Honey vs Sugar - Are There Really Any Differences?

Honey is considered by many to be the world's oldest sweetener. The health benefits of honey have been noted by many people over the centuries. Even the ancient philosopher, Aristotle, wrote about the many nutritional and medicinal benefits of honey. Most people use sweeteners everyday so it's important to learn how honey differs from sugar.

The Main Differences Between Honey vs Sugar

Honey is regarded as a natural product while sugar is a man-made, highly processed product. Both of these sweeteners have glucose and fructose in them. In granulated sugar, the glucose and fructose are bonded together, these components in honey are separate. Fructose is more sweet tasting compared to glucose, and this is why so much fructose is being put into our processed foods today.

Fructose doesn't convert to energy very fast like glucose does. Because of this, processed foods that contain high amounts of fructose will be converted to fat more easily than honey. If you are trying to improve your diet or lose weight, you should avoid those kinds of food products. 
The manufacturing process for sugar often eliminates many healthy components, such as protein, vitamins, minerals, organic acids, and nitrogen elements. Honey, doesn't go through this type of process and is usually only subjected to minimal heating. Honey contains other beneficial ingredients that have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that aren't contained in sugar.

Caloric content of table sugar differs from that of honey. One teaspoon of sugar has about 16 calories, and one teaspoon of honey has about 22 calories. Although, honey does have more calories, many people use less of it because it's sweeter. Because they use less, they often end up consuming less calories too.

Honey has a glycemic index that is lower than sugar and this means it's absorbed at a slower rate compared to sugar. Since sugar has a higher glycemic index it can increase your blood-glucose levels which could cause you to overeat. This is another reason why honey is healthier for you, especially if you are trying to shed those unwanted pounds.

Important Nutritional Facts and Health Benefits

There are several nutritional facts about honey that will certainly make you feel good about using honey instead of sugar. The single most important reason to eat honey is because of its many health benefits. It contains many minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium chlorine, phosphate, sulphur, and iron. 

Most types of honey contain B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and C vitamins. It also has choline which is important for cell membrane growth and it has to be consumed because your body can't produce it. Acetylcholine is also found in honey and it works as a neurotransmitter. Sugar doesn't contain either one of the compounds.

The glucose in honey can be quickly absorbed into your body which will result in you having more energy. Fructose in honey will help your energy levels last longer compared to sugar. Studies have shown that honey increases the performance and endurance levels for athletes because it lowers muscle fatigue.

Scientists have stated that honey has many anti-bacterial properties that are powerful for fighting different types of bacteria. You can also use it to treat burns and other wounds because it promotes healing and helps to prevent infections. Many people use honey to treat their sore throats and it is also effective for treating upset stomachs.

Now that you have read the above, you know why so many people prefer using honey instead of sugar. These important health benefits can help you not only feel better if you are sick, but also help you lose weight faster. The very next time you are shopping for a sweetener, remember that honey is a wonderful natural product that contains far more nutritional ingredients than processed sugar.

Honey nutrition facts

The National Honey Board has done extensive study and research about the history, nutrition and medicinal properties of honey and have compiled huge resource of information. For more information about honey, please visit the National Honey Board website.

What's in Honey?
Honey is a supersaturated sugar solution with approximately 17.1 percent water. Fructose is the predominant sugar at 38.5 percent, followed by glucose at 31 percent. Disac- charides, trisac -charides and oligosaccharides are present in much smaller quantities. Besides carbohydrates, honey contains small amounts of protein, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Honey is known to be rich in both enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, including catalase, ascorbic acid, flavonoids and alkaloids. Although appearing only in trace amounts honey also contains about 18 different amino acids. Crane, E. 1976. "Honey: A Comprehensive Survey," Corrected edition. International Bee Research Association/Heinemann, London; Berenbaum, M., Robinson, G. and Unnevehr, L. 1995-1996. Antioxidant properties of Illinois honeys. University of Illinois.

Honey Characteristics
Each variety of honey has characteristics that make that each one unique. Some of the main characteristics are color, granulation, moisture content, Levlose (fructose sugars) levels and Dextrose (glucose sugars) levels. Honey color is always graded with a number. A low number indicates a light color and the higher the number the darker the honey. Granulation is also given a number value to rate at which point the honey tends to crystallize or granulate. Levlose, dextrose and moisture levels are based on a percentage.

