Honey dipper in bowl and beeswax

What Food Group Is Honey in Canada?

Honey is a naturally sweet and delicious food that humans have enjoyed for centuries. The honey-making process begins with honey bees collecting flower nectar. It is then broken down into simpler sugars and stored in a honeycomb.

We often use it as a natural sweetener in dishes such as baked goods, beverages, and even savory dishes. But despite its popularity, there is often confusion about which food group pure honey belongs to.

This question becomes even more pertinent in Canada, as the country has its food guide that categorizes foods differently than other countries.

In this article, we will explore the question of what food group honey belongs to in Canada and shed some light on the nutritional value and benefits of this golden treat.

Health Benefits of Honey

You can find pure honey in various forms, such as honey packaged in jars or as a syrupy substance. Unlike highly processed nutritive sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup or table sugar, honey has many benefits and contains natural antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

While honey primarily comprises simple sugars like fructose and glucose, it also contains small amounts of other nutrients like amino acids, enzymes, and organic acids.

Manuka honey, in particular, has been found to have antibacterial properties and is sometimes used to treat diarrhea.

Honey is also a good energy source and can be a healthy alternative to other sweeteners. We can use it in various foods and recipes as a substitute for brown sugar or maple syrup, making it a versatile addition to any diet.

However, it’s important to note that honey being a nutritive sweetener is still a form of sugar and should be consumed in moderation.

What‌ ‌Type‌ ‌of‌ ‌Food‌ ‌Is‌ ‌Honey‌?

Honey can substitute other sweeteners across different food groups, as it doesn’t belong to any specific group. We categorize honey as an inverted liquid sugar, similar to molasses and maple sugar.

While primarily composed of simple sugars found naturally in flower nectar, honey also contains small amounts of nutrients like antioxidants and minerals.

However, like any sweetener, honey is high in sugar and calories and should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced and healthy diet.

This classification helps to determine which group is honey, its role in the diet, and its recommended consumption.

Young and cheerful woman with a honey jar in the kitchen

What Food Group Is Honey in According to the FDA?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies pure honey as carbohydrates and categorized it as a nutritive sugar or sweetening agent.

What Food Group Is Honey in Canada

In Canada, honey is classified as a nutritive sweetener, along with other sweeteners like table sugar, maple syrup, and molasses.

Is‌ ‌Honey‌ ‌a‌ ‌Food‌ ‌or‌ ‌Drink?‌ ‌

We consider honey both a food and a drink due to its unique characteristics. It is made by bees from flower nectar and fruits.

In other words, honey is a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into various foods and drinks. It can be added to milk and yogurt and used as a topping on vegetables and desserts.

Additionally, we can use it as an ingredient in fruit and vegetable dishes to add natural sweetness.

Fun Facts About Honey

  • Honey is the only food produced by insects that humans eat.
  • Honey is a widely traded commodity, with many countries producing and exporting it to other parts of the world.
  • Honey is about 80% sugar and 20% water. The type of sugar in honey is mainly fructose and glucose.
  • A single honeybee can visit up to 2 million flowers in its lifetime to collect nectar and pollen to make honey.
  • The United States is a major importer of honey, with much of its supply coming from countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Vietnam.

What‌ ‌Kind‌ ‌of‌ ‌Food‌ ‌Is‌ ‌Honey‌ ‌Classified‌ ‌As?‌

We classify honey as a carbohydrate, a sugar syrup that honeybees make from the nectar of flowers, and categorize it as a natural sweetener.

Honey is not a non-nutritive sweetener, which refers to sweeteners that provide little to no nutritional value. Its products, such as raw honey or honeycomb, are minimally processed and retain many of the natural nutrients.

Does the FDA Classify Honey as Raw Meat?

No, the FDA does not classify honey as raw meat. We understand the common myth that the FDA classifies honey as meat, but this is false.

In fact, honey is classified as a natural sweetener and does not fall into the same food category as meat.

No evidence supports the idea that honey is classified as meat by the FDA. Note that honey contains calories and is a source of added sugar.

Honey Nutritional Information

  • Honey is a source of carbohydrates and contains about 17 grams of sugar per tablespoon.
  • Honey also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
  • Honey is a source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties because it naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, which can help with wound healing and soothing sore throats.
  • Honey has a high glycemic index, which can raise blood sugar levels quickly. People with diabetes should consume honey in moderation and carefully monitor their blood sugar levels.

Is‌ ‌Honey‌ ‌Raw‌ ‌Meat‌?

No, honey is not raw meat. Honey is a natural sweet substance bees produce and is not derived from animal meat. Raw meat, on the other hand, refers to uncooked meat from animals commonly consumed as food, such as beef, chicken, pork, and fish.

Canadian Regulators View of Honey

Canadian regulators view honey as a natural sweetener that is safe for consumption when produced and handled properly. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates honey in Canada and sets standards for its safety and quality.

The CFIA tests honey for contaminants, such as antibiotics and pesticides, to ensure that it meets Canadian standards for food safety.

In addition to safety standards, the CFIA also regulates the labeling of honey products. Honey sold in Canada must meet certain labeling requirements, including the common name of the product, the net quantity, and the name and address of the manufacturer or distributor. The label, when importing honey, must also indicate the country of origin.


In Canada, honey is not classified under a specific food group, but many consider it a nutritive sweetener that can substitute for other types of sweeteners in various foods and recipes.

However, you should consume honey in moderation due to its high added sugar content. It can cause health problems such as weight gain when overconsumed.

When choosing honey, you should ensure that regulatory agencies have tested and certified it to meet Canadian standards for safety and quality, as with all food products.

When consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, honey can be a delicious and nutritious addition to one’s diet. Thanks for reading!

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