As crunch time for holiday gift-giving inches closer, it can be helpful to narrow the wide array of possible purchases to a smaller selection. Because many people, especially older adults, are trying to declutter and possibly downsize their homes, purchasing something consumable makes sense and is often more appreciated than items that will take up precious space. Specialty teas, coffee, cheeses or preserves are some of the products that may be available from local suppliers, helping to keep holiday spending dollars in your community. Local honey may not only help allergy sufferers, new research from the University of Toronto shows that raw honey can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
According to a recent Best Life Health article, a new study published in the journal Nutrition Reviews which analyzed 18 controlled feeding trials of more than 1,100 essentially healthy participants found that raw honey and monofloral honey had a protective effect on the heart, helping to keep blood sugar and LDL (bad) cholesterol low.
Although honey is comprised of about 80 percent sugar, it is also a complex combination of common and rare sugars, proteins, organic acids and other bioactive compounds that may have health benefits. Study subjects generally followed a healthy and nutritious diet that included added sugars accounting for less than 10 percent of their daily calories. Researchers suggest that maintaining an overall low sugar intake is still important to maintain low blood sugar and low LDL cholesterol.
The main takeaway from the study was not to introduce honey if you are avoiding sugar but to consider it as a replacement for other sweeteners like white sugar or syrup, in moderation, to help lower risk factors for heart attack, stroke or blood clots. Raw honey also has many other benefits, including soothing a sore throat or cough, helping with digestive problems, and treating wounds and burns. However, raw and pasteurized honey may contain bacterium that can cause intestinal botulism in rare cases. Talk with your doctor or nutritionist to learn more about adding raw honey to your diet.