How Much Honey Is Healthy?
With all the buzz around sugars these days, it’s important to remember that like any sweetener, honey should be savored in small amounts. The American Heart Association recommends that no more than 10% of your total calories should come from added sugars, which for the average American woman translates into about 100 calories a day, or just under 5 teaspoons of honey. For context, consider the average American currently consumes roughly 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day – more than four times as much!
But honey does have some unique appeal: For one, this golden liquid is significantly sweeter than table sugar (about 25% sweeter), meaning you’re satisfied with less. This can shave calories off of your morning cup of tea, your oatmeal (just add a drizzle), or even the amount of sweetener you need in a recipe when baking.
Another plus? Honey has long been loved by athletes as a source of a lower glycemic carbohydrate, which means it enters your bloodstream more slowly than other refined sugars, giving you sustained energy to power your performance. In ancient Greece, athletes feasted on honey and figs prior to the Olympic competitions; today, my colleague, a sports nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals, has her pro ball players eat honey sandwiches (with all-natural peanut butter and whole wheat bread) for sustained energy prior to a game. Personally, honey is a family favorite. My four year old eats it just because he loves it. As a mom, I'm proud (and it saves me a lot of trouble) that he's into the healthy stuff.