Honey In Coffee: Benefits and Drawbacks
Making coffee is always the first thing that many of us do every other day. And everyone seems to have a specific way that they prefer to take coffee whether it is black, with milk or with some sweeteners.
When it comes to sweetening coffee, there is a myriad of options available, but a majority of coffee lovers will either go for honey or sugar. While the benefits and drawbacks of sugar seem obvious to most coffee aficionados, the same cannot be said of honey.
There seems to be a consensus that honey is a healthier alternative to sugar, but things are not always that straightforward. Hence, before you decide that honey is your new favorite coffee sweetener, it is a wise idea to first understand the pros and cons.
Benefits of Honey as a Coffee Sweetener
Honey has been in use for different purposes from making food to medicine since ancient times, and it is one of the most sought after natural products. Some benefits associated with using it to sweeten your coffee and other beverages include the following.
1. Higher Nutritional Value
When compared to other highly processed sweeteners like sugar, honey has a relatively higher nutritional value which should explain why most people consider it a healthier alternative to sugar.
Pure natural honey will contain antioxidants, minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and C, and it also has several amino acids and enzymes that are beneficial to your overall health. If the honey is not highly processed, it will have significant antibacterial properties.
2. It Has Simple Sugars that Provide Sustained Energy
Besides making your coffee sweeter, adding honey to your cup of java can also give you that much-needed energy boost you need to face the day ahead. Unlike regular refined sugar, honey will contain fructose and glucose in separated forms and hence meaning it can easily work as an energy source.
With regular sugar, glucose and fructose are bonded which means for the body to use them, their bond has to be broken which takes time meaning you will not get that instant energy boost you need. But with honey, the glucose will be easily broken down to give you an instant energy boost while the fructose is kept to provide some prolonged energy source.
3. Honey is less likely to Be Stored as Fat
If you are on a weight loss program or just like watching what you eat but would still prefer to take sweetened coffee, honey will be a good choice of sweetener for you.
Since honey is broken down and processed faster than regular sugar, it will be less likely stored as fat and hence most of it will go through the system with little of it left behind to be stored as fat.
4. It has a Lower Glycemic Index
When compared to sugar, honey has a significantly lower glycemic index and hence adding it to your coffee means it will have less effect on your blood glucose.
With honey, you will not get the high blood sugar spikes that are characteristic of regular sugar, and you will also not feel the hunger that comes with these spikes meaning with honey you will not need to eat a lot which often results in weight gain.
5. Can Provide Allery Relief
While research is still not conclusive on this benefit, it is widely believed than honey can help provide allergy relief thanks to the trace amounts of local pollen that it contains.
Honey's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties also help to provide allergy relief. Adding it to your coffee can help provide some relief from a persistent cough also thanks to these properties.
Drawbacks of Honey as a Coffee Sweetener
Like with any other product, things are not all rosy with honey as it also comes with some significant shortcomings which are also vital to know when making up your mind whether to add it to your cup of java or not. And the most significant of these cons include the following three.
1. Honey Has More Calories
Contrary to popular belief, honey contains more calories than regular table sugar as it consists primarily of natural sugars that are very rich in calories.
One tablespoon of sugar which is around 17 grams will contain as much as 64 calories which are higher than the 49 calories you would get on a typical 13-gram tablespoon of sugar. Hence, you have to be very careful with the quantity of honey you take to ensure you are not taking in more calories in your coffee than you want.
2. Taste is Not That Great
With most coffee drinkers, it is all about the taste and even with the many other benefits that come with coffee, you will still not enjoy if you do not like the taste. And honey will not taste that great on your coffee.
The strong taste of honey in coffee takes some getting used to and some people find that the taste does not go well with coffee. But, there are different kinds of honey out there and perhaps you just need to find one that goes well with your particular coffee type.
All in all, when it comes to the coffee taste, sugar and other sweeteners have a clear advantage over honey despite the latter being the healthier option.
3. Can Still Cause Blood Sugar Issues
Although the risk is lower than when using regular sugar, honey still has the potential to cause blood sugar issues when used in excess amounts.
This is particularly so for those that have diabetes and other problems like insulin resistance because for them honey will have the same effects on their blood as regular sugar.
Should You or Should You Not Put Honey in Coffee?
Ultimately the decision on whether to add honey to your coffee or not will depend on how you like your cup of Joe. However, if you are looking for a healthier alternative to sugar and a coffee sweetener, then honey is a good choice.
But, if you are the kind of coffee drinker that values the coffee's taste over everything else, then honey might not be the best for you because unless you can find a type that goes perfectly well with your type of coffee, you will probably not like the taste.
The bottom line is that you will not know whether you will like honey in your coffee or not until you try it. Hence, the right idea is to go ahead and try it for a while and see how it goes.
- Should You Add Honey to Your Coffee? - Healthline
- Using Honey in Coffee Instead of Sugar is An Easy Healthy Hack - Well + Good