Honey, Jaggery or Brown Sugar: Which is considered to be good for health?

Each of these options can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.

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When it comes to health, moderation is key regardless of the sweetener you choose. Choosing between honey, jaggery, and brown sugar depends on various factors, including health goals, nutritional content, and personal preferences.

Let's break down the differences:


Honey is a natural sweetener with antimicrobial properties, antioxidants, and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. It has a lower glycemic index compared to table sugar, meaning it causes a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels. However, it is high in fructose and calories, so excessive consumption can contribute to weight gain. It may also pose risks for individuals with certain health conditions, such as diabetes. We can call it ‘Less Bad’ as compared to sugar and jaggery.


Jaggery is made from concentrated sugarcane juice or palm sap, retaining some of the nutrients found in sugarcane. It contains iron, magnesium, and potassium, along with antioxidants. But, almost similar to honey, jaggery is high in calories and may raise blood sugar levels, albeit slower than refined sugar. It can also have a high glycemic index, depending on its processing.

A diabetic patient should avoid jaggery as it has a high glycemic index value, which is almost 82.1.

Though it is considered to be one of the best cleansing agents of lungs but can be harmful if not taken in moderate quantity, which could lead to weight gain, indigestion and increased sugar levels. 

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is essentially white sugar with added molasses, which gives it a slightly higher mineral content (iron, calcium, potassium) and a more robust flavor. Molasses is a thick dark to light brown syrup made after separating from raw sugar while manufacturing. Though it is considered good for health, it is slightly high in mineral content; brown sugar is still a refined sugar and offers little nutritional value beyond calories. It has a similar impact on blood sugar levels as white sugar.

As compared to White sugar which has (16 KCAL per teaspoon), Brown sugar contains slightly fewer calories (12 KCAL per teaspoon).

Each of these options can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation. However, if you're looking for a sweetener with potentially more health benefits, honey or jaggery might be slightly better choices due to their lower glycemic index and added nutrients. Always consider your specific health needs and consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns about sugar consumption.