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Honey Nutrition & Calories - Complete data of all nutrients

*all the values are displayed for the amount of 100 grams
Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan by Victoria Mazmanyan | Last updated on April 23, 2022
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Honey

Summary

Around 95% of honey’s dry weight is composed of net carbs, mainly fructose and glucose. Honey also contains small amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, and various health-beneficial phytochemicals.

Introduction

Honey is one of the most popular natural sweeteners worldwide. In traditional medicine, it is often used for its protective and healthful qualities. In this article, we will delve into the nutritional properties of honey and discuss its components in detail.

Nutrition

This article will mainly focus on the nutrition of commercial honey while also mentioning key distinctions of raw honey.

Honey’s nutrient content consists of 82% carbs, 17% water, and less than 1% other nutrients.

Macronutrients chart

83% 18%
Protein:
Daily Value: 1%
0.3 g of 50 g
1%
Fats:
Daily Value: 0%
0 g of 65 g
0%
Carbs:
Daily Value: 27%
82.4 g of 300 g
27%
Water:
Daily Value: 1%
17.1 g of 2,000 g
1%
Other:
0.2 g

Serving Size

The nutritional infographics are presented for a 100g serving of honey. However, honey is often used in smaller quantities. One average serving size of honey is one tablespoon, equal to 21g.

Other serving sizes include one teaspoon, equal to 7g, one packet or half an ounce, weighing 14g, and one cup containing 339g of honey.

Calories

The unusually rich carbohydrate content of honey makes it a higher-than-average calorie product. One hundred grams of honey contains 304 calories.

We compared honey to all foods in our database and found it is in the top 29% percent of foods high in calories. So 71% of foods contain fewer calories than honey does.

Calories per Serving

It is necessary to mention that honey is rarely used in such large amounts.

One tablespoon contains roughly 21 grams of honey and 64 calories accordingly. A teaspoon of honey contains 21 calories only.

Burning Estimates

In the table below, we have calculated which duration of a specific workout will burn the number of calories (64kcal) provided by one tablespoon of honey, using a method called Met or Metabolic Equivalent of a Task (2, 3).

The burning estimates naturally vary based on body weight. We present calculations for a 70kg and a 100kg person.

70kg person

100kg person

Walking

13 min

9 min

Running

5 min

3 min

Cycling

5 min

3 min

Dancing

7 min

5 min

In the following table, you can see the number of minutes a 70kg would need to walk in order to burn the calories provided by different serving sizes of honey.

Serving Size

Calories

Walking minutes to burn the calories (70kg)

100g

304kcal

~1 hour

1 tablespoon (21g)

64kcal

13 minutes

1 teaspoon (7g)

21kcal

4 minutes

Carbohydrates

As expected, honey has a very high carbohydrate content. About 95 to 97% of honey’s dry weight is made up of carbohydrates.

A 100g serving of honey, equalling around 5tbsp, contains 82.2g of carbohydrates.

This puts honey in the top 2% of foods in our database as a source of carbohydrates.

Five tablespoons of honey provide 27% of the daily needed intake of carbohydrates.

While the difference is not outstanding, raw honey tends to be slightly lower in carbohydrates, containing 81g per 100g serving.

Due to this high carbohydrate content, honey can be an excellent source of energy for athletes (4).

Carbohydrates per Serving

One average serving size of honey per person is 1tbsp, weighing 21g. The average serving size of honey provides 17.3g of carbohydrates.

One teaspoon of honey weighs 7g on average. This means when eating a teaspoon of honey, you’re consuming almost 6g of carbs.

Dietary Fiber

Honey consists of 99.8% of net carbs, containing 82.1g of net carbs and only 0.2g of dietary fiber in total.

Fiber content ratio for Honey

82.12%
Sugar: 82.12 g
Fiber: 0.2 g
Other: 0.08 g

Net Carbs

The sugar content of honey consists predominantly of fructose (50%) and glucose (44%).

Honey also contains sugars such as sucrose, maltose, and galactose in smaller amounts.

Carbohydrate type breakdown

35.75% 40.94% 1.44% 3.1%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 0.89 g
Glucose: 35.75 g
Fructose: 40.94 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 1.44 g
Galactose: 3.1 g

Raw honey is also lower in sugars, containing 76g per 100g serving.

Protein

Honey contains a negligible amount of protein - less than half a gram per 100g serving.

This low content includes free amino acids and enzymes, such as diastase, invertase, and glucose oxidase. These enzymes help break down the carbohydrates of honey (5).

