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High fructose corn syrup is the big bad wolf of the health world. It has been blamed for everything from the obesity epidemic to the uptick in diabetes, and we’ve turned to other sources of sweetness to satisfy our cravings. Honey, especially, has been embraced across the country and touted as a healthy alternative to the cheap and easy-to-produce syrup. But according to a new study--partially funded by the National Honey Board--the natural sweetener might not be the cure-all claimed.
As the researchers found, honey appears to affect your blood sugar, insulin, body weight, cholesterol and blood pressure the same way as cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup. “Most measures were unchanged by the sweeteners. One measure of a key blood fat, a marker for heart disease, rose with all three,” The Washington Post notes. Though the study was relatively small, their findings suggest that the only edge honey has over its sister sweeteners is a sterling reputation.
That doesn’t mean all three need to be stripped from your cabinets and diet, though. Any of the three can be a sweet and satisfying addition to your daily diet--there’s more to food than just nutrition, after all--as long as you stick to the American Heart Association’s suggestion and keep sweetener calories to no more than 100 calories (6 teaspoons or 24 grams) for women and 150 calories (9 teaspoons or 36 grams) for men per day.