Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the blood. If too much cholesterol builds up in the blood, it can clog up the arteries and potentially lead to heart attacks and strokes.
High cholesterol is caused by eating a diet high in fatty foods, being overweight or obese, smoking and not exercising enough. It can also be caused by having a genetic predisposition, or family history, of high cholesterol. So it isn’t always a consequence of unhealthy living – active people of a healthy weight can still have high cholesterol, and it’s important that we all know how to keep our cholesterol levels healthy.
But not all cholesterol is bad. When doctors talk of “high cholesterol” they’re talking about a form of cholesterol called LDL, or low density lipoprotein, often also referred to as bad cholesterol.
Good cholesterol on the other hand (known as HDL, or high density lipoprotein) helps the body manage cholesterol levels by encouraging the liver to break down cholesterol and therefore reduce its overall level in the blood.
The aim for anyone is to have as low a total cholesterol level as possible and within that, to have more HDL and less LDL.
How Can Honey Help?
Science is emerging that suggests that eating high quality, active healing honey helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol and therefore also lowers total cholesterol, but can also increase levels of good HDL cholesterol.
It’s thought that the powerful antioxidants called flavonoids naturally present in active healing honey are responsible for these heart health benefits. Chemical processes are happening in the body all the time. One of these processes is the oxidation of LDL, meaning that chemical reactions cause LDL molecules to lose electrons and become unstable.
Oxidised LDL forms the plaques that clog the arteries more readily. Studies have shown that the flavonoids in honey act to prevent LDL oxidation. Therefore, eating honey may help to reduce the damaging effects of high levels of LDL, leading you to live a healthier life.
The Natural, Alternative Sweetener Effect
It might seem obvious that making healthier diet and lifestyle choices helps to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Choosing a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, avoiding too much salt and saturated fat and being regularly active are all steps recommended by doctors and healthcare professionals.
But there are also studies that show that opting for honey over normal, refined sugar, can help to reduce LDL levels, particularly in women, with no negative effect on weight gain.
Using active healing super honeys like ours at Necta & Hive in place of sugar in hot drinks is a good place to start if you normally have sugar in your tea. Switching to herbal teas is ideal – make your tea as normal and leave it to cool to drinking temperature before adding a teaspoon of our honey. (Adding our honey to boiling hot water will destroy the naturally occurring enzymes and healing properties.)
Necta & Hive honeys are all unpasteurised to reach you just as nature intended. We have them independently tested for their Total Activity, or TA. TA is a measure of the antimicrobial potency and healing properties of the honey. Necta & Hive Red Gum TA 30+ honey with honeycomb has one of the highest TA ratings on the market.
Why not try adding active honey to your diet to enjoy the potential benefits to your heart health? (Never stop taking any medications including high cholesterol medications without talking to your doctor first.) Our honeys help to support a healthy lifestyle and taste amazing. How could you say no?!