The amazing thing that two tablespoons of honey a day does to your body
Honey has long been considered a well-known and effective old-fashioned medicine, but a new study found that it is not only good for the throat or a cold, but can lower bad cholesterol levels and even blood sugar levels. That’s how it works
Adding some honey to meals is a great way to include some extra flavor—and some very beneficial health effects—into your diet, according to researchers at the University of Toronto. Scientists have found that honey improves several key indicators of cardiometabolic health such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
The authors of the study published in the journal Nutrition Reviews conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials involving honey. This process led researchers to see that honey consumption lowers fasting blood glucose, total and LDL or “bad” cholesterol, triglycerides and a marker for fatty liver disease. In addition, honey also appears to promote increased levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, and some markers of inflammation.
These results are surprising, because honey is about 80 percent sugar,” says Tausif Khan, a research associate in nutritional sciences at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. “But honey is also a complex composition of common and rare sugars, proteins, organic acids, and other bioactive compounds that are very likely to have They have health benefits.”
Previous studies show that honey is associated with improved cardiometabolic health, especially with regard to in vitro and animal studies. This latest project is the most comprehensive review to date of relevant clinical trials, and also includes detailed data relating to honey processing.
“The thinking among public health and nutrition experts has long been that ‘sugar is sugar,'” explains John Sionpiper, professor of nutritional sciences and medicine at the University of Toronto. “These results show that this is not the case, and a different definition than sugar should be given in the nutritional guidelines.”
How much honey should you eat every day?
The research team emphasizes that it is essential to consider the context of these findings; Clinical trials in which participants followed healthy dietary patterns. According to the findings, added sugars accounted for only 10 percent or less of the participants’ daily calorie intake. “We’re not saying you should start eating honey if you’re currently avoiding sugar,” adds Khan. “It’s more about substitution – if you use regular white sugar, syrup or another sweetener, swapping these sugars for honey may lower cardio-metabolic risks.”
The team included a total of 18 controlled trials involving over 1,100 participants in this analysis. The median daily dose of honey in the experiments was 40 grams (about two tablespoons), and the median duration of the experiment was eight weeks. Raw honey seems to have resulted in many benefits observed in studies. Also, honey taken from single-flower sources such as robinia (also marketed as acacia honey) and honey from clover flowers, which is common in North America, appears to be particularly beneficial.
Pasteurization may weaken the benefits of honey
The authors of the study explain that processed honey seems to lose many of its health effects after pasteurization. Still, Khan believes that the effect of a hot drink on raw honey depends on many factors, and probably won’t destroy all of the honey’s beneficial properties. There are of course many other ways to enjoy some unheated honey, such as with yogurt, as a spread or as a salad dressing.
Khan says future research should focus on both unprocessed and single-flower honey. More high-quality evidence can help modern science create a more comprehensive understanding of the many health-promoting compounds in honey.