Raw Honey
Honey that is sold as raw contains all the pollen, enzymes and other micronutrients that are usually filtered out or destroyed by heat when the honey is processed. Traditionally, honey is heated and filtered so that it will remain liquid much longer. Raw honey will crystalize quickly due to the fact that it is unfiltered. GloryBee offers several varieties of raw honey, which are never heated above 115 degrees. Many people believe that raw honey contains additional health benefits over traditionally processed honey.

Honey has been used for everything from skincare to mead (honey wine). Honey is widely preferred as a sweetener because it is also a flavor enhancer. The wide variety of flavors available from different honeys makes honey a gourmet's delight.

If properly stored, honey will not spoil: A pot of honey found in an ancient Egyptian tomb was proved to be as wholesome as fresh honey. However, honey will ferment if it is diluted by moisture from the atmosphere or by other liquids. Prevent fermentation by keeping honey containers tightly sealed before and between uses.

Parents Warning
Honey is not recommended for children who are less than a year old because their digestive systems may not be mature enough to digest it. It can cause infant botulism which is a rare but serious disease.

Honey Facts
There are over 25,000 species of bees worldwide.
An adult worker bee's lifespan is about 45 days during summer months.
A typical Bee colony consists of 30,000 to 60,000 bees.
Male bees are called "Drones" and they do not have stingers, their only purpose is to mate with the queen bee.
A queen bee can sting multiple times without dying.
99% of the bee colony is made up of female bees known as worker bees.
The average honey bee's wings flap over 183 times per second.
Bees have an excellent sense of smell which allows them to find their hive.
Honey Bees actually dance when they return to the hive to tell the other bees where the flowers are.
Honey is the ONLY food source produced by an insect that humans eat.
Worker honey bees transform the floral nectar the gather into honey by adding enzymes to the nectar and reducing the moisture.
For more fun and educational information you can use to teach your kids about honey bees, check out the "The Honey Files: A bee's life" brought to you by the National Honey Board. This fun guide has interactive games and quizzes as well as fun diagrams and drawings to help kids learn.

Honey Nutrition
Honey is much more than just a simple sugar. Rich in minerals and nutrients, honey also has some antibiotic properties that may aid in the healing process. For thousands of years honey has been used by mankind in many capacities to help give the human body energy and health. Below are the nutritional facts for Honey.

Substituting Honey for Sugar
Replace 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of honey and reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup. Add a pinch of baking soda to recipes that do not call for sour cream or sour milk, so as to reduce the acidity of the honey. 
Cook jellies and jams at higher temperatures when you replace sugar with honey.
Beat honey candies longer, and seal them more tightly when storing them to keep the honey from absorbing atmospheric moisture.

Baking Tips
When baking with honey, lower the oven temperature by 25° to 30° F to prevent over-browning.
When measuring honey, first coat the measuring utensil with a small amount of oil so the honey will not stick.
Store honey at room temperature rather than in a refrigerator. Keep it tightly covered and in a dry place.
If honey granulates, place its container in hot water until the honey re-liquefies.
Honey, because it is hydroscopic, tends to keep foods moist and tender. Therefore, if you are baking goodies for kids away at school, service members overseas, or friends out of town, always bake with honey to ensure freshness.

Granulation (or crystallization)
Is defined as a natural occurring process of honey that changes it from liquid to solid. Some people think the honey is spoiled as it crystallizes but according to the chart, crystallization in honey occurs when the honey molecules are at optimum temperature. It then begins to crystallize. This has a lot to do with how you store you honey. If you store your honey above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (or in a certain containers the optimum is 57 to 58 degrees) it will crystallize. Levulose and dextrose levels affect crystallization also, so typically the one with the higher dextrose will crystallize more quickly; for example, Clover and Alfalfa crystallize more quickly than Orange Blossom or Blackberry. Also larger quantities will crystallize if they are stored on a concrete floor and the cold temperatures are drawn up into the container. If the honey re-crystallizes very quickly it only means that the honey did not get properly liquefied which means that the sugar crystals did not get dissolved. So if you place your honey in a pan of water and heat it slowly making sure you dissolve all the crystals you can slow crystallization or it will re-crystallize within just a few days.