The main free amino acid of honey is the non-essential proline, making up about 50% of the total amino acid content (5).

Protein quality breakdown

Tryptophan Threonine Isoleucine Leucine Lysine Methionine Phenylalanine Valine Histidine 5% 2% 2% 2% 2% 1% 2% 2% 1%
Tryptophan: 4 mg of 280 mg 1%
Threonine: 4 mg of 1,050 mg 0%
Isoleucine: 8 mg of 1,400 mg 1%
Leucine: 10 mg of 2,730 mg 0%
Lysine: 8 mg of 2,100 mg 0%
Methionine: 1 mg of 1,050 mg 0%
Phenylalanine: 11 mg of 1,750 mg 1%
Valine: 9 mg of 1,820 mg 0%
Histidine: 1 mg of 700 mg 0%

Fats

Honey is entirely absent in fats.

Vitamins

Honey is relatively low in vitamins overall.

The vitamin found in the highest amount is vitamin C, with 0.5mg per 100g serving. However, this only covers 1% of the daily needed value of this vitamin.

Honey also contains small amounts of vitamins B2, B3, B5, and B6 and the folate form of vitamin B9.

Honey completely lacks fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as water-soluble vitamin B1 and vitamin B12.

Vitamin coverage chart

Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 2% 0% 9% 3% 5% 6% 2% 0% 0%
Vitamin A: 0 IU of 5,000 IU 0%
Vitamin E : 0 mg of 15 mg 0%
Vitamin D: 0 µg of 10 µg 0%
Vitamin C: 0.5 mg of 90 mg 1%
Vitamin B1: 0 mg of 1 mg 0%
Vitamin B2: 0.038 mg of 1 mg 3%
Vitamin B3: 0.121 mg of 16 mg 1%
Vitamin B5: 0.068 mg of 5 mg 1%
Vitamin B6: 0.024 mg of 1 mg 2%
Folate: 2 µg of 400 µg 1%
Vitamin B12: 0 µg of 2 µg 0%
Vitamin K: 0 µg of 120 µg 0%

Minerals

Honey contains most minerals but in small quantities. It can not be considered a good source of minerals, considering the small serving sizes of honey.

Honey is relatively rich in iron and manganese. It also contains low levels of zinc, selenium, copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Honey is low in sodium, containing only 4mg per 100g serving.

Various essential trace components can also be found in honey, including silicon, rubidium, vanadium, zirconium, lithium, and strontium. However, some heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic are present as pollutants (6).

Mineral coverage chart

Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium Choline 2% 16% 2% 2% 5% 1% 6% 12% 11% 5% 2%
Calcium: 6 mg of 1,000 mg 1%
Iron: 0.42 mg of 8 mg 5%
Magnesium: 2 mg of 420 mg 0%
Phosphorus: 4 mg of 700 mg 1%
Potassium: 52 mg of 3,400 mg 2%
Sodium: 4 mg of 2,300 mg 0%
Zinc: 0.22 mg of 11 mg 2%
Copper: 0.036 mg of 1 mg 4%
Manganese: 0.08 mg of 2 mg 3%
Selenium: 0.8 µg of 55 µg 1%
Choline: 2.2 mg of 550 mg 0%

Phytochemicals

The nutritional content of honey is not only determined by its well-known nutrients but also by various phytochemicals. These compounds are found in small amounts but can play a significant role in the biomedical properties of honey.

Organic Acids

The primary organic acid found in honey is the product of glucose oxidation, gluconic acid. Other organic acids include acetic, formic, and citric acids (6). These compounds give honey its acidic quality.

Phenolic Compound

Phenolic compounds are naturally strong antioxidants that help prevent cell damage by oxidative stress.

The two predominant polyphenolic compounds in honey are flavonoids and polyphenols. Nearly thirty types of polyphenols can be found in honey. These vary greatly depending on the floral source and production conditions but usually include galangin, quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin, and isorhamnetin (6).

Volatile Compounds

The volatile compounds found in honey are low in amount but large in variety. These include aldehydes, alcohols, hydrocarbons, ketones, acid esters, benzene and terpene and their derivatives, pyran, as well as sulfur, furan, and cyclic compounds (6).

These compounds are often responsible for the aroma and physical characteristics of honey.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of honey differs based on its variety. Yellow box honey with 46% fructose has a glycemic index of 35, while this value for tupelo honey, with high fructose to glucose ratio, can go up to 74 (7).

Based on 17 types of honey, the mean glycemic index has been calculated to be 60. This puts honey’s glycemic index value in the moderate category, despite its high carbohydrate content.

