Honey is always considered to be a superfood of medicinal value. New research has found that consuming honey can help in controlling blood sugar and high cholesterol levels in the body. The study was published in Nutrition Reviews and revealed that unprocessed raw honey, honey extracted from clover plants, etc. are found to be beneficial for heart health and diabetes. This research can enable the use of honey as an alternative to refined sugar and honey doesn’t get spoiled if stored under proper and hygienic conditions.
Pure honey is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, the use of honey as a natural sweetener makes perfect sense as unlike other forms of sugars like glucose and fructose, honey consists of kojibiose, isomaltulose, melezitose, trehalose, etc. These forms of sugars aid in metabolic balance by encouraging the growth of healthy gut bacteria and by reducing insulin resistance. Apart from sugars, honey also consists of bioactive molecules like flavonoids, polyphenols, etc. They also contain necessary vitamins and minerals that aid in maintaining healthy body functions.
How The Research Was Done?
The research was done using eighteen controlled feeding trials on 1,105 participants who didn’t have any preexisting conditions. Raw honey is not pasteurized as the pasteurization process might reduce the levels of antioxidants. But honey that is sold in bottles on a commercial scale is mostly pasteurized as the process makes it convenient for honey to flow freely even after storing them for a long time.
There are mainly two types of honey, monofloral and polyfloral. Most honey found in nature is polyfloral as the bees collect nectar from different flowers and plants that are available within a range of two to four miles from the hive. Whereas, monofloral honey is rare and is made from the nectar of a single flower or plant.
These kinds of honey are usually taken from Tupelo, clover, French lavender, and Robinia. Honey from these plants have individual and distinct flavor from one another and monofloral honey is shown to reduce fasting triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. It is also shown to reduce blood sugar levels.
Since there have been positive results about the benefits of honey in fighting cardiometabolic conditions, a lot of researchers are trying to investigate further the different effects of honey on our health. From ancient times, honey has been recommended as a nutritional food with a lot of benefits but recent research has created a renewed interest in the topic of honey. The prebiotic property of honey helps build a healthy gut as it can act as food for healthy gut bacteria that help in reducing inflammation in the gut which leads to bloating and other digestive issues.
Experts are advising to use of honey in moderation and as an alternative to commercially available processed sugars. Even though honey has more calories than normal refined sugars, it can be used in fewer amounts because of its highly sugary flavor. A diet with honey in moderation and avoiding other kinds of refined sugars can be good for overall health. This doesn’t mean that consuming honey alone can provide benefits. It should be noted that a complete array of nutrients, a proactive lifestyle, and food habits that include recommended levels of proteins, fibers, carbohydrates, etc. in combination can help create a more healthy body.
Before deciding to incorporate honey into your diet, it is advisable that you consult a registered nutritionist who can assist you in creating a personal diet plan where honey can be used with other foods to supplement your daily nutritional needs. The research in this area is ongoing and more studies should be carried out to know conclusively about the wide benefits and side effects (if any) of using honey on a long-term basis.