Artificial sweeteners such as sugar, be it white or brown, are usually the number one choice when it comes to sweetening our coffees. But, they are not the only choice.
There is a great natural and healthier alternative to sugar. Tea drinkers have been using it for centuries. Yes, you guessed correctly, it is honey.
This is something I learned from my father, who has always been very conscious about the type of sugars he eats. And yes, honey still has sugar in it, but it has mostly glucose and some fructose. The way your body reacts to glucose is completely different than it does to artificial sweeteners.
This does not mean that you should have excessive amount of glucose. Even though the chemical composition of glucose is different from that of sucrose (sugar), you still should not be abusing it.
So, can you put honey in your coffee? Why, of course you can, but should you?
At first look, on average a teaspoon of honey has around 30% more calories than sugar. However, the numbers are not so clear cut in this case. This is because the two sweeteners have completely different molecular compositions.
On one hand, as mentioned above, honey consists of glucose and fructose. The former is easily converted into energy and burnt by the body. Fructose, is a bit harder to digest, but it is still second best to glucose.
On the other hand, artificial sweeteners contain high levels of disaccharides. These complex sugars are very hard to convert into energy and be burnt by the body. The body needs to break down the disaccharides into glucose and fructose before it can make use of them as an energy source. This takes time, and so burning calories becomes harder.
Interestingly enough, honey is much sweeter than sugar, for example. So, realistically, you will use less honey to sweeten your coffee. This can easily bring the amount of calories to a close tie. Furthermore, honey’s sugars will be gone from your body before you know it. Not being able to stay long in your body, will not allow these sugars to turn into fat cells.
In addition, honey has a much lower glycemic index when compared to other sugars. This is good for the blood sugar, and it means that there won’t be an increase of blood levels of uric acid.
Manuka Honey Superfood
But, let’s not just count calories. Even though they are important, glucose and fructose is not all that honey brings to the table.
Not too long ago, beekeepers in New Zealand discovered manuka honey. This incredible natural product is now considered a superfood and it carries some amazing benefits with it:
1000 times higher antibacterial properties than any other honey or natural food, for that matter.
Incredible amount of minerals, such as iron, magnesium, phosphate, etc…
Amazing amount of vitamins such as, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and C.
Needless to say, artificial sweeteners do not offer any of the above. This list of best manuka honey brands also depicts some of the amazing qualities of this bee-made product.
Realistically, the only argument against putting honey in your coffee is that it will taste differently. The type of honey you put will also significantly change the taste of your coffee. Especially, if you decide to add a spoon of thick manuka honey to your cup.
I understand that health is not the number one concern when it comes to coffee. Many of us get addicted to the taste of coffee. And many of use love the way coffee tastes with half a teaspoon of brown sugar.
I do not want to take that feeling away from you. However, if you are looking for ways to reduce bad sugars, but you like your coffee to be sweet, try honey.