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Honey & Heart Health

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

A new heart health study from the University of Toronto suggests that two tablespoons of honey a day is linked with improved cardiometabolic risk factors, like blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

By combining the results of clinical trials on honey and heart health, the researchers showed that 2 tablespoons of unpasteurized honey - especially monofloral honeys - decreased blood glucose levels and total and LDL cholesterol levels, triglycerides, markers of inflammation, and markers of fatty liver disease. Honey also raised levels of the good cholesterol, called HDL.

Monofloral honeys were shown to be particularly beneficial. These honeys are made by bees collecting nectar from mainly the same flower, like raspberry blossom honey, and others.

According to the University of Toronto, the meta-analysis included data from 18 clinical trials on honey and heart health, and provides new information on unpasteurized monofloral honey. The researchers noted that the trials included participants who also followed healthy dietary patterns, with added sugars accounting for 10% or less of daily caloric intake, and more research is needed to be conclusive.

One takeaway from the study is that replacing table sugar, syrup, or another sweetener with unpasteurized honey, especially from a single floral source could lower cardiometabolic risks. Future studies should focus on the health benefits of unprocessed honey from a single floral source to better understand the many compounds in honey that can benefit health, and we're looking forward to sharing new science as it emerges.

Dr. Marianne Gee received her PhD from Queen's University in 2014, where she studied hypertension, cardiovascular disease and physical activity. Prior to becoming a beekeeper and co-founder of Gees Bees Honey Company, she served as a senior cardiovascular epidemiologist for the Public Health Agency of Canada. You can follower her on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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