Sugar, Honey, Jaggery & Everything Sweet

All of these add sweetness to our food. And in turn to our life. Sugar in the form of white crystals or brown sugar with a slightly brown tinge is easily available in all markets over the world. Honey : in small Bottles & Jaggery in certain countries or in Indian stores all over the world.

Most of these are highly processed for a greater shelf life. So let’s make a choice of a lesser evil among all these sweeteners.

All sugars come from one source: Sugarcane. Honey from the bees. Depending on how they are processed, they could have a different calorific value. Below is a table which would help you decide which one to choose on basis of calories 1

White Sugar375kcal/100gms
Brown Sugar390kcal/100gms
Calories per 100 gms

While adding it as teaspoon the difference in these calories almost vanish. So one thing to remember “If it sweetens it has the calories”

A lot of us replace white sugar with the ” so called healthier options” like Brown sugar, Honey or Jaggery. When it comes to weight loss, all sweeteners contribute to a similar calorie count.

Don’t be disspointed as yet. Jaggery & Honey are still healthier than the regular sugars. I’ll explain how.

We know that jaggery comes from boiling sugarcane juice until it hardens. Sugar cane juice contains numerous nutrients which are retained in Jaggery that we consume.(P.S. A lot of jaggery is factory processed which might strip it of the essential nutrients. Here we only talk about traditional desi gur)


Iron10-13 mg
Vitamin A3.8mg
Vitamin B10.01mg
Vitamin B20.06mg
Vitamin B50.01mg
Vitamin B60.01mg
Vitamin C7.0mg
Vitamin D26.50mg
Vitamin E111.30mg
Vitamin PP7.0mg
NItritional Value of Jaggery

I had an amazing chance of visiting such a place where they make Desi Gur on the highways of Chandigarh, India. It rejuvenated my tastebuds to eat something so pure and fresh, just made jaggery with peanuts.

Along with 280mg of Protein per 100gm of Jaggery4. Now you know what to replace your vitamin pills with. (Just Joking). Jaggery serves as an amazing addition towards our daily mineral and nutrient intake giving us, about 30% of Magnesium & Potassium and about 61% of Iron of the RDI(Recommended Daily Intake)

Having said this remember, Jaggery still has 70% Sucrose and all the calories. So take in moderation for those aiming towards weight loss or are Diabetic.

JAGGERY IS MORE COMPLEX THAN SUGAR, IS DIGESTED SLOWLY AND RELEASES ENERGY OVER TIME-which causes lower blood sugar spikes as compared to other sweetners like white or brown sugar

Let’s get to Honey!

Honey contains around 56-500mg/kg of total polyphenols mainly flavonoids. These are responsible for the antioxidant properties of honey. Honey contains 0.3-25mg/kg choline and 0.06 to 5mg/kg acetylcholine. Choline is essential for cardiovascular and brain function, and for cellular membrane composition and repair, while acetylcholineacts as a neurotransmitter.5

The honey bees support us in a big way by making honey. which we steal from them. Because it is so delicious and nutritious. Honey may differ slightly in taste and composition depending on areas they are acquired from.


Taken from the Book of Honey 6

Apart from the essential Minerals & Vitamins, it also contains trace elements which are of nutritional value.

Do you know that certain studies have shown that the carbohydrate profile and the GI response of honey was identical to popular sports gel. All you athletes out there, you’ll now have another more natural option as a substitute for your expensive sport gels. 7



Brown sugar is White sugar + Molasses (by product of sugar production). Except for the difference in Color and Taste, white and brown sugar are practically the same thing.

Brown sugar being less refined than white sugar, gives you marginally more minerals than the white sugar. Substituting white for brown and paying more for one versus another is a smart marketing gimmick with minimal added value.

The Important Question

What would you choose?

Now that you know a smarter choice would be Honey and Jaggery. Both these are rich in nutrients, minerals and trace elements. They have antioxidant properties. They taste good and are complex in nature, so they break down slowly, providing energy over longer periods of time.

In spite of all these things, they contribute to a similar calorie intake as white and brown sugar.Hence, Intake should be in moderation.Remember just because they are healthier doesn’t mean you can consume them without any check on the amount.

Anything in excess is poison. Even Honey and Jaggery (P.S. will contribute to weight gain in excess)

Hemali Physio


  1. https://www.resea rc hgate.n et/pu blication/343557962
  2. https://www.resea rc hgate.n et/pu blication/343557962
  3. https://www.resea rc hgate.n et/pu blication/343557962
  4. https://www.resea rc hgate.n et/pu blication/343557962
  5. Bogdanov, Stefan. (2016). Honey as Nutrient and Functional Food. Bee Product Science. 15.
  6. Bogdanov, Stefan. (2016). Honey as Nutrient and Functional Food. Bee Product Science. 15.
  7. Bogdanov, Stefan. (2016). Honey as Nutrient and Functional Food. Bee Product Science. 15.

Published by hemaliphysio

Ortho & Sports Physio, The Movement Analyst

4 thoughts on “Sugar, Honey, Jaggery & Everything Sweet

  1. Really good job!…
    Very Informative 👌🏼

    I have already replaced white/brown sugar With Desi jaggery



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: