Is Honey Less Addictive Than Sugar?

A Nutrition Diva listener has given up white sugar - but not honey. Her friends claim honey is just as "evil and addictive" as regular sugar. Are they right?

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read


Q. "After hearing all of this research on how bad sugar is for me, I'm happy to say that I've cut all sugar out of my life. I've noticed massive changes in my energy and health levels (hooray!), and in my cravings (I don't crave sweetness all the time anymore!). However, a friend tried to convince me that honey is just as evil and addicitive as sugar.  I'm not buying it. What are your thoughts?"

What matters is not which type of sugar you choose but how much you're consuming. 

A. First off: good for you for reducing your sugar intake. I'm glad you feel such positive results! 

However, honey and other "natural" sweeteners can do just as much damage as white sugar - because in the end, they are all still sugar. What matters is not which type of sugar you choose but how much you're consuming. 

Natural sweeteners may contain nutrients that you don't get from white sugar - but not enough to make a difference to your health. That said, honey has some unique attributes, which I discussed in the article on Benefits of Honey

But as long as you're consuming added sweeteners in limited quantities, I don't think it really matters whether it's in the form of honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or table sugar.  

See also; How to Reduce Your Added Sugar Intake


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.