To find a full list of the glycemic index values of over 350 foods, you can go to our glycemic index chart page.

Insulin Index

The insulin index of a given food shows how much it raises the insulin level in the blood after consumption.

Honey has been researched to have an insulin index value falling in the range of 40 to 67, depending on the variety (8).

A commercial blend of honey was found to have an insulin index of 62 ± 4 (8). This puts the insulin index of honey in the moderate category as well.

You can find the complete list of insulin index values of over 140 foods our insulin index chart page.

Acidity

Depending on the variety, honey was found to have a pH value falling in the range of 3.67 to 4.11 (9). This shows honey to be acidic.

Besides the pH value, the acidity of foods can also be measured by the potential renal acid load or PRAL. The PRAL value demonstrates how much acid or base the food forms in the body.

Honey has a PRAL value of -0.9, making it slightly alkaline-forming.

Comparison to Similar Foods

In the table below, you can look at how honey compares to other sweeteners in terms of carbohydrate content.

Food

Carbohydrates, per serving

Carbohydrates, per 100g

Honey

17g

82g

Maple Syrup

56g (¼ cup or 83g)

67g

Agave Nectar

42g (¼ cup or 55g)

76g

Brown Sugar

4g (1tsp or 4.2g)

98g

Sugar

4g (1tsp or 4.2g)

100g

Compared to maple syrup honey contains more carbohydrates, protein, and calories. Honey also has a higher glycemic index. To read a full nutrition and health impact comparison of honey and maple syrup, you can visit this page.

Agave nectar is higher in calories and fats, while honey is higher in carbohydrates and protein. However, the average serving size of agave nectar is over double that of honey. If interested, you can also read the complete comparison of “Agave Nectar vs. Honey”.

Compared to granulated sugar, honey is lower in net carbs and calories while containing more fructose, minerals, and vitamins.

References

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/454314/nutrients
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4428382/
  3. 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6683082/
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224906029
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424551/
  7. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/114/5/1625/6320814
  8. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236880818
  9. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/81170038.pdf
Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: April 23, 2022

Important nutritional characteristics for Honey

Honey
Glycemic index ⓘ Source:
Check out our Glycemic index chart page for the full list.
61 (medium)
Insulin index ⓘ II for 7 types of honey https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236880818
62
Calories
304
Net Carbs ⓘ Net Carbs = Total Carbohydrates – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols
82.2 grams
Serving Size ⓘ Serving sizes are taken from FDA's Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs)
1 tbsp (21 grams)
Acidity (Based on PRAL) ⓘ PRAL (Potential renal acid load) is calculated using a formula. On the PRAL scale the higher the positive value, the more is the acidifying effect on the body. The lower the negative value, the higher the alkalinity of the food. 0 is neutral.
-0.9 (alkaline)
98% Net carbs
97% Carbs
79% Sugar
71% Calories
53% Vitamin C
Explanation: The given food contains more Net carbs than 98% of foods. Note that this food itself is richer in Net carbs than it is in any other nutrient. Similarly, it is relatively rich in Carbs, Sugar, Calories, and Vitamin C.

Honey Glycemic index (GI)

61

Mineral chart - relative view

Manganese
0.08 mg
TOP 62%
Iron
0.42 mg
TOP 79%
Zinc
0.22 mg
TOP 83%
Selenium
0.8 µg
TOP 84%
Copper
0.036 mg
TOP 86%
Calcium
6 mg
TOP 88%
Potassium
52 mg
TOP 91%
Sodium
4 mg
TOP 92%
Choline
2.2 mg
TOP 95%
Magnesium
2 mg
TOP 96%
Phosphorus
4 mg
TOP 96%

Vitamin chart - relative view

Vitamin C
0.5 mg
TOP 47%
Vitamin B2
0.038 mg
TOP 85%
Vitamin B6
0.024 mg
TOP 89%
Folate
2 µg
TOP 90%
Vitamin B3
0.121 mg
TOP 90%
Vitamin B5
0.068 mg
TOP 92%
Vitamin K
0 µg
TOP 100%
Vitamin B12
0 µg
TOP 100%
Vitamin E
0 mg
TOP 100%
Vitamin B1
0 mg
TOP 100%
Vitamin D
0 µg
TOP 100%
Vitamin A
0 IU
TOP 100%

