By: Greg Brian
How Does Raw Honey Compare as a Sweetener to Stevia?
In your search for natural sweeteners, you’ve likely run across Stevia in stores. Have you ever wondered what the health comparisons are to that and raw honey?
Both can easily satisfy any sweet tooth, yet they’re still very different on where they come from and the healthful properties they have.
What health benefits do you get from each? Let’s look at the details.
Stevia and Raw Honey Caloric Intake
One of the major benefits of Stevia is it has zero calories. Coming from the Stevia plant in South America, cultures from that region long ago realized the benefits of it as a natural sweetener.
While most Stevia products are fine to consume, not being able to gain any weight from consuming it is why it became so popular here in America.
Over the years, it’s been found mostly in health food stores and occasionally on grocery store shelves. Diabetics, as well, find it a better sweetener to use due to not worrying about calories.
On the downside, though, Stevia has no vitamins or minerals. You’re not going to be getting any major health benefits from consuming it, other than not worrying about weight gain.
In comparison, raw honey usually has 64 calories per tablespoon. This is still not a lot as long as you consume it in moderation.
What is the Glycemic Index of Stevia and Raw Honey?
Stevia has the advantage here since is has virtually nothing in it, including no glycemic index. No wonder diabetics usually turn to it out of safety.
Raw honey still has a lower glycemic index than sugar, though. It usually has 30 on average, though can sometimes match the same amount as sugar.
In this case, many prefer raw honey because it often helps make things sweeter. Not that stevia is dry. Many say it tastes sweeter than sugar.
Your choice here is all dependent on personal preference. The reason why you’d want to consume raw honey (in moderation) is due to the packed health qualities it has.
How Healthy is Stevia Compared to Raw Honey?
There really isn’t anything in Stevia that would benefit your health, other than just being a safe sugar substitute.
As empty as Stevia might look, honey is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. You can get as many antioxidants in raw honey as you’d find in produce. And if you’re not always consuming all the vitamins you need in your diet, honey is a great substitute.
Zinc, magnesium, and B6 are just a few vitamins and minerals available in raw honey. All you need is one tablespoon of raw honey on your favorite breakfast foods (or drink) in the morning to fortify your daily dietary needs.
Keep in mind you need to buy raw honey truly raw to get those health benefits. Much of the honey sold on grocery store shelves are usually pasteurized versions, meaning it’s been overheated. Some food manufacturers do this to make the honey look better.
You might wonder if something similar applies to Stevia. As a matter of fact, there are versions of Stevia to stay clear from.
A Processed Stevia Also Exists
It’s best to stay away from any type of processed food since you’re not getting the full benefits nature provides. Stevia Extract is usually a processed version of Stevia often sold in stores.
These are still deemed safe by the FDA, yet it’s recommended you not consume whole Stevia leaves or crude Stevia extracts. The reason is they haven’t been fully tested by the FDA compared to the processed versions above.
You’ll find a lot of arguments on what kind of Stevia is best for you. In the meantime, take time to focus on raw honey as the best choice. Your health will thank you, even if you need to consume it in a moderated way, something not easy to do due to tasting so good.