It seems like we, as a society, might be getting tired of plain old coffee. Pumpkin spice, buttered coffee, salted coffee, fraps, mochas and countless others have been all the rage for years now. But there’s a simpler, sweeter way to mix up your brew that many people overlook: raw & unfiltered honey.

Sure, the typical move is to sweeten tea with honey and coffee with sugar, but if you think about it, there’s no particular reason why. Honey dissolves just as well in any hot beverage, and if you already like your coffee sweet, honey isn’t too different — it just adds a bit of local character.

But there’s one benefit honey has that sugar doesn’t.

Sweetening your coffee with sugar will always lead to some kind of sugar crash, even if it’s masked by the effects of caffeine. But raw & unfiltered local honey has a lower glycemic index (GI), causing less of a blood sugar spike and sugar crash. This is because honey contains fructose and glucose (as opposed to the sucrose in table sugar) that your body takes longer to absorb.

The glycemic index of honey varies in a wide range: from at least 32 to 85. If you buy mass-produced pasteurized and filtered honey, you’ll likely end up with one that has a glycemic index above 60, which isn’t that far off from table sugar. Raw & unfiltered honeys, with their variety of local pollens and higher fructose content, tend to have a lower GI and a sweeter, more pronounced flavor. Meaning a smaller spoonful of honey will give you all the flavor you want without the crash.

For more on honey and health, as well as how raw honey can play a role in your diet, check out the books by the Honey Doctor, Dr. Ron Fessenden, available from our store. You can also contact Dr. Fessenden directly with questions and comments at honeydoctor@localhivehoney.com.