Vasilissa in People magazine

Greek Wild Forest Honey With Large Tears Mastic Of Chios

We managed to combine their beneficial properties into a single product , the most valuable and nutritious goods of nature.
Unique in flavour and quality honey together with the famous mastic of Chios.

Basic component of balanced and also a healthy diet.

This famous Greek product, mastic of Chios, is worldwide acquaintance for the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and the antioxidant action it has.

Perhaps the most powerful and healthy combination of beneficial properties for well-being and proper functioning of the human body . Honey with natural mastic took its place in Greek cuisine to give a unique character to your recipes , traditional and new .

Experiment on a multitude of dishes, it provides you a flavor.

Drastic component in a line of pharmaceutical recipes, because of the beneficial attributes in the alleviation from various illnesses

Use as vinaigrette for the salads and delicious dessert ice cream , yogurt and bread .

Make delicious desserts with unique taste and aroma.

Enjoy it with warm drinks or tea and milk.

Wildforest Honey with Royal Jelly and Pollen

Mother Nature is brilliant in her capacity to create natural healing opportunities. One such way is the ever-important bee and its beautiful by-products: bee pollen and royal jelly.
Clear wildflower honey is produced from hives placed in certified organic wildflower meadows. The honey is then fortified with the addition of Royal Jelly and Pollen, two of nature’s best known wonders. It is then tracked by the organic authorities to maintain its Organic integrity. The flavor is sensational with everything you could hope for and lots more all in a honey, all the scent and tastes of summer in a jar.
Bee Pollen Facts
The title of “worker bee” is appropriately termed given the lengths to which bee pollen is produced. It takes one bee approximately 240 hours of work to produce 6 grams of bee pollen. Young bees use this for nourishment, and it is full of nutrients required for humans—not the least of which is protein, lecithin, live enzymes, folic acid, vitamins, and trace minerals. Half of the protein found in bee pollen is even in its free amino acids form, meaning it is very bio-available.
Royal Jelly Facts
Royal jelly transforms a female worker bee into a Queen Bee. It is her main source of sustenance. In fact, for the first two days after the female hatches, royal jelly is all she is fed. On the third day, the other females are fed honey and pollen while the queen’s food continues to be royal jelly. It is created when a nurse bee combines masticated pollen with its own glandular secretions. The result is a vitalizing tonic that extends the Queen Bee’s life by at least twenty times the average bee.
Bee Pollen and Royal Jelly Health Benefits
While both bee pollen and royal jelly have similar healing and nutritional properties, royal jelly tends to have more potent effects because it has a higher concentration of nutrients. As a result of its high enzymatic count (believed to contain nearly 5000 live enzymes), bee pollen helps with various digestive disorders by healing and regulating the intestinal flora. Also, neither has a mucosal residue, so the body can assimilate and benefit from its high nutrient content.

Thyme Honey with 24K edible Gold

A blend of Honey and 24K pure edible Gold flakes.
In Greece, the best honey comes from the blossoms of Thyme.
Honey is often referred to as "liquid gold."So to emphasize the point, Stayia Farm's beekeepers have added shimmering flecks of edible 24K gold leaf to their finest varieties, encased in tall, slim, graceful bottles to heighten the effect. Stunning to the eye, sublime to the tongue...
Hippocrates praised both the nutritional and therapeutic value of honey, and used it both as food and as medicine.
Luxury meets innovation, and a lovely bee secret made of Thyme organic honey and edible 24K Gold will make our life sweeter and healthier.
Thyme honey, the purest in Greece and 24 carat gold flakes, which is the highest purity of gold.
According to the ancient alchemist concepts, gold possesses legendary powers which contribute to a long and vital life...

A sweet rainbow's majesty!

This eleven colourful boxes of pure organic honey are ready to give a real sense in our everyday's life.

Why Vasilissa Organic Honey ?

