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Is Honey Fattening? : All Benefits And Side Effects Of Honey

Honey is a viscous liquid that bees make from the nectar of a variety of flowers after digesting and regurgitating nectar in beehives. You might be surprised to learn that the taste of honey varies depending on the nectar of the flower from which it is made. So, depending on the nectar and processing method, there are different types of honey.

The highly sweet taste of honey makes people wonder: is honey fattening?

Although honey is sweeter in taste, it is not fattening. It is because honey offers only 85 calories per ounce, but the same serving of sugar provides about 108 calories, making honey fewer in calories. Secondly, honey contains no saturated fats (which otherwise can cause fat accumulation).

Read further to know further.

Table of Content

Is Honey Fattening?

We tend to think that everything that tastes sweet can contribute to fat accumulation. Will honey make you fat? Honey, which tastes much sweeter than sugar, must be calorie-dense if we follow our concept, but actually, that’s not true. Honey is not fattening. There are many reasons behind the non-fattening behavior of honey:

  • First, honey is an all-natural food. No additional sweeteners have been added to it, which otherwise could cause fattening. There are moderate amounts of calories in it. An ounce of honey contains about 86 calories. The amount is not so high and cannot cause fattening if a moderate amount of honey is taken.
  • Honey is free of saturated fat. Fat accumulation in the body is due to the consumption of saturated fats or trans fats. Honey is also fat-free in this sense.
  • It contains carbohydrates, vitamin C, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, and other minerals. Carbohydrates generally come in the form of glucose, fructose, and sometimes in the form of sucrose and maltose in honey. This nutritional composition does not allow the honey to release all of its calories readily after entering the body. Honey releases calories a bit slowly.

Nutrition Facts Of Honey

Honey is mainly sugar in nature. About sugar covers 82 percent of the nutritional value of honey. The rest is covered by water, vitamins, and other minerals. The honey nutrition facts are listed below:

Nutrient NameAmount per one ounce of honey
Calories86 g
Carbohydrates23 g
Protein0.1 g
Cholesterol0 g
Sodium1.1 mg
Potassium15 mg
Fats0 g
Fibers0.1 g
Protein0.1 g

In addition to the above-mentioned nutrients, vitamin C, calcium, and iron are also present in honey, but relatively in a small amount.

Benefits Of Eating Honey Daily

Health benefits of honey for weight loss infographic

Benefits of taking honey daily are listed below:

Rich Source Of Antioxidants:

Honey of high quality is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent the oxidation of the compounds by free radicals in the body. Oxidation by free radicals can cause cell death leading to a variety of disorders including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and chronic heart diseases. Thus, honey antioxidants prevent this oxidation by neutralizing the reactive oxygen species in the body. Antioxidants play a role in the prevention of inflammation in the body.

Dark varieties of honey including buckwheat honey are richer in antioxidants such as phenolic acid and flavonoids, as compared to lighter varieties which include acacia honey and clover honey. Recent studies show that antioxidants from buckwheat can be detected in the plasma of blood.

Cure Cough:

Due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, honey is used widely to cure coughs. Dark honey for cough treatment, It is a better option than taking medication like diphenhydramine. Honey is very effective in maintaining the health of the upper respiratory tract. But it is not should be used in children younger than 1 year, because it may cause botulism.

To Cure Wounds:

Use of honey for wounds and healing is very effective due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which can promote the healing of wounds. Burn wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, wounds due to skin disorders such as psoriasis, herpes lesions, wounds from surgeries, and dermatitis can benefit from this healing property. According to one study, honey successfully treated 43.3% of diabetic foot ulcers.

Heart Health:

Honey contains antioxidants, is cholesterol-free and fat-free, which makes it beneficial to the heart. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress on the heart. When fat levels in the blood are low, heart strokes are less likely to occur because fat does not accumulate in the blood vessels. Studies have shown that honey keeps blood pressure normal. A healthy heartbeat rate depends on normal blood pressure.


Better Alternative For Sugar:

You may also want to know about honey vs sugar comparison. No doubt, honey is a better option than refined sugar. First, honey is lower in calories than refined sugar when we take an ounce of each. In addition, refined sugar does not contain any additional vitamins and minerals. Honey is a whole food that contains many vitamins and minerals. There is no evidence that honey causes fattening, or diabetes, which is more commonly caused by refined sugar.

How Much Honey Is Safe To Eat Daily

People often ask, how much honey is too much? Honey contains a considerable amount of calories in it. So, if eaten beyond its limit, it can affect blood sugar levels and lead to fattening. So, one should keep a check on the amount of honey he is taking. Half a spoon of honey or about 10 grams of honey is a healthy ratio for a person who doesn’t want to gain weight due to eating honey.

Is Safe To Eat Raw Honey

Unfiltered raw honey is also safe to eat, just like honey that has been slightly processed to remove the impurities. Raw honey provides the same benefits as offered by filtered honey. It contains many antioxidants, acts as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory substance. It can also be used to cure coughs and heal wounds.

Is Honey Better Than Sugar?

Yes, honey is a better option than sugar. Let’s compare honey to sugar.

  • Sugar is a processed food with only carbohydrates in it. Honey is a natural food, containing many micro and macronutrients, as well as carbohydrates. Sugar is pure sucrose while honey contains carbohydrates mostly in form of glucose or fructose and also in form of sucrose or maltose, along with vitamins, and minerals.
  • As sugar contains only carbohydrates in nature, it quickly releases its calories after entering the body. While, honey does not release all of its calories quickly due to additional minerals in it.
  • Honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar. Thus, honey cannot raise blood sugar levels like refined sugar can.

Side Effects Of Over Eating Honey

Side Effects of honey consumption are listed below:

  • Honey is high in calories. All these calories come from sugar or carbohydrates present in them. If someone takes honey in excess, it can lead to hyperglycemia in the blood.
  • Honey is well known as a fat mobilizer. It helps to burn the stored fats in the body, thus reducing weight. But if taken in excess, it can lead to weight gain due to the high amount of sugar present in it.
  • Due to its high sugar content, honey can cause tooth decay.
  • Raw honey is unprocessed. It may contain infectious bacteria in it. Adults can fight these bacteria due to their strong immunity, but children under 1 year don’t have the immunity to resist these bacteria. It can develop botulism, a bacterial infection in children.


Question: What is the effect of honey on weight loss?

Answer: Honey acts as a fat mobilizer for stored fats. It can burn these fats, thus reducing the number of stored fats in the body. This can help in losing weight. But if taken in excess, honey can also lead to weight gain. But it rarely happens because of low amounts of cholesterol in it.

Question: Is honey good or bad for your health?

Answer: Honey is a controllable amount that is healthy for us. Honey contains many antioxidants in it, which can prevent a number of chronic diseases. Further, honey can help to heal wounds and skin burns. It is also preferable over medications to cure cough. But excess intake of honey can cause complications. It may increase the blood sugar level, tooth decay, and botulism in children.

Question: Is honey better for you than sugar?

Answer: Yes, honey is a better option than sugar. Refined Sugar is processed and contains only sucrose in it. On the other hand, honey contains many minerals and vitamins along with carbohydrates in it. Carbohydrates in honey are present mostly in the form of glucose and fructose. Sugar has more glycemic index than honey, making honey preferable.


So, the question, “Is honey fattening?” might be cleared. Honey is not fattening because it does not contain unsaturated fats in it. Although honey is high in calories, that does not mean that honey can cause fattening. Honey has a low glycemic index. It can help in weight loss. But if taken in excess, it can lead to many complications.

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