Scientists from the University of Toronto found honey in a healthy diet may help control blood sugar in the body.
Obesity is a common, serious, and costly chronic disease in adults and children.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a screening tool for overweight and obesity. If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obesity range. If your BMI is 25.0 to <30, it falls within the overweight range.
Being overweight or having obesity is a big risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Excess calories from free sugars are found in the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Honey is free of sugar but is generally regarded as healthy.
Honey is a natural sweetener, honey is used for anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial purposes. Many people use honey orally to treat coughs and topically to treat burns and promote wound healing.
In the review study, researchers aimed to examine the effect of honey on the heart and metabolic risk factors.
They reviewed 18 published research that assessed the effect of honey intake on body fat, blood sugar, blood pressure, uric acid, inflammation, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
The team found that overall, honey reduced fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, bad cholesterol), triglycerides, liver damage, and increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, good cholesterol).
The team also found that Robinia honey, clover honey, and raw honey showed strong beneficial effects on fasting blood sugar and total cholesterol.
Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that honey, especially Robinia, clover, and unprocessed raw honey, may improve blood sugar control and fat levels when consumed in a healthy diet.
More studies focusing on the floral source and the processing of honey are needed to increase the certainty of the evidence.
The research was published in Nutrition Reviews and conducted by Amna Ahmed et al.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies that not all whole grain foods could benefit people with diabetes, and green tea and coffee could help reduce the death risk of diabetes.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes, and results showing a Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by 30%.
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