Honey is often revered as a healthier alternative to refined sugar, but how healthy is it really?
A new article published in The Journal of Nutrition says that natural sweeteners are just as bad for you as refined sugars.
“The effects were essentially the same,” Susan K. Raatz, research nutritionist at the USDA, noted in the study. She published the article with two other researchers.
They tested honey, cane sugar, and high fructose corn sweetener with 55 participants and compared their blood sugar, insulin, body weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure after two weeks. Raatz and her team found that the results were pretty similar.
“Honey is thought of as more natural whereas white sugar and high fructose corn syrup are processed from the cane or the beet or the corn,” Raatz wrote.
The results also showed that one measure of a key blood fat went up with all three. Blood fat is a marker for heart disease.
One thing that is not clear is what kind of honey the researchers used. There might be a difference between regular honey and raw honey or Manuka honey, which is said to have antibacterial properties.
“A sweetener is a sweetener, no matter the source,” Raatz concluded.