Did You Ever Wonder What Food Group Is Honey In?

If you are wondering what food group is honey? Rest assured! I was wondering the same question for quite a while. I did some pretty good research around different references & got this confusion cleared. 

First of all, honey originates from the nectar of flowers. It comes in different colors & flavors. Honey contains high carbohydrates & a great source of energy. As a result, it creates confusion about what food groups it should actually be? 

From the general perspective, honey belongs to the sugar & sweeteners group. But different regulations of food law, given different opinions about what food group is honey in. Various countries have their own views about where honey belongs in the food pyramid chain. 

Keep reading to find out more about honey & which group it belongs from a broader perspective. 


Definition of Honey

The scientific category of honey is a simple sugar that is “monosaccharides“. Honey is a vicious, sweet food substance made by honey bees & related insects. It’s a liquid material tangled out of the nectar of flowers or living parts of plant life. Description of Honey is a golden-colored liquid that is thick & sweet. Honeybees collect them from various sources & save them for eating later & feeding their larvae. 

Honey comes from natural sources & its history goes back to ancient times. It’s been used as a raw sweetener in the world for several million years ago. From ancient times, honey is known as liquid food & medicine throughout all cultures & religious beliefs. 

Honey is one kind of sugar & can be useful as an alternative to white sugar. It has no category & doesn’t fall into any food group. Honey has attractive chemical properties for baking & a good flavor when it tastes. 

What food group is honey?

Properties of Honey

One table teaspoon Honey contains 64 calories, 17.3 grams (g) of sugar, and 0 g of fiber, fat, and protein, According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database. 

Honey is known to have antioxidant, cough soothing effects, and antimicrobial properties. Honey is better than refined & processed sugar in long-term health benefits.

A typical honey profile contains – 


     Per 20g serving

              Per 100g serving


288 kcal/1229 kJ

58 kcal/246 kJ

Fat (g)



Carbohydrate (g)



Fructose (g)



Glucose (g)



Protein (g)



                                         Other constituents

Water (g)



The properties of honey depend on the flora used while production & its water percentage too. Honey’s acidic pH level prevents bacteria & antioxidants’ growth and cleans up free radicals linked to diseases. 


U.S. FDA Regulatory Classification on Honey

If you were wondering what food group is honey FDA thinks? Let’s take a look all-around. 

According to the U.S. Government, Honey is defined as a “Nutritive Sweetener” in short. For your reference, the nutritive sweetener is – “Nutritive sweeteners, also known as caloric sweeteners or sugars, provide energy in the form of carbohydrates.” Nutritive sweetener is known as caloric sugar too & its carbohydrates mainly that gives energy to the body.

The F.D.A. categorizes honey as “Added Sugars.” It’s not found naturally in foods—for example – fruits & milk. Honey is like corn syrup, molasses which is extra adding to increase the taste. 

There’s a rumor about honey going around on the internet that the US FDA classified honey as raw meat. That’s a false acquisition & there’s no backing evidence about this statement. Once again, F.D.A. defined honey – 

“A thick, sweet, syrupy substance that bees make as food from the nectar of flowers and store in honeycombs.” 


Canadian Regulatory Classification on Honey

Another question is, what food group is honey in Canada? Let’s take a look. 

In Canada, they classified honey as a sweetening agent because of its sugar-based ingredients. Their direct statement from government regulatory authorities is – 

“Honey falls under the definition of a sugars-based ingredient because it is considered a sweetening agent. As such, when honey is used in multi-ingredient foods such as candies and biscuits, honey is required to be grouped in parentheses following the term “Sugars” in the list of ingredients and placed in descending order relative to the other ingredients in the product [B.01.008.3(1) and (2), F.D.R.].”

Another one – 

“Examples of sweetening agents include fancy molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, agave syrup, refined sugar syrup, honey, and other syrup.”

Honey will be counted as sugar only when it becomes an ingredient in making some products like Cake, Fruit Juice, Tea, etc. The direct classification is – 

As per section B.01.001(1) of the F.D.R., Honey is considered a sweetening agent as it is listed in Division 18 of the F.D.R. Although single-ingredient products like honey are exempt from displaying a list of ingredients, if one is voluntarily included on the label, honey packaged and sold as such is exempt from being declared in parentheses following the term “Sugars” in the list of ingredients [B.01.008.3(4)(a), FDR]. 

What food group is honey?

Honey in everyday use

Honey falls into the carbohydrates group. 100-gram honey contains about 76.4 grams of carbs. Because of its functional properties & high energy, Athletes take honey to achieve their desired goals. It’s sweet to enrich the flavor of every recipe. 

