Saturday, February 11, 2012

Add something sweet

I'm on a honey mask kick right now.

I've been plagued with acne since my recent allergic reaction. In an attempt to stop it, I used tretinoin on my face nightly. It made my face sting since I usually use it only 2x or 3x a week, but I persevered. Unfortunately, I think I had a bad reaction to formalin or something under the mask I was using (maybe due to the heat or poor circulation); my mouth region started to burn! It was mildly painful, so I washed it off and added some moisturizer as soon as possible.

Now, I'm using "natural methods" to heal my face. Right now, that means honey and calamansi (a citrus fruit; family Rutaceae- the local, cheaper version of lemons/limes) with more of the former than the latter.

I like to drink tea while waiting for the proper time to remove my mask (20 mins or so, some people leave honey masks overnight). I've been using honey as a sweetener (which I do sometimes) because I get too lazy to get the sugar. There is definitely a taste difference between white sugar, brown sugar and honey; you can prefer each type for different foods. However, I was wondering which one was healthier. Everyone keeps saying use honey instead of sugar, because it's sweeter and it's natural/good for you (actually because it has a lower glycemic index), but should you really?

Note: I used 21 grams because it's what's relevant to me (as I'm comparing it with the honey I have which says 21 grams is 1 tablespoon; 21 grams is around 6 teaspoons, 15 grams is around 1 tablespoon ). Stats from wikipedia

21 grams Granulated sugar:
-81.27 calories
-nutrients higher than 10% suggested daily values: none
-glycemic index: 64*

21 grams Brown sugar:
-79.17 calories
-nutrients higher than 10% suggested daily values: Iron (15%)
-glycemic index: 64*

21 grams Honey (21 grams):
-63.84 calories
-nutrients higher than 10% suggested daily values: none
-glycemic index: 31-78 (from wikipedia), 30 for raw honey*

*from "Glycemic Index: Where Do Sweeteners Form?" at 10/14/11 - not mine :)

Wikipedia says that brown sugar, being denser though, packs more sugar than white, so unless you have scales at home, you might be consuming more brown sugar than you think! An added benefit of honey: you can't make a "heaping" tablespoon out of it.

If my honey actually scores a 30 on the GI, then honey is the way to go. However, for small quantities (for instance, in my tea- milk tea too), I think I'd prefer using brown sugar, thank you. Why?

1 tablespoon brown sugar has less calories than 1 tablespoon honey, and since I don't usually eat carbs during my study time, the glycemic load isn't that much.

Using honey is less convenient than using sugar (since honey is runny/messy) and I end up with too much honey in the spoon and less in my tea, and thus end up putting even more honey.

I don't have a container to share it in for tea with others :)

I'm just lazy that way.

Edit: according to this other source (, "Glycemic Index) which gives honey a GI of 55, sugar has a GL of 8 while honey has 9.

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