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Best Honey Substitutes For All Diets – Why Choose Honey Alternative?

If you have been thinking that honey is vegan, then let us tell you this time that it is not. If you are looking to ...

by Kate Johnson

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

If you have been thinking that honey is vegan, then let us tell you this time that it is not. If you are looking to cut down on your consumption of animal products, then honey should also not be on your list because it is technically not vegan.

Most of us have been living in a bubble, thinking honey is vegan, but the truth turned out to be the opposite. Although honey can be part of a balanced meal, when eaten in moderation, its nutritional profile indicates that it is a concentrated source of sugar.

Apart from its non-vegan character, people tend to choose an alternative for honey for several reasons. These may include nutritional, health, and ethical reasons. In this article, let’s analyze the different reasons for choosing an alternative and the best alternatives for honey. 

Why Choose An Alternative For Honey?

There are numerous explanations for why someone would want a honey alternative. For example, certain people have dietary restrictions or allergies that prevent them from consuming honey, while others are vegan or have ethical issues with consuming it.  

Usually, vegans and people who have ethical concerns over the bee population tend to avoid the intake of honey. Vegans try to find an alternative or omit the dish altogether if they detect the presence of honey in it. Dietary allergies are another major reason for seeking an alternative to honey.

Although the ratio of people who are allergic to honey is very low, it is advisable to find a safe alternative. Additionally, people with diabetes and people on a low-sugar diet may avoid the use of honey due to its concentrated sugar properties.  

 Date Paste

Popular Alternatives To Honey

The sweet tastes that honey imparts to food and beverages are usually replaced with alternatives to honey. You can use these honey alternatives in recipes in a 1:1 ratio to honey.  

🖍 Molasses 

Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar beet refinement process. It is a thick, dark syrup used to sweeten foods, especially while baking. However, molasses has a stronger flavor than honey, which can alter the taste of the food. Generally, it is advised to use light molasses when used as an alternative to honey.  

According to a 2009 study released by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the major benefit of molasses is that it contains minerals like selenium, copper, iron, and calcium and also contains more antioxidants than honey. However, overconsumption of molasses can cause gnarly sugar crashes or trots as it is packed with sucrose.

🖍 Maple Syrup

Although maple syrup has a distinct flavor, it is a great substitute for honey in baking and cooking due to its sweet and gooey nature. It has less sugar when compared with honey. In terms of nutrition, maple syrup contains riboflavin and manganese, making it a good substitute in terms of micronutrients.  

Maple syrup is packed with several antioxidants and low levels of minerals like zinc, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. However, the original maple syrup will be expensive. Additionally, it contains fructose, which can increase the risks of insulin resistance and weight gain when consumed in higher amounts.  

🖍 Agave Nectar

With a mild flavor, agave nectar can also be used as a good alternative to honey. Nutritionally, agave is similar to honey. The macronutrients, calories, carbohydrates, and sugar content of agave are equivalent to honey.

Although it is negligible, it also contains traces of micronutrients. Agave is a good one-to-one substitute because it is comparable to honey in consistency as well.

Agave is less likely to trigger blood sugar levels as it is a high-fructose sweetener. However, it is not rich in nutrients. Another important thing to remember is to buy high-quality agave that contains no added sugar or harsh preservatives. 

🖍 Date Paste

Date paste is a good blend of dates with cinnamon, toffee, and a butterscotch touch. The date is a rich source of fiber and contains antioxidants like carotenoids and phenolics. However, date paste is just some dates blended into a spread and contains 6 grams of carbs and 5 grams of sugar per date. 

🖍 Golden Syrup

With a mild butter flavor and distinct color, golden syrup made from sugar, citric acid, and water can be used as an alternative to honey.

Unlike other syrups, it’s less likely to crystallize and makes a good ingredient for baked goods, yogurt parfaits, and oatmeal due to its warm flavor. However, it has a lower glycemic index compared to sugar and has no additional nutritional value. 


Although honey possesses several medicinal properties and nutritional value, some people tend to replace it in their diets. There are several reasons for the replacement of honey, such as its animal content, allergic reactions, and even ethical issues. Thankfully, there are several alternatives for honey.

All five substances mentioned in this article, such as maple syrup, molasses, agave nectar, date paste, and golden syrup, are excellent substitutes for honey. Although finding a perfect replacement will be difficult, these substances can be used to substitute for the function of honey in foods. 


  1. NIH (n.d) Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research Available Online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424551/
  2.  University of Illinois Board of Trustees (2024) Is Agave Nectar a Healthier Alternative to Sugar? Available Online at: https://extension.illinois.edu/blogs/simply-nutritious-quick-and-delicious/2018-11-02-agave-nectar-healthier-alternative-sugar

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