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Have you replaced your white refined sugar with other sweet substitutes such as honey or jaggery in your tea, green tea or in other desserts and beverages thinking it might be a healthier choice? If the answer to this question is a yes, then this blog is for you. Please read ahead.

As all of us know, refined sugar, commonly known as the white sugar, provides us with nothing but empty calories. It does nothing for our body, except for acting as a catalyst in weight gain. But is replacing white sugar with honey or jaggery a healthier option? Let us know more about this. Firstly, we need to understand a few concepts based on which, we will come to know how nutritious these additives are.

CALORIE DENSITY: Calorie density is the amount of calories per gram provided by a product. If you want to lose weight and consume a healthy diet, you should know the calorie density of a product you are consuming. Sugar provides you with empty calories. 5 grams of sugar contains 20 kcal of calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates.

INSULIN: The food we eat gets broken down into constituent carbohydrates by our body, which is then absorbed by the body cells to be used as energy. Insulin, a hormone secreted by a gland known as pancreas, helps the glucose present in the bloodstream to enter the body cells. When you eat too much sugars, the function of either pancreas or insulin gets impaired, which leads to diabetes followed by insulin resistance. 

GLYCAEMIC INDEX: Glycaemic index is the measure of the capability of a food product to cause blood sugar spike in the blood. Lower glycaemic index foods cause less blood sugar spike making them a better option for diabetics. Sugars have a very high glycaemic index, hence, they cause a very high spike in blood sugar and thus, are considered bad for the diabetics.DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CALORIES AND GLYCEMIC INDEX OF HONEY, JAGGERY AND SUGAR:







319 KCAL

383 KCAL

398 KCAL





Thus, we can see that sugar, honey and jaggery all have a calorie density and a high glycaemic index which have the ability to cause a high blood sugar spike.


Sugar (be it white or brown) and jaggery are the products of sugar cane. Hence, these contain approximately similar amounts of calories. But, jaggery is a more natural form of sugar cane than the white or brown sugar, though it's also a processed form of sugar cane. Due to this, many people consider it healthier than sugar. Jaggery contains a bit more of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, calcium, manganese, vitamin E, iron, potassium, a bit of protein and sodium. On the other hand, sugar contains nothing but calories and carbohydrates. Thus, we see that jaggery is a better option than sugar due to the presence of a few minerals and vitamins but not that much that we can permanently replace sugar with jagger.


Honey contains vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and nutrients which sugar does not have. Also, it is a natural, unprocessed sweetener available for us while sugar is a highly processed and refined sweetener available in the market. It also has a lower glycemic index than white or brown sugar.  Thus, replacing white or brown sugar with honey can be a nice option. But, it also contains high amounts of calories and is sweeter than the sugar. Thus, for people looking for weight loss or the ones who are struggling to manage their blood sugar levels. Replacing sugar with honey is not a wise thing to do.

Thus, from this blog we can conclude that honey, sugar and jaggery contain approximately equal amounts of calories, if cut down to a teaspoon. Honey and jaggery can be slightly better options than white or brown sugar because they are unprocessed and slightly less processed respectively than sugar. Also, they contain few vitamins and minerals in more amounts than the white or brown sugar. But due to their high calorie density property, they can not be a permanent replacement for the ones with diabetes or struggling to lose weight.

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