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This is The Most Underrated Sweetener You're Not Using

It's got some health benefits, and people are starting to notice.
Honey in bowl next to bowl of sugar packets

Added sugars are everywhere—just check the label on anything from the middle aisles of the grocery store. Things like aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, and more are all examples of artificial sweeteners that can appear in nutritional information. Grocery shoppers are learning more and more about healthier options to make their foods sweet, and data shows that is changing the game.

Granulated white sugar is an all-time-fave, but honey is rising in the ranks. According to data from The National Honey Board's 2020 Attitudes and Usage survey, of 2,000 respondents, the percentage of people who don't use honey in some form fell from 22% in 2019 to just 12% in 2020. Almost 35% of those who answered said they use honey lightly, or less than once a month. Just over 30% say they use it a few times a week, and 23% say they use it multiple times per week or more. All three of those percentages are up from last year. (Related: 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.)

Honey is a sweetener that never expires because it doesn't contain a lot of water and is considered dry enough that bacteria can't grow. That's not the only reason people like it. Research says consuming local honey from your area can help with allergy symptoms. Manuka Honey, a special form created by bees who pollinate a manuka bush, can reduce inflammation in the body.

The Attitudes and Usage survey shows more and more people know of these honey benefits. This is ultimately driving their spending habits. In 2019, 60% of people believed honey is a good source of vitamins. This year, 69% believe so.

For those who are using honey most often in tea, breakfast, and/or baking recipes, know that it's even more versatile. Check out our recipes for Lean Pork Chips With Balsamic-Honey Glaze, or Savory-Sweet Grilled Fruit Kebabs With Yogurt and Honey.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more