With the New Year getting closer and closer (Thank goodness), lots of us are scrounging around for resolution ideas. Aside from obvious & 2020-specific ones, like— “Get to leave my house without a mask!” or “See family safely for the holidays!” many people also use this occasion to commit to investing in their own physical, mental, and spiritual health. One small way you can begin to invest in your own physical health this coming year is when you make your morning brew. Next time you stumble into the kitchen for a delicious and all-too-necessary cup of coffee, toss out that sugar or sugar alternative and add honey to your cup instead!
HONEY VS. SUGAR: SCIENCE SMACKDOWN
Let’s begin with the obvious: calories. Sugar indeed has fewer calories than honey. One tablespoon of honey has approximately 64 calories, while a tablespoon of granulated sugar has only approximately 49 calories. Not a drastic difference, but when you’re on a strict diet, every little bit counts. However, don’t count honey out yet—calories are the only department that sugar beats it in.
Moving on to nutritional density (this is where that sweet, sweet honey really shines)! A simple tablespoon of honey offers: vitamins B2 & B6, antioxidants like manganese, iron to support cardiovascular health, and antibacterial properties. These antibacterial properties are present because honey contains pollen—meaning that eating a little more honey may even help build up your body’s resistance to seasonal allergies. Beat that, sugar! (Spoiler alert: it can’t.)
Not to mention, honey is made of primarily glucose and fructose—basic sugars that the body burns off quicker than the complex disaccharides that make up table sugar. Any way you spin it, from a scientific standpoint, honey is the way to go when it comes to sweeteners.
TYPES OF HONEY
For the longest time, most folks thought the only kind of honey came in either a pastel pot (like Winnie the Pooh) or those bear-shaped bottles at the supermarket. While both of those containers are admittedly adorable, it’s essential to educate yourself on the many different varieties of honey. Here’s a quick introduction to becoming a honey connoisseur.
It also matters whether or not your honey is raw (unpasteurized) or pasteurized, organic or full of pesticides. If you want the best taste and the most health benefits out of your daily dose of honeyed coffee, it’s best to stick with raw, organic honey. Not to mention, purchasing raw, organic products often supports your own local bees, beekeepers, and environment! It’s a win, win, win!
A FINAL WORD
What are you waiting for? You’re a simple trip to a Farmer’s Market away from a perfectly sweetened morning cuppa that you don’t have to waste any time feeling guilty about. Take your time finding the perfect variety, or dive right in—the choice is yours.