Bumisuka.com – According to Pure Honey Studies Reduces Cholesterol and Blood Sugar. Want something sweet yet healthy? Nature provides honey. Produced by honey bees, honey’s distinctive sweet taste is often used as an alternative to granulated sugar. However, it is not uncommon for various naughty persons to market their honey as “pure honey”, even though unhealthy substances have been added to it.
It is important to check whether the honey you buy is pure or not. The reason is, pure honey is good for health, it can even help reduce cholesterol to blood sugar. In other words, pure honey can help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In fact, it’s backed by research, lo!
Involve thousands of participants from dozens of studies
Excess calories from sugar can cause obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. However, is pure honey (which is also classified as sugar) the same? Published in the journal Nutrition Reviews on November 16, 2022, this is what Canadian researchers wanted to find out.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other world health agencies recommend sugar consumption of 5-10 percent of total daily energy intake. Taking the studies through January 2021, the researchers reviewed 18 studies with a total of 1,105 participants whose average age was 41.
Honey is efficacious for lowering bad cholesterol to blood sugar
The researchers noted that most of the honeys used in the studies analyzed were polyfloral, clover, robinia, and milkvetch. Polyfloral means that the honey is produced from more than one flower’s nectar. There is also certain honey that the bees take nectar from only one type of plant.
In addition, 42 participants were declared healthy with different body mass index (BMI). The researchers also noted that:
- As many as 12 percent of participants were obese or overweight.
- As many as 21 percent had diabetes (both type 1 and type 2).
- As many as 10 percent have glucose intolerance conditions.
In the study, the participants consumed honey orally with an average dose of 40 grams. Honey intake was then compared with a regular diet (70 percent), sucrose (15 percent), high-fructose corn syrup (6 percent). Generally, the research period in the studies analyzed lasted an average of 8 weeks.
As a result, the researchers found that honey has various properties. The study shows that honey can reduce:
- Fasting blood sugar levels.
- Total cholesterol levels.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or bad cholesterol.
- Fasting triglyceride levels.
In addition to reducing, the researchers said that honey actually increases levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or what is often referred to as good cholesterol. In terms of source, pure honey is the best, followed by clover then robinia.
Why does it have to be pure honey?
Research fellow from the University of Toronto, Canada, Dr. Tauseef Ahmad Khan, said that different from other sweeteners, honey is not sweet because of fructose or glucose. According to him, 15 percent of the honey component consists of rare sugars, such as isomaltulose, kojibiose, trehalose, or melezitosa.
In addition, Dr. Khan said that honey contains bioactive molecules such as polyphenols, flavonoids and organic acids. These molecules have antibiotic, anticancer, anti-obesity properties, to protect against damage caused by inflammation and free radicals.
On the one hand, the researchers found that pure honey triggers the body’s inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). There’s no need to be afraid, Dr. Khan said that actually this increase in inflammatory markers is a sign of the benefits of pure honey.
It should be noted that most honey has gone through pasteurization, while pure honey has not. Pasteurization actually aims to slow down the granulation of honey to make it easier to consume, but pasteurization can get rid of the properties of honey.
Then, what about other sweeteners like agave syrup or maple which are also plant-based? Doctor Khan said that the syrup is different from honey because it also goes through a certain process and consists of ordinary sugars, such as fructose, glucose and sucrose. Another difference is the process carried out by the honey bees themselves.
How to know pure honey
The question is, how can we know which honey is purchased pure or processed? Well, reported by NDTV, here are easy ways to find out the purity of honey:
- Thumb test: Place a drop of honey on the thumb. If honey flows like water, then it’s not pure honey because pure honey will stick and won’t flow.
- Water test: Drop honey into the water. If the honey dissolves, then it’s not pure honey because pure honey will still clump on the surface.
- Fire test: Dab honey with a match and light the match. If it doesn’t light up, then it’s not real honey. Contaminated honey contains a small amount of liquid (most likely because it has been pasteurized).
- Vinegar test: Mix honey, water and 2–3 drops of vinegar. If the mixture is frothy, the honey is impure.
- Heat test: If honey is heated and caramelizes immediately but doesn’t foam, then it’s real honey. If honey doesn’t caramelize and bubbles up when heated, then it’s processed honey.
Unfortunately, this test can be inaccurate. So, make sure you buy honey that has been tested for its purity. One of the well-known honey tests is Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).