Consuming honey has some surprising health benefits. As a sweetener, it offers some wholesome advantages over refined sugar and other natural sweeteners.
Honeybees produce honey from the nectar of flowers as food. For humans, honey is a whole food that contains amino acids, vitamins, and minerals including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. The nutrients vary based on the plants visited by the bees. It contains abundant active biological constituents, such as polyphenols, which are nutrient-dense phytochemicals that boast antioxidant properties.
Honey is approximately 40% fructose, compared with the 50% fructose in table sugar and 90% in high-fructose corn syrup, which sweetens many processed foods in the standard American diet. Heavy fructose intake has been linked to many prevalent health issues, from liver ailments to metabolic diseases. The lower fructose content in honey also offers other health advantages.
For instance, a 2004 study that compared honey to dextrose and sucrose concluded that natural honey was able to lower plasma glucose, C-reactive protein, and homocysteine in healthy, diabetic, and hyperlipidemic participants.
Other research has shown that honey can promote lower adiposity, lower weight gain, and lower triglycerides than sucrose.
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