There’s no secret; sugar is bad for the human body.
First of all, it causes a spike in insulin levels which can cause diabetes. When I take coffee with sugar, not only do I get that but also mood swings so that's why I personally stopped taking it. Also, people who are on a diet should avoid it completely - just like pretty much any other rational human being out there. This is because it can induce hunger and food cravings which will definitely defeat the whole purpose of a diet in the first place.
Diabetes is not the only condition I am predisposed to and can get if I keep eating sugar. Obesity, and heart disease also. The high-glycemic diet, which is the prevalent diet in the modern world can increase the risk of suffering from those unwanted chronic illnesses.
The immune system can also be affected. This is because yeast and bacteria thrive in an environment where there is excess glucose in. Other health areas, an intake of sugar can affect are again, teeth and gum health, cognition and concentration, and it can cause a rise in stress.
What is the Healthiest Sweetener for Coffee?
Honey is by far the healthiest sweetener for coffee. Honey has not only been as a sweetener since ancient but also as medicine. It is made by honeybees and it comes in a color that goes from yellow to dark brown.
The way that is produced is that the bees gather nectar from flowers and combine it with enzymes to make honey which is then later on stored in honeycomb cells. This way, it is kept fresh and it is readily available for human consumption.
There are many reasons why honey is the healthiest sweetener for coffee. These are:
It has more nutrients than processed sugar
Although not all honey is made equal, since its nutritional composition can vary depending on the origin of the nectar used to make it, it nevertheless is more nutritious than sugar. It has amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins since these are components that can be found in local pollen.
It is better to use dark honey over light honey because the first one has more antioxidants than the latter which prevent aging and are capable of preventing and reversing some diseases. Also, raw honey, being edible, should be preferred over processed honey since this one has more enzymes and antioxidants than the other.
It can lower blood pressure. Most people that drink coffee are adults or the elderly. The latter especially, because they tend to stay at home and drink massive amounts of coffee. Old people are at greater risk of suffering from heart disease than younger people. Even though blood pressure reductions are modest, they can be a good measure to take if you have this condition or have a hereditary disposition for it.
Cholesterol can be improved. The Western diet is a place where bad or LDL cholesterol levels can flourish. A large amount of saturated fats and trans fats like the ones found in reused vegetable oils and fast foods can worsen it. Just like blood pressure, LDL cholesterol levels, when high, can cause atherosclerosis which is a condition in heart disease. This fatty buildup can even cause a stroke.
Fortunately, there are many studies that show that honey can reduce LDL cholesterol levels. On top of that, it increases HDL cholesterol which is the good form of cholesterol found in the body. To put it in numbers, a study in which 55 people participated, switched from sugar to honey and had a decrease of 5.8% in LDL and a rise of 3,3% in HDL cholesterol levels.
Allergy can also be relieved with it. A study done in 2011 concluded that people that had birch pollen allergy and took honey, had half of days without symptoms, 70% less days with drastic symptoms, and 60% in overall symptoms reduction. Also, they were able to drop their antihistamine consumption by 50%. These benefits are attributed to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of honey.
There are some foods that may cause bloating and indigestion to some people. For this reason, honey stands out when compared to sugar to reduce these symptoms. Honey is easier to digest than sugar because the enzymes it contains have already broken it down for your body to digest.
Honey also suppresses cough. It is a natural way to do it to help children suffering from this malady. In a study made in 2007 with children that had bronchitis, they experienced more symptom relief when taking dark honey when compared to those taking a placebo. Even though some medications are better for this purpose, the fact that honey doesn't have side effects when taken in reasonable amounts make it a viable alternative for this purpose.
This is a two-fold advantage which helps us in our self-esteem and overall health. If consumed before bed, it can help you burn more calories during sleep. Also, given the essential hormones it contains, it reduces hunger cravings and reduces appetite in general. In a study made with 55 people, it was concluded that each one of them lost an average of 1.3 kgs just by eating honey.
Personally, I prefer using honey as my natural and only sweetener for my coffee because it tastes good and it keeps me healthy to some extent. This is important because coffee is something I take regularly, who doesn't, anyway?
While honey is the best of them all, there are other options in the market also for this purpose. These include.
- Maple Syrup
There are some brands that have come up with their own sweeteners which can be used for coffee. However, as with pretty much everything in life, it is better to stick to what is natural and not what is processed. Remember, choose raw honey and dark honey over their counterparts, meaning, processed honey and light honey.