Vasilissa Organic honey is not only delicious, this natural sweetener has nutritional value that makes it a great alternative to white table sugar.
Honey is a natural product. It is basically manufactured by bees, either in the wild or on bee farms. The honeybees collect nectar from flowers and take it back to the beehive. Next worker bees chew the nectar, adding enzymes in the process. The honey is then spread into honeycombs and fanned by the wings of the bees to dry. Once the honey is concentrated enough, the bees seal off the honeycombs with a plug of wax. Beekeepers then smoke out the bees from the hive so they can retrieve the honeycombs and extract the sweet honey
Why Vasilissa Organic Honey?
Traditional honey farms use antibiotics on the bees to keep them healthy. This can sometimes lead to the contamination of the honey with antibiotics. At Stayia Organic farm, we don’t use antibiotics on our bees. 
Stayia Farm is also free from harmful pesticides that could also potentially contaminate the honey. On the other hand, there is much debate over whether or not organic farming practices prevent the contamination of honey by pesticides. Bees are free roaming creatures and could potentially encounter pesticides from neighboring areas and end up contaminating the honey anyway. One benefit of organic honey is that it is often sold raw (meaning unheated), which helps to ensure that you’re getting the most nutritional value out of the product.
Nutritional Value.
Honey is comprised of roughly 80 percent natural sugar and 18 percent water. The remaining 2 percent is made up of vitamins, minerals, pollens, and protein. The vitamins in honey include vitamin C, B6, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin. The minerals present in honey include calcium, iron, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and sodium. Honey also contains 22 amino acids. The nutritional value of honey can vary depending on the flowers that the bees used for the nectar.
Other Nutritional Benefits of Honey
  • Has a lower rating on the Glycemic Index than table sugar, which means it is less likely to spike blood sugar level
  • Is sweeter than table sugar, so you need less of it to sweeten foods
  • Produces a natural laxative effect and can help relieve constipation
  • May also help to alleviate symptoms of diarrhea and dysentery
  • Has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Can be used as an appetite stimulant
  • Is easy on the digestive system
  • Has been shown to be one of the most effective forms of carbohydrates to ingest prior to exercise
  • Has been known to help with post workout recuperation
  • Contains antioxidants that help prevent against cellular damage
  • Reduces the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol) which cuts down on the risk of developing atherosclerosis
Honey should not be given to babies under 12 months of age because it may contain bacteria that can cause infant botulism.

A true delicacy of nature

Organic Wildforest Honey with Honeycomb is a true delicacy of nature. The hexagonal cells that create the comb are made by bees from beeswax. 1100 bees have to visit 4 million flower blossoms to create 1 gram of honey, and then must consume 3 grams of honey to generate 0.5 gram of beeswax. Beeswax is an amazing substance that is entirely edible and contains a variety of healing and allergy-soothing properties. Into each beeswax cell, bees deposit the flower nectar they have gathered from thousands of flowers. The bees then stand over the cell and fan their wings to evaporate the water from the nectar, leaving behind a rich, syrupy, golden substance that we know as honey. The cell is capped with a thin layer of beeswax and reserved as food supply for the colony. Enjoy Vasilissa Organic Wildforest Honey with Honeycomb with slices of tart green apple and a wedge of salty artisan sharp cheddar for a delicious appetizer or dessert.

Vasilissa Organic Wildforest Honey with Honeycomb from Stayia Farm. Perfect on hot crunchy toast so the wax softens in the heat; equally stunning as a dessert with fruit and good ricotta. The ultimate addition to a chessboard, partnered with sharp, nutty and salty cheeses such as strong blues or semi hard Gouda style cheeses

A powerful combination

Organic Wildforest Honey with Royal Jelly and fresh Pollen is a powerful combination of natural foods derived from bees

The multivitamin of nature, royal jelly with pollen and wildforest honey, all certified organic from BioHellas.
It offers amazing, revitalizing effects after a few weeks use. It is an ideal food for athletes. It offers greater stamina and more energy to those who work excessively or work under stress conditions. Ideal for recovering patients. 

 A delicious natural product, appropriate for all ages. The only organic product which contains royal jelly, pollen and honey.

