Sorry honey, it's sugar!

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Mar 4, 03:46 AM in and . Comments [1].

One of my Dietitian friends recently reviewed a “low sugar” cookbook that is currently being marketed by a UK “personality”. It turns out the recipes are pretty much full of sugar, in the form of honey in most cases. At the end of the review article, were many, many comments about honey not being sugar. I often see “low sugar” recipes which use honey as the sweetener and am sorry to say, yes, it’s a sugar.

Honey is made up of about 80% sugars, depending on the type, and those sugars are a mix of glucose and fructose. In fact, the fructose part makes up the majority.

When Dietitians say “sugar”, we pretty much don’t mean just the processed white stuff. We are usually talking about sugar in the broader chemical sense – glucose, fructose, all the “oses” in fact. Sorry if we sound pedantic, but honey is just another type of sugar.

So why do so many prefer honey? Some prefer it because it is “natural” and not refined. It is a bit sweeter than the white stuff, so some find they will use less as a sweetener, (although I find I need more in tea if I use it). Honey also has a few trace elements in it, (some vitamins and minerals like B6, selenium etc). These are in pretty small amounts though.

Either way, choose it if you like but, at the end of the day, don’t be fooled – it’s just another sugar.

Tags: Fructose, Glucose, Honey, Sugar, Sweeteners

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.


  1. I know exacty whch cookery book you are referring to – not only are the ‘sugar free’ recipes full of honey and maple syrup many are also scarily high in saturated fat – but, of course, if you are a celebrity you can pretty much say what you want about nutrition and people will believe you know what you’re talking about !

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