Does honey make you gain weight?

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

Many people enjoy the honey that bees make from flower nectar. Its sweet taste comes from the large quantity of carbohydrates it contains (80%). Some people wonder about the effects of this substance on weight gain. Does honey make you gain weight?

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

Find out if honey really has an impact on weight by analyzing its nutritional values ​​as well as the conditions and method of consumption.


A gift of nature

It is a true gift of nature in that it is an almost free source of food. In addition, it has interesting medicinal properties and brings its share of benefits to the body.

Does honey make you gain weight?
Honey is made up of fructose and glucose

Produced by bees

Honey is made by bees who first feed on flower nectar.

These are particularly productive in a hot and dry or humid climate. Under these conditions, storing part of their honey in the hive is easier. Bees use it as a food source when natural food becomes scarce.


Honey is mainly composed of fructose and glucose which are easily digested and assimilated by the body. Of course, it contains other types of sugars, but in small quantities. This is also where it differs from ordinary sugar, which only contains sucrose.

As for its consistency, it varies according to its simple sugar content. When it contains a large majority of glucose, it is crystallized. While with a large quantity of fructose, it maintains its original form: liquid.

What are the calorific values ​​of honey?

Nutritional value

The calorific value of honey is approximately 20% lower than that of sugar. Furthermore, 100 g of this substance is roughly equivalent to 1340 kJ and 320 kcal. Furthermore, in this same proportion, we find 79.3 g of fructose and sucrose, 0.1 g of lipids, 0.7 g of fiber and 0.006 g of sodium.

Detailed composition

Apart from fructose and glucose, it contains other varieties of simple sugar but in low content: maltose and sucrose.

In addition, it contains other elements and nutrients such as:

  • Water ;
  • Proteins (aspartic acid, alanine, asparagine, histidine, leucine, proline, tyrosine, etc.);
  • Mineral salts ;
  • Organic acids;
  • Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, A, D, K, etc.);
  • Lipids (triglycerides and fatty acids);
  • Manganese;
  • Potassium;
  • Copper ;
  • Zinc;
  • Complex organic compounds;
  • Enzymes;
  • Natural antibiotics;
  • Biological substances (acetylclonine, flavonoids);
  • Pollen.

Does honey make you gain weight?

It is a high-calorie food

The taste of honey and sugar is clearly different. That of refined sugar is less pronounced. This observation leads back to a theory which says that honey is more caloric than sugar.

In fact, a tablespoon of honey provides about 22 calories compared to 20 for a spoonful of sugar. Thus, it would be possible that regular consumption of large quantities of honey promotes weight gain.

It is an almost complete substance

Carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, sucrose) which are combined with vitamins, copper and zinc give it a term “complete” food.

Athletes are advised to consume it to optimize their performance and maintain their body shape without losing weight.

On the other hand, sugar is classified as a food “pure” since it contains only glucose.

It’s a healthy food

Although consuming honey in large quantities is likely to make you gain weight due to its sugar content, it provides many benefits.

It is ideally consumed in the form of a food supplement to be added sparingly to the diet. Indeed, it contains vitamins and minerals that promote good health.

Thanks to its multiple properties, honey strengthens the immune system and helps fight various diseases.

Under what conditions can honey make you gain weight?

Understanding the glycemic index

Knowing the glycemic index of a food is essential in order to better manage the calorific value consumed.

Does honey make you gain weight?
Honey has a high glycemic index

When the glycemic index is low, the food is more favorable to people who practice sporting activity.

On the other hand, when it is high, the level of sugar present in the blood rises quickly only to fall again quickly and a large quantity is transformed into fat. Therefore, foods in this category are not recommended for prolonged efforts.

Beware of liquid honey

Consuming liquid honey could make you gain weight, because it contains much more fructose than sucrose. However, fructose has a high glycemic index and is quickly transformed into fat.

It should be noted that the effects on weight gain are faster with foods rich in refined sugar than with fructose.

How should you consume it to gain weight?

Consider the color of the honey

Dark-colored honey is generally high in fructose. So, if you want to gain weight, encourage its consumption.

Conversely, if you do not particularly want to gain weight, but you want to benefit from its beneficial effects, choose light-colored honey.

How to consume it?

As is the case with any other product, reasonable consumption of honey remains recommended. Just don’t overdo it to avoid gaining weight from honey. Moreover, you would really have to consume large quantities, very regularly, to gain weight with this product.

Nutritionists recommend taking it in the morning on an empty stomach to benefit from all its benefits. Then, breakfast will not be eaten until about thirty minutes later.

Replace sugar with honey

Use honey rather than refined sugar to enhance your drinks or yogurts. Even if the first is more calorific, it also has the advantage of containing many nutrients beneficial to the body.

Note that it is possible to combine it with all types of foods, especially since it promotes better digestion.


Does honey make you gain weight? Absolutely, the answer is no. If you include this sugary substance in your diet, it will not cause weight gain on its own. Different factors combine to promote overweight. The risk of honey being part of it is quite minimal. Whatever happens, your consumption must remain reasonable.