What’s the difference: honey vs. raw honey vs. agave nectar?

As healthy recipes take the world by storm, more and more alternatives are popping up to replace Public Enemy No.1 – sugar. But what’s the difference between honey, raw honey & agave nectar? Is there a big nutritional difference? And how do each of these compare to regular table sugar? Take a look below & find out!

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Honey

What’s the difference: in form?

Any type of honey is made by bees converting nectar through both regurgitation and evaporation.

What’s the difference: in process?

To get the honey from the honeycomb, beekeepers have to remove the cappings and then placed in an extractor which spins the honey to make it finer. This is normally done in a honey house which is heated so that it will flow faster in the extraction process.

What’s the difference: in nutritional value?

Honey’s sweetness comes from fructose and glucose and has the same sweetness as table sugar. Its glycemic index is not the same as sugar, however, and has a slightly lower GI of 31-78, depending on the variety. No essential nutrients are contained in honey and it is composed of 17% water and 82% carbs. Due to its high fructose and glucose content, those with a weak immune system should not eat honey as honey can encourage bacterial infections in the gut.

Related posts: What’s the Difference: Raisins vs Currants vs Sultanas?

Raw Honey

What’s the difference: in form?

Any type of honey is made by bees converting nectar through both regurgitation and evaporation.

What’s the difference: in process?

The process is pretty much the same for honey vs raw honey, but the honey is extracted ‘naturally’, meaning no heat, settling or straining is used.

What’s the difference: in nutritional value?

With minimal processing going on, the enzymes and chemicals in the raw honey remain untouched and retain their nutritional value. Honey which has been processed is more like processed sweetener with no nutritional value.

Agave Nectar

What’s the difference: in form?

Agave nectar comes from the plant, agave, and is slightly less viscous than traditional honey.

What’s the difference: in process?

Agave nectar is extracted from the stalk of agave plants, which is filtered and then heated to produce simple sugars. The liquid can vary from light to dark amber depending on how much heat has been applied.

What’s the difference: in nutritional value?

Much like honey, agave nectar is mostly fructose and glucose. Unlike honey, agave syrup is 1.4-1.6 times sweeter than table sugar but has a lower GI then sugar. The darker the agave nectar, the higher concentration of the plant’s minerals.

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