Eat Honey for Heart Health, Researchers’ Surprising Recommendation
Scientific Evidence Supporting Consumption of Honey for Heart Health
Replace table sugar with raw honey for heart health.
In one of the most comprehensive review to date of clinical trials, it was discovered that consuming raw honey can have significant benefits for cardiometabolic health.
In 2022, researchers at the University of Toronto conducted 18 controlled trials with over 1,100 participants and found that honey consumption was associated with lower fasting blood glucose, LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, triglycerides, and higher levels of HDL (‘good’) cholesterol.
The findings published by the journal Nutrition Reviews were surprising considering honey is about 80 percent sugar, the conventional designation of honey in dietary guidelines and nutrition experts’ beliefs that ‘a sugar is a sugar’.
The key takeaway from the research is — if you’re using table sugar, syrup, or another sweetener, switching those sugars for natural raw honey might lower cardiometabolic risks. Added sugars can be empty calories that increase the risk for obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure. There are many ways to use honey as a sweetener. For instance, one could consume raw honey with yogurt, as a spread, a sweetener for cocktails, and in salad dressings.
Since time immemorial, bees’ honey is valued for its medicinal properties and touted as a healthy alternative to regular sugar because of its antioxidant content. It is a complex composition of common and rare sugars, proteins, organic acids, and other bioactive compounds that have health benefits. Many other previous research studies have also suggested that honey is high in antioxidants, such as phenolic acids and flavonoids, and may support better health as a cardioprotective agent and help decrease the risk for heart diseases.
Reference: “Effect of honey on cardiometabolic risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis”, 16 November 2022, Nutrition Reviews.
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