Also, fruits and veggies have powerful anti-aging effects due to their high content of vitamin C!

Above all, high doses of sugar can increase free radicals in the body, leading to chronic diseases and obesity.[5] 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.

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 with table sugar, honey can help us consume fewer calories.[6,7]

But, 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 honey 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!

Highly processed honey is bad for weight loss!

Finally, you better prefer only raw, unprocessed honey. Commercial honey may be mixed with cheap sugars. Above all, it’s a highly processed product in which most healthy compounds have been destroyed by heat.

Honey makes us gain weight when we eat it with refined carbs

Certainly, a breakfast high in refined carbs and sugars can make us gain weight. Above all, we should avoid consuming honey with white bread. Actually, white bread has a pretty high glycemic index of 70. Even higher than honey or sugar! So, you better eat honey with whole-wheat bread. Fiber and protein in bread can keep you full for hours.