Adding some honey to your meals is a great way to include some extra flavor — and some seriously beneficial health effects — in your diet, according to researchers from the University of Toronto. Scientists have discovered that honey improves multiple key measures of cardiometabolic health such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Importantly, raw honey from a single floral source appears to offer the biggest health benefits.
Study authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials involving honey. That process led researchers to observe that consuming honey lowers fasting blood glucose, total and LDL or “bad” cholesterol, triglycerides, and a marker of fatty liver disease. Additionally, 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 Tauseef Khan, a research associate in nutritional sciences at U of T’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine, in a university release. “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.”