Wildpure Certified Organic Thyme Honey

It is logical that honey is healthy. It is pure and natural, contains enzymes and inhibits bacteria in some circumstances. However, Vasilissa thyme honey is special because of it’s powerful antioxdant properties. The type of antioxidants found in Vasilissa thyme honey have been labelled “defensive antioxidants” by the father of New Zealand honey research, Prof. Peter Nolan.  These antioxidants can bind damaging oxidants that form, stopping them turning to free radicals and causing cell damage. Professor Nolans’ research has suggested that some of the highest rating food for supplying defensive antioxidants is thyme honey.
A Greek study that was published in the peer-reviewed journal “Food Chemistry” (vol 116 issue 3) found that thyme reduced the viability of Ishikawa (endometrial) cancer cells and PC-3 (prostate) cancer cells in vitro. The authors suggest that a diet enriched with thyme honey “may prevent cancer-related processes in breast, prostate and endometrial cancer cells” (Tsiapara, Jaakkola, Chinou et al Food Chemistry 116.3 2009).
Vasilissa Wildpure Certified Organic thyme honey is extracted from the honey frames at temperatures less than 37ºC (less than 99ºF). This is in line with the organic standard. The reason for this low temperature during honey extraction is to keep alive all the naturally occurring enzymes in the honey. This ensures we have truly raw and natural honey. Honey that has been heated above 45ºC (113ºF) rapidly starts to become degraded, as the enzymes become denatured and other chemical reactions cause the production of toxins (HMF). That is why it is important to source “raw”    honey that preserves the health giving properties of that particular honey type.

Organic Fir of Vityna-Vanilla Honey

Greek honey from the mountains of Vytina in the central Peloponnese region of Greece. This rare ‘forest’ honey has a warm, woody flavor and hints of vanilla and caramel. Vytina is a little village in the mountains of central Peloponnese surrounded by enormous expanses of fir forests and pure mountain air - it is easy to confuse it with the Swiss Alps.  The bees around Vytina, in the mountains of the Peloponnese, produce a thick dark honey (the darker the honey the more anti-oxidants it has).  Different from the better known thyme honey of Greece, this is just as distinctive, delicious and nutritious.  It is raw, unheated and certified to originate purely from the fir trees in this area and to be pesticide free Rich in iron and calcium with a low total sugar content compared with flower honey.  The people of Vytina use fir honey to benefit their digestive and respiratory systems.   It is also thought to help anemia.  Complements well-aged goat cheeses. This is truly an exceptional Greek honey.

Tremendous Organic Honey Flavors..

Excellent quality greek thyme honey. Its uniqueness lies in the deep amber colour, the intense thyme scent and the exquisite taste. It contains many trace elements (iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium) while it has been famous for its antiseptic properties since antiquity.

The greek countryside is known for its natural beauties, one of which are fir tree forests. This is where our bees collect this tasteful honey variety. Fir honey is rich in nutrients, trace elements and minerals. Its taste is splendid. Indulge yourself with a little taste of heaven!

A honey variety with excellent and fine taste. It is exceptionally nutritious, a rich source of antioxidants, minerals and trace elements. Pine tree honey is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, sodium, etc., and does not crystallize. Collected in the pine forests of Evia. The ideal choice to start your day!

Stayia Farm the organic beefarming

In Stayia Farm we have always practised and beleived in organic beekeeping practices. We never transfer our beehives to big rural plantations where there is always the danger that pesticides are being used and we donot use any medicine whatsoever.
We decided to make our beliefs official and public, and turned to BioHellas. BioHellas granted us the licence to use the term “Organic” in our packaging !

Health Benefits of Organic Vasilissa Wildforest Honey (Pine Honey)

Several studies show that honeydew honeys, such as pine honey, have stronger antioxidant properties than the more common floral honeys which you can buy at practically any grocery store in the US or UK. The antioxidant activities of honeydew honeys are generally attributed to the high levels of phenolic compounds and flavonoids they contain. As you may already know, antioxidants are health-protecting molecules that neutralize free radicals, unstable molecules that have been associated with a wide range of age-related conditions, from heart disease and cancer to macular degeneration and Alzheimer's disease.
A recent study that compared 18 honey varieties, both floral and forest honeys, found that Greek pine honey had the strongest anti-bacterial properties among the tested honeys. It was found to exert antibacterial effects against E. coli, S. marcescens, B. sphaericus, S. epidermidis, and B. subtilis. This intriguing study was published in The Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Food Sciences in 2012.
According to a study published in the November 2009 issue of the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, pine honey is a particularly good source of potassium, but it also contains a number of other minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.