Consuming two tablespoons of honey can help balance blood sugar and improve cholesterol levels, according to a new study.
Experts have said that replacing added sweeteners in the diet – such as the sugar in tea – with honey may reduce the risk of diseases associated with excessive sugar consumption, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Researchers at the University of Toronto analyzed the results of 18 trials including more than 1,100 participants and found that raw honey from a single floral source had the most positive effect on the body.
They found that it reduced fasting blood sugar and the number of low-density lipoproteins (or “bad cholesterol”) in the blood.
Honey consumption also increased high-density lipoprotein (“good” cholesterol) and showed signs of improving inflammation.
All of the study participants ate a generally healthy diet, and sugar made up 10% or less of their daily calorie intake.
The study found that honey from a single floral source “consistently produced either neutral or beneficial effects” on the body.
The participants received an average of 40 grams, or about two tablespoons of honey daily for eight weeks.
Most of the benefits were seen in people who consumed raw honey, false acacia or black acacia.
However, honey lost many of its health benefits after being heated above 65 degrees Celsius.
Tauseef Khan, a senior researcher at the university’s medical school, said the results were surprising because honey “contains around 80% sugar”.
“But honey is also a complex composition of sugars, proteins, organic acids, and other common and rare bioactive compounds that most likely have health benefits,” Khan said.
Experts said the findings show not all sugars should be treated equally by health and nutrition officials.
“We’re not saying you should start consuming honey if you’re currently avoiding sugar,” Khan said. “Takeout is more about replacement — if you’re using table sugar, syrup, or another sweetener, replacing those sugars with honey might reduce cardiometabolic risk.”
#Consuming #tablespoons #honey #improves #blood #sugar #lowers #cholesterol