A recent study done by scientists at the University of Toronto, Canada, has shown that honey can provider certain cardiometabolic benefits for those people who get fewer than 10 percent of daily calories from sugar.
In this research, the authors examined the effects of honey in 1,105 participants in this research with 18 controlled trials.
There results suggested that honey reduced the levels of bad LDL and total cholesterol, marker of fatty liver disease, and fasting blood glucose. At the same time, the food increased inflammation markers.
The benefits were seen mostly clearly in monofloral honey and raw honey.
While 80 percent of honey is sugar, it should be in a distinctive category. This is because honey does not contain common sugars like glucose or fructose.
Instead, honey contains certain rare types of sugar, such as melezitose, trehalose, or isomaltulose, which may provide certain metabolic and physiological benefits.
More importantly, more components can be found in honey than sugars. These include flavonoids, polyphenols, as certain organic acids with many anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antibiotic effects.
Different from honey products, raw honey is not pasteurized during the production. This helps preserve many nutrients that can provide certain health benefits.
A monofloral honey means that it is exclusively derived from the nectar that bees collect from a single kind of plant. Some common options include robinia honey, clover honey, or Tupelo honey.
Previous studies have shown that monofloral honeys may help reduce the levels of fasting triglycerides, as well as total and LDL cholesterol.
While this study suggested some health benefits of raw honey, certain scientists believe that it has something to do with lowering the overall consumption of sugar.
Also, it is important to look for alternative sweeteners, especially natural sources like agave syrup and maple syrup. Nevertheless, honey and these syrups are significantly different.
Syrups are directly made from plants and processed with heat later. They primarily contain common sugars, such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose.
While agave or maple is natural, these sugars are the problem. High levels of fructose can be harmful to the liver, whether it comes from natural or artificial sources. Even too much juices from fresh fruits may do harm to the liver, in spite of all the nutrients they provide.
Anyway, the way bees produce honey would make its sugars quite different. Enzymes from bees are used to process nectar from flowers, which leads to the presence of many rare sugars. These types of sugar are the main source of benefits that make raw honey better than other sugars.