Scientists suggest honey can lower blood sugar and bad cholesterol levels
Regular consumption of two tablespoons of honey can help balance blood sugar levels and improve cholesterol levels, according to a study published last Wednesday (11/16) in the scientific journal Nutrition Reviews.
Scientists claim that replacing sugar in tea with honey, for example, can reduce the risks of diseases associated with excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates, including type 2 diabetes, heart problems and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
As shown by the British newspaper The Independent, researchers analyzed the results of 18 clinical trials that included more than 1,100 volunteers, and found that raw honey from a single floral source can provide health benefits such as lowering blood glucose levels fasting blood pressure and the amount of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol).
Honey consumption was also associated with increased levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL or “good” cholesterol) and signs of improvement in inflammatory conditions.
All study participants followed a diet considered healthy, and sugar accounted for only 10% or less of daily caloric intake, reports the British newspaper. They received, on average, 40 grams or about two tablespoons of honey daily over eight weeks.
Most of the benefits were seen in people who consumed raw bastard acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia) honey. However, there was loss of beneficial potential when the product was above 65º C.
According to researcher Tauseef Khan, from the University of Toronto, Canada, one of the authors of the study, quoted by The Independent, the results are surprising because honey “has about 80% sugar”.
“But honey also has a complex mix of common and rare sugars, proteins, organic acids and other bioactive compounds that are likely to have health benefits,” says Khan.
The authors suggest that research shows that not all sugars should be treated equally by health and nutrition authorities.
“We’re not saying you should start eating honey if you currently avoid sugar. The main point is substitution. If you’re using table sugar, maple syrup or another sweetener, swapping those carbs for honey can lower your cardiometabolic risks.”