Let’s get one thing straight.
You can be as young 6 years old or as old as 79, we are all suckers for sweetness. It is hardwired in our systems really. We just can’t get enough of all things sweet, can we?
But everything comes at a price. Especially sugar.
According to a 2015 report, India produces about 17% of the total global sugar production but exports only 4%. What does that mean? High domestic demand. Yes, Indians sure do love their sugar. The daily per capita consumption of sugar is 10 spoons, amounting to EIGHTEEN kilograms per year! Now if you ask me, that’s real scary.
As a result of this, sugar alternatives are born. With rising cases of cardiovascular diseases affecting the population on a yearly basis, people are moving to healthier alternatives that’s not exactly sugar, well almost.
Here’s where jaggery and honey come into the picture. These two food products are the next best wonders when it comes to cutting down on sugar intake. But when it comes to honey vs jaggery, which is better?
Let’s find out.
Honey vs Jaggery
Processed or refined sugar is one of the most consumed condiments in the world. As essential as it is to human diets, it has a detrimental effect on the body when consumed in dangerous amounts.
Honey has been used as a sugar alternative for a long time now. In fact, it is one of the most popular sweeteners used by people around the world. Fructose and glucose are the two main sugars present in honey. The presence of high dosage of fructose is rather ironical if you were to consider switching to honey as a sweetening alternative as fructose is known to be more sweet than glucose or sucrose. However, it’s level is relatively low on the glycemic index, which makes it a preferred sugar substitute as it is known to lower blood sugar levels to a certain extent.
Plus, honey is an excellent source of antioxidants and electrolytes. Not to forget its ability to reduce weight gain.
If you were to switch to honey as an alternative, pure raw honey would be the most preferred choice as most honey available in the market is either adulterated or artificially sweetened, which is a whole new problem in itself.
Jaggery is another contender for the sweet spot. This sweet alternative is made from the same ingredient as sugar— sugarcane. The only difference is that it does not undergo the refining process which separates the molasses and crystals. Molasses is a by-product of sugarcane in the sugar making process. It is obtained after boiling the sugarcane juice twice.
Jaggery is known to be less sweet than fructose but relatively more sweeter than glucose. It is also known to have a very high glycemic index.
But the one aspect which makes jaggery unique is the nutritional value it possesses as a result of the molasses content. It is rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins.
What’s the verdict?
Switching to alternatives such as jaggery and honey can prove to be a wise choice if we want to cut down on our sugar intake. There is no denying the fact that both jaggery and honey possess their own unique benefits in terms of nutritional value but that does eliminate the fact that both these products contain one form of sugar or the other, if not all. They are still viable to be as harmful as regular sugar if taken in excess.
Thus, when it comes to consuming jaggery and honey, it is always advisable to refrain from excessive consumption.
Jaggery vs Sugar vs Honey
As mentioned in the preceding section above, there can be no clear winner when it comes to a healthier sweetening alternative which no concerning side effects. Jaggery and honey may be better than sugar by a mile, but it does not really make much of a difference as at the end of the day, they’re still technically sugars in themselves.
So, it all comes down to personal preferences really. Some people prefer jaggery over honey and vice versa as you needn’t put too much of it to achieve the desired effect. Honey tastes as sweet as sugar so you only need a teaspoon of it to sweeten you tea or drink. Jaggery on the other hand has a more subdued taste, making it more susceptible to higher intake. Hence, it is always advisable to limit your intake to only a teaspoon when it comes to jaggery and honey.