All nutrients for Honey per 100g

Nutrient DV% In TOP % of foods Value Comparison
Net carbs N/A 2% 82.2g 1.5 times more than Chocolate Chocolate
Protein 1% 92% 0.3g 9.4 times less than Broccoli Broccoli
Fats 0% 100% 0g N/A Cheese
Carbs 27% 3% 82.4g 2.9 times more than Rice Rice
Calories 15% 29% 304kcal 6.5 times more than Orange Orange
Fructose 51% 80% 40.94g 6.9 times more than Apple Apple
Sugar N/A 21% 82.12g 9.2 times more than Coca-Cola Coca-Cola
Fiber 1% 59% 0.2g 12 times less than Orange Orange
Calcium 1% 88% 6mg 20.8 times less than Milk Milk
Iron 5% 79% 0.42mg 6.2 times less than Beef Beef
Magnesium 0% 96% 2mg 70 times less than Almond Almond
Phosphorus 1% 96% 4mg 45.5 times less than Chicken meat Chicken meat
Potassium 2% 91% 52mg 2.8 times less than Cucumber Cucumber
Sodium 0% 92% 4mg 122.5 times less than White Bread White Bread
Zinc 2% 83% 0.22mg 28.7 times less than Beef Beef
Copper 4% 86% 0.04mg 3.9 times less than Shiitake Shiitake
Vitamin A 0% 100% 0IU N/A Carrot
Vitamin E 0% 100% 0mg N/A Kiwifruit
Vitamin D 0% 100% 0µg N/A Egg
Vitamin C 1% 47% 0.5mg 106 times less than Lemon Lemon
Vitamin B1 0% 100% 0mg N/A Pea
Vitamin B2 3% 85% 0.04mg 3.4 times less than Avocado Avocado
Vitamin B3 1% 90% 0.12mg 79.1 times less than Turkey meat Turkey meat
Vitamin B5 1% 92% 0.07mg 16.6 times less than Sunflower seed Sunflower seed
Vitamin B6 2% 89% 0.02mg 5 times less than Oat Oat
Folate 1% 90% 2µg 30.5 times less than Brussels sprout Brussels sprout
Vitamin B12 0% 100% 0µg N/A Pork
Vitamin K 0% 100% 0µg N/A Broccoli
Tryptophan 0% 98% 0mg 76.3 times less than Chicken meat Chicken meat
Threonine 0% 99% 0mg 180 times less than Beef Beef
Isoleucine 0% 98% 0.01mg 114.3 times less than Salmon Salmon
Leucine 0% 99% 0.01mg 243.1 times less than Tuna Tuna
Lysine 0% 98% 0.01mg 56.5 times less than Tofu Tofu
Methionine 0% 99% 0mg 96 times less than Quinoa Quinoa
Phenylalanine 0% 98% 0.01mg 60.7 times less than Egg Egg
Valine 0% 98% 0.01mg 225.4 times less than Soybean Soybean
Histidine 0% 99% 0mg 749 times less than Turkey meat Turkey meat
Cholesterol 0% 100% 0mg N/A Egg
Saturated Fat 0% 100% 0g N/A Beef
Monounsaturated Fat N/A 100% 0g N/A Avocado
Polyunsaturated fat N/A 100% 0g N/A Walnut

Check out similar food or compare with current

NUTRITION FACTS LABEL

Nutrition Facts
___servings per container
Serving Size ______________
Amount Per 100g
Calories 304
% Daily Value*
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 4mg
27%
Total Carbohydrate 82g
0%
Dietary Fiber 0g
Total Sugars g
Includes ? g Added Sugars
Protein 0g
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%

Calcium 6mg 1%

Iron 0mg 0%

Potassium 52mg 2%

*
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Health checks

Low in Cholesterol
ok
 ⓘ Dietary cholesterol is not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease in healthy individuals. However, dietary cholesterol is common in foods that are high in harmful saturated fats.
Source
No Trans Fats
ok
 ⓘ Trans fat consumption increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality by negatively affecting blood lipid levels.
Source
Low in Saturated Fats
ok
 ⓘ Saturated fat intake can raise total cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, leading to an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Dietary guidelines recommend limiting saturated fats to under 10% of calories a day.
Source
Low in Sodium
ok
 ⓘ Increased sodium consumption leads to elevated blood pressure.
Source
Low in Sugars
limit break
 ⓘ While the consumption of moderate amounts of added sugars is not detrimental to health, an excessive intake can increase the risk of obesity, and therefore, diabetes.
Source

Honey nutrition infographic

Honey nutrition infographic
Infographic link

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article and glycemic index text the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169640/nutrients

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.