Recently i have decided to switch from white sugar to Honey and i was wondering if there is any scenario in which using honey can be harmful? Like in baking or mixing with some other eatable thing?

3 Answers 3


Quote from "Toxic compounds in honey." (2014):

(...) honey may contain compounds that may lead to toxicity. A compound not naturally present in honey, named 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), may be formed during the heating or preservation processes of honey.

Also, from other sources:

High concentrations of HMF in honey indicate overheating, poor storage conditions and old honey.


Honey might be okey as long as you go the raw organic way.
See «Why Consuming Honey Raw Is So Important» section.

This honey is much better (from the nutrients point of view) because it has not been refined and is still loaded of vitamins, minerals, etc., contrary to white sugar. For a deep analysis on raw honey versus industrial honey and how to spot artificial honey, see this article.

You may also be interested in organic muscvado sugar which is a non refined "sugar cane" sugar.


«Honey actually contains more sugar and carbohydrates per serving compared to regular table sugar. source

Honey will surely and quickly raise your blood sugar too (triggering insulin secretion from your pancreas).

«All carbohydrates, with the exception of fiber, can raise your blood sugar levels, whether they come from honey, bread, rice, potatoes, candies, fruits or table sugar. If you have a blood glucose meter, you can do an experiment.

I did the experiment twice with a friend of mine, a slim sportive guy (as I am) but who is diabetic Type 1. Results were barely the same.
Experiment: Prior to the tests, we made sure have the same meal in the morning ~9am. At 18pm, on an empty stomach, we ate a yogurt with 3 servings of organic honey each.
Results: 15 minutes after, his blood sugar raised up to over 200mg/dL whereas mine was between 110 and 120mg/dL (thanks to my body secretion of insulin I guess).

Honey has a low to medium GI value, varying between 35 and 58 (…) Honey is therefore associated with a slower and smaller increase in your blood sugar levels compared with table sugar» source

Excess consumption of sugar, no matter the source it comes from, will expose one to the same kind of side effects and in the long term can lead to overweight or various illnesses such as Type2 diabetes.

«Eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain, which in turn increases your risk of health conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes» source

Link to an interesting trial on «Consumption of Honey, Sucrose, and High-Fructose Corn Syrup Produces Similar Metabolic Effects in Glucose-Tolerant and -Intolerant Individuals»

Then, I would say honey is okey as long as you limit your intakes to few tea spoons a meal.

«Honey has the same chemical backbone as table sugar, so the recommended serving size of honey is the same as it is for table sugar».Source

« Like any other sweetener, honey should be used sparingly in your diet.(…) For example, try using about 1/2 teaspoon of honey to mildly sweeten your tea, plain yogurt, … » source

Heavy edit (sources added) in response to Fermi paradox's comment.

  • You offer no sources to support your assertions about the superiority of raw honey. Answers here are expected to provide citations to support assertions of fact.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 1:37
  • @Carey_Gregory I am sorry, I just forgot. May you consider removing your downvote once I add some sources ?
    – Stphane
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 6:55
  • Could you provide references for all your claims individually? Currently you have 2 links to an article with references. For example, if i want to verify that your "honey will surely and quickly raise your blood sugar"-claim there is no link to check it. Also, I highly doubt that by eating any amount of honey (even tiny amounts) would result in "high blood sugar" and "becoming overweight".
    – user
    Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 6:39
  • @Fermiparadox you are right, I added sources. I hope articles will make sense to you.
    – Stphane
    Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 20:14
  • @Stphane This is much better so i reverted my downvote. There is still some room for improvement though. E.g. the comment by Carey. Additionally, experiments have some strict rules when performed in order to ensure the results are reliable. (also, no need for the last line:P )
    – user
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 7:59
  1. Honey is made of (in weight): 18% of water and 82% of sugars (and sugars are glucose and fructose in a fraction that depends on the honey kind, e.g. mixed honey, acacia honey, etc.) [ref.1]

this means:
a) it's anyhow almost pure sugar, with all problems related to...
b) respect raw sugar, that's pure sucrose, this is the main and the bigger difference between honey and raw sugar; I pointed out this difference because, IMHO, this is the main route in where looking for disadvantages or advantages! e.g. glucose VS sucrose, and, fructose VS sucrose.

  1. honey is certainly better than raw sugar because contains/is rich of vitamins and minerals [ref.1]

  2. HMF compound presence means bad honey but it's not toxic for human; instead is toxic for bees [ref.2]

  • why my answer is not useful?
    – mattia.b89
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 15:13
  • updated with refs and some typos
    – mattia.b89
    Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 12:34
  • please remove the above "unsourced" badge or explain why is not enough
    – mattia.b89
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 16:50

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