Honey and agave are natural sweeteners considered healthier than sugar. However, both agave and honey contain sugar themselves and should only be consumed in small amounts. Honey is slightly richer in calories and carbs, and has a much higher Glycemic index. On the other hand, agave has much higher fructose content, which is bad for health.

Comparison chart

Agave versus Honey comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartAgaveHoney
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Source Nectar from the blue agave plant Bees
Types of included sugars Fructose (55%-90%) and glucose Fructose & Glucose (monosaccharides, totalling about 93% of the sugars); Sucrose, Maltose, Kojibiose, Turanose, Isomaltose & Maltulose (disaccharides, totalling about 7% of the sugars, with Sucrose being about 1/7 of these).
Glycemic index 10-19 58. Slightly lower than sugar as the sugars in honey contain slightly more fructose than glucose. Fructose has a lower GI.
Sugars 1 g (per 100 g) 82.12g (per 100g)
Fat 0 g None
Protein 0 g (per 100 g) 0.3g (per 100g)
Calcium 72 mg (12%) 6 mg (1%)
Iron 0.42 mg (3%) 0.42 mg (3%)
Vitamin C 1 mg (2%) 0.5 mg (1%)
Dietary fiber 2 g (per 100 g) 0.2g (per 100g)
Sodium 4 mg (0%) 4 mg (0%)
Carbohydrates 5 g (per 100 g) 82.4g (per 100g)
Calories 310 (100 gm) 304 Calories (kcal) per 100g
Health Pros and Cons Lower glycemic index than sugar, more fructose than high fructose corn syrup, can lead to insulin resistance Some vitamins and minerals. Aids digestion. Helps ease symptoms of sore throat.
Tea served with fresh honey
Tea served with fresh honey

Sugar Content

Both agave and honey contain glucose and fructose. However, agave contains a higher percentage of fructose, which is considered less healthy than glucose, as fructose is more likely to be stored as fat.

Calorie content

Agave contains 19-20 calories per teaspoon. Honey contains 22 calories per teaspoon. So while honey has more calories than agave, the difference is negligible.


One teaspoon of agave contains 5g of carbohydrates. Agave contains small amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium, but not enough to be nutritionally significant.

One teaspoon of honey contains 6g of carbohydrates. Honey contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and vitamin B6. It can also aid digestion.

Other Health Benefits

A scientific study to measure the effectiveness of honey for children with acute cough found that honey was effective in reducing frequency of cough, reducing bothersome cough and improving the sleep quality of the child but had no significant benefit in resolving severity of cough. The effects of honey were no different than Dextromethorphan, which is available under brand names like Robitussin Pediatric Cough Suppressant, Tylenol Simply Cough and Vicks 44 Cough Relief.[1][2]

Glycemic index

A product’s glycemic index (GI) shows how quickly its energy (from carbohydrates) is released in the body. If it is released too quickly, it can disturb blood sugar levels. Low GIs show a slow release of energy, and are under 55.

Agave has a GI of between 10 and 19, while pure honey has a GI of 58.


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