If you want to lose weight, it might be time to start replacing sugar and non-sugar sweeteners with honey. The World Health Organization (WHO) has clarified that non-sugar sweeteners do not help with weight control in the long term. However, opting for products like stevia, acesulfame K, aspartame, and other so-called sugar alternatives may not be the best option either, as they can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and even mortality.
While there are downsides to many sugar alternatives, this doesn’t mean that you should resort to adding sugar to your meals once again. You can reduce your weight and avoid the health risks of non-sugar sweeteners by using honey for your meals and drinks instead.
Understanding the Role of Sugar in Weight Gain
Many people add non-sugar sweeteners to their food and drinks because sugar is one of the components that can make you gain weight. Researchers from the University of Toronto, Mount Sinai Hospital, and other institutions pointed out that people who consume sugar-sweetened beverages are more likely to gain weight. Unfortunately, these drinks provide less satiety, so people who drink sugary beverages may still feel the need to eat more food even if they've already consumed a lot of calories.
The study noted that people get a 0.83 kg increase in their body weight after adding these sugary drinks to their diet. In contrast, the researchers found that people who drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages have lower BMIs and body weights than their counterparts. Given the negative effects of sugar consumption, weight loss programs highlight the importance of taking a food’s added sugar content into account and not just focusing on other nutritional factors like calories and fats. Tracking the added sugar content of foods and drinks can help you to become more mindful of your sugar intake. As a result, you may feel more encouraged to limit your consumption of unhealthy and calorie-rich white sugar and switch to more nutrient-rich alternatives, like honey.
How to Use Honey for Weight Management
People primarily use honey in their diets as a healthier alternative to sugar. Raw honey can provide small amounts of potassium, calcium, niacin, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, making your weight loss diet more nutritious. The natural sugar in honey is also healthier than calorie-rich white sugar because it doesn’t affect one’s blood sugar and cholesterol levels as much.
On top of that, raw honey can also aid with your digestion. Honey contains a lot of probiotics and prebiotics, especially when it hasn’t undergone any treatments. It also contains polyphenols, which can promote good bacterial growth in your digestive system. These digestive benefits are helpful with weight loss because you can ensure that your gut is properly eliminating waste rather than storing it as dietary fats in your body.
Several studies have also shown the promising effects of honey consumption for weight loss. A scientific review explains that eating honey leads to lower weight gain, despite providing higher energy efficiency. Due to this high energy efficiency, your body is more likely to turn excess food into energy rather than storing it in your body as fat.
The scientific review also highlighted that honey consumption can help reduce adipocyte hypertrophy. This is important, as adipocyte hypertrophy is one of the major contributors that can increase the fat mass in people with obesity. Several types of honey could also decrease one’s adiposity index, which is a measurement of one’s total body fat. Through regular consumption of honey, you can further reduce the amount of fat in your body and achieve better weight loss results.
Giving sweets up forever isn't necessary for effective weight loss. By using honey as a sweetener for your drinks and food, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without affecting your health.