scottish heather honey in a field

Honey vs Sugar



Honey and Sugar are the most popular sweeteners for both food and drinks. The sugar market has a whole range of alternatives; aspartame and corn syrup, raw sugar, coconut sugar an processed sugar capsules all occupy different areas, but honey and sugar are by far the most popular.  There are many similarities between the two, yet notable differences.

Please note, this only relates to PURE honey. The benefits of honey depends hugely on the brand and how many additives and filtration systems the honey has been through. See our blog on pure honey here.


Similarities between Sugar and Honey

Both sugar and honey are sweet, high in carbohydrates and calories and easily dissolvable in liquids. They are made up of the same main two ingredients (although honey has others as well). They are both natural and should be taken in moderation. So what sets these two apart?


Differences between Sugar and Honey


Sweetness and Calories

Honey is actually sweeter than sugar. It has more calories per gram than sugar - but don’t be fooled, this doesn’t mean it’s worse for you. It is the content of those calories that matters the most. Sugar (refined sugar) is completely made up of sucrose, half being crustose and half being glucose. Honey is only 30% glucose and 40% fructose, with the remaining 30% being made up of nutrients, water and pollen, which refined sugar does not have. The lower levels of fructose means the body absorbs it slower than it does with sugar, so there is less of a sudden spike in sugar levels in the blood, easier on the body.

Antibacterial, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant

Honey has always been known for it’s heath benefits. We have a full article on the benefits of our heather honey here.

Recently, a study (Aug 2020) at Oxford University showed that honey is better than most over the counter medicines for curing coughs and colds - check out our post on this study here, and a link to the research here.

Sugar has none of these health benefits and is actually associated with increased inflammation and slowly down recovery from illness.

Helps your seasonal allergies

Honey is great for those with seasonal allergies, and works in a way that is similar to getting allergy shots at the doctor. Eating local honey helps you become less sensitive to the pollen in the area. Saying this, all studies on the subject have come back inconclusive, but it is a widely believed to work. Sugar however does not have this same effect.

Vitamins and minerals

Honey also contains more more vitamins and minerals, including around 1% of your daily dose of Vitamin C, Folate and Vitamin B5, Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, iron, and Manganese - an essential ingredient the body. Needs to work correctly. We recently learnt our heather honey had 10X more manganese than any other honey in the world, making it a global rival to Manuka. Check out our blog here.


Comparing the two there are clearly many more benefits to honey than there are to sugar. Why not check out our delicious range of honeys here?



So fascinating, why use sugar when your honey tastes so good 😋

Ben Scott
Ben Scott


Sarah Howie
Sarah Howie

There is nothing like a spoonful of Scottish Bee Company Honey on your porridge in the morning- tastes fab 🌞

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