Consumption of two tablespoons of honey balances blood sugar and lowers cholesterol, research has shown
By consuming two spoons honey may help balance blood sugar and improve cholesterol levels, according to a new study.
Experts say that replacing added sweeteners in the diet – such as sugar in tea – with honey can reduce the risk of diseases associated with consuming too much sugar, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Researchers from the University of Toronto analyzed the results of 18 trials involving more than 1,100 participants and found that raw honey from a single flower source had the most positive effect on the body.
They found that it reduced fasting blood glucose and the amount of low-density lipoprotein (or “bad cholesterol”) in the blood.
Honey consumption also increased high-density lipoproteins (“good” cholesterol) and showed signs of improving inflammation.
All study participants followed a generally healthy diet, with sugar making up 10 percent or less of their daily calorie intake.
The study found that honey from a single floral source “consistently produces neutral or beneficial effects” on the body.
The participants received an average of 40 grams, or about two tablespoons of honey per day for eight weeks.
Most of the benefits were observed in people who consumed raw honey, from false acacia or acacia trees.
However, honey loses many of its health benefits after it is heated above 65 degrees Celsius.
Tauseef Khan, senior researcher at the University’s Faculty of Medicine, He said the results were surprising because honey is “about 80 percent sugar.”
“But honey is also a complex composition of common and rare sugars, proteins, organic acids and other bioactive compounds that very likely have health benefits,” Khan said.
Experts say the results show that health and nutrition officials should not treat all sugars equally.
“We’re not saying you should start eating honey if you’re currently avoiding sugar,” Khan said. “The takeaway is more about substitution—if you use table sugar, syrup, or another sweetener, substituting those sugars for honey may reduce cardiometabolic risks.”