It’s very high in beneficial plant compounds and offers several health benefits. Honey is particularly healthy when used instead of refined sugar, which is 100% empty calories.
Honey contains some nutrients:
Honey is a sweet, thick liquid made by honeybees.
The bees collect sugar — mainly the sugar-rich nectar of flowers — from their environment.
Once inside the beehive, they repeatedly consume, digest and regurgitate the nectar.
The end product is honey, a liquid that serves as stored food for bees. The smell, colour and taste depend on the types of flowers visited.
Nutritionally, 1 tablespoon of honey (21 grams) contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar, including fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose.
It contains virtually no fibre, fat or protein.
It also contains trace amounts — under 1% of the RDI — of several vitamins and minerals, but you would have to eat many pounds to fulfil your daily requirements.
Where honey shines is in its content of bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. Darker types tend to be even higher in these compounds than lighter types.
Honey is thick, sweet liquid made by
honeybees. It is low in vitamins and minerals but may be
high in some plant compounds.
High-quality honey contains many important antioxidants. These include organic acids and phenolic compounds
Honey contains a number of antioxidants, including phenolic
compounds like flavonoids.
On one hand, it can reduce several risk factors for heart disease common in people with type 2 diabetes.
For example, it may lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation while raising “good” HDL cholesterol.
While honey may be slightly better than refined sugar for people with diabetes, it should still be consumed with caution.
In fact, people with diabetes may do best by minimizing all high-carb foods.
Keep in mind, too, that certain types of honey may be adulterated with plain syrup. Although honey adulteration is illegal in most countries, it remains a widespread problem
Some studies show that honey improves heart
disease risk factors in people with diabetes. However, it also raises blood
sugar levels — so it cannot be considered
healthy for people with diabetes.
Blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease, and honey may help lower it.
This is because it contains antioxidant compounds that have been linked to lower blood pressure.
Studies in both rats and humans have shown modest reductions in blood pressure from consuming honey
Eating honey may lead to modest reductions in
blood pressure, an important risk factor for heart disease.
High LDL cholesterol levels are a strong risk factor for heart disease.
This type of cholesterol plays a major role in atherosclerosis, the fatty buildup in your arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Interestingly, several studies show that honey may improve your cholesterol levels.
It reduces total and “bad” LDL cholesterol while significantly raising “good” HDL cholesterol.
Honey seems to have a positive effect on
cholesterol levels. It leads to modest reductions in total and “bad” LDL
cholesterol while raising “good” HDL cholesterol.
Elevated blood triglycerides are another risk factor for heart disease.
They are also associated with insulin resistance, a major driver of type 2 diabetes.
Triglyceride levels tend to increase on a diet high in sugar and refined carbs.
Interestingly, multiple studies have linked regular honey consumption with lower triglyceride levels, especially when it is used to replace sugar.
For example, one study comparing honey and sugar found 11–19% lower triglyceride levels in the honey group.
Elevated triglycerides are a risk factor for
heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Several studies show that honey can lower
triglyceride levels, especially when used as a sugar substitute.
Again, honey is a rich source of phenols and other antioxidant compounds. Many of these have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
They may help the arteries in your heart dilate, increasing blood flow to your heart. They may also help prevent blood clot formation, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Furthermore, one study in rats showed that honey protected the heart from oxidative stress.
All told, there is no long-term human study available on honey and heart health. Take these results with a grain of salt.
The antioxidants in honey have been linked to
beneficial effects on heart health, including increased blood flow to your
heart and a reduced risk of blood clot formation.
Topical honey treatment has been used to heal wounds and burns since ancient Egypt and is still common today.
A review of 26 studies on honey and wound care found honey most effective at healing partial-thickness burns and wounds that have become infected after surgery.
Honey is also an effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers, which are serious complications that can lead to amputation.
One study reported a 43.3% success rate with honey as a wound treatment. In another study, topical honey healed a whopping 97% of patients’ diabetic ulcers.
Researchers believe that honey’s healing powers come from its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects as well as its ability to nourish surrounding tissue.
What’s more, it can help treat other skin conditions, including psoriasis and herpes lesions.
When applied to the skin, honey can be part of
an effective treatment plan for burns, wounds and many other skin conditions.
It is particularly effective for diabetic foot ulcers.