Honey is a natural alternative to sugar. As a result, honey can be useful in several recipes of everyday cooking. Some of the diet lists of honey are – 

  • Add honey into coffee or tea. 
  • Use honey to sweeten your marinades or dressings. 
  • On the top of pancakes or toast, the Honey layer works. 
  • For a natural sweetening flavour, mix honey with oatmeal, cereal, or yoghurt. 
  • Do spread honey over the whole grain of toast and top with peanut butter. 

Moreover, honey is another form of sugar. For that reason, Honey should be of moderate use in everyday life to maintain better health. Another vital thing is honey shouldn’t be given to an infant or under one-year-old children. Honey has no expiry date if stored correctly. It can be the proper use for everyday intake. 


Honey vs Sugar in Everyday use

Both honey & sugar are sweet. But there are some notable differences between those two sweeteners. 

From a Research paper, we found that honey’s a bit healthier than sugar. Honey contains a vast amount of minerals, vitamins, proteins & antioxidants. Furthermore, honey contains fructose, glucose, which is present in the sugar too. A tablespoon sugar contains 50% glucose & 50% fructose while Honey contains 30% glucose & 40% fructose respectively. 

Honey contains calories & carbohydrates also & its percentage is higher than granulated sugar. Honey is usually much sweeter than white sugar. Both can cause blood sugar levels to rise, but sugar causes blood sugar to spike much faster than honey.  

A study report shows that honey could aid weight loss, prevent excessive fat gain & sometimes reduce blood sugar level if replaced with sugar from the daily diet. Honey is quite easing at our digestive system because it quickly breaks down after ingestion. 

Another difference is the price between honey and sugar, mostly raw honey. Raw Honey prices higher than granulated sugar of the same quantity. Raw honey contains much more nutrients than table sugar because of less procession. 

Honey contains enzymes too. For that reason, it’s easier to consume & easy to digest than sugar. 


Health Benefits of Honey

Generations after generations, People are using this food group honey as food & medicine too. Honey offers several health benefits if consumed correctly. Honey blends pretty well with many recipes. Some of the honey benefits are – 

  • Honey contains Nutrients

One tablespoon of honey consists of 64 calories, 17 grams of sugar, including glucose, fructose, sucrose. Moreover, it doesn’t have fat or protein & virtually no fiber. Darker color honey contains more antioxidants than lighter color honey. 


  • Rich in Antioxidants

High-quality honey is rich in antioxidants, especially buckwheat honey. This type of honey boosts antioxidants in human blood. This honey contains organic acids & flavonoids too. 


  • High Antioxidants lower blood pressure

Blood pressure is related to risk factors for heart disease. Study shows that higher antioxidants of honey help the reduction of blood pressure. 


  • Improves cholesterol level

High cholesterol level in the blood is another risk factor for heart disease. Several studies have proven that honey might improve the cholesterol level of human blood. 


  • Soothing Cough problems 

Coughing comes from respiratory infections. Honey is more useful than medicine for suppressing coughing problems. A study shows that honey reduces cough symptoms & ensures sound sleep. 


  • Burns & Wounds healing

Honey is suitable & easy for skins. It has antibacterial properties too. As a result, applying honey in the wounds or scratches heals the burns & nourish surrounding tissues. 


  • Lower Triglycerides

Triglycerides are another potential risk option for heart disease. Replacing sugar with honey would lower the triglycerides consumed daily. 


Honey is a cosmetic solution for different kinds of skins. People usually tend to take honey with tea. Raw honey has more health benefits. 



In the end, we think you got a clear picture of “What food group is honey“. This article discussed what group honey belongs to, what U.S. regulatory & Canadian regulatory think honey in the food pyramid. We also discussed the use of honey in regular use, honey vs. sugar & the health benefits of honey to get a bigger picture of honey & its associated things. 

Honey is better than sugar in many perspectives, but that only when consumed or taken on a reasonable basis. Honey has almost no side effects. Don’t think twice about adding honey to your regular diet, good luck. 


F.A.Q (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What food group is honey in F.D.A.?

Ans – First of all, F.D.A. labelled honey as a “Nutritive Sweetener.” It’s an added sugar from their perspective. Some might think F.D.A. categorizes honey as meat, but it’s false information. There statement – “A thick, sweet, syrupy substance that bees make as food from the nectar of flowers and store in honeycombs.”


  • What type of food is honey classified as?

Ans – Honey is classified as an added sugar, which is not a naturally found sweetener. In Canada, honey is classified as a sweetening agent. Overall, honey is a type of food that should be classified as a sweetener group in the food pyramid. 


  • Is honey food or a liquid?

Ans – There are two forms of honey available, liquid & crystalized. Some remain liquid for several months & some crystallize within a couple of weeks. From that perspective, honey is obviously liquid, not food. But honey belongs to the sweeteners group so that it can be counted as food too. 

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