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The Effect of Honey Compared to Sucrose, Mixed Sugars, and a Sugar-Free Diet on Weight Gain in Young Rats

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Abstract

ABSTRACT:  To determine whether honey, sucrose, and mixed sugars as in honey have different effects on weight gain, 40 6-wk-old Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a powdered diet that was either sugar free or contained 8% sucrose, 8% mixed sugars as in honey, or 10% honey freely for 6 wk. Weight gain and food intake were assessed weekly, and at completion of the study blood samples were removed for measurement of blood sugar (HbA1c) and a fasting lipid profile. The animals were then minced and total percentage body fat and protein measured. Overall percentage weight gain was significantly lower in honey-fed rats than those fed sucrose or mixed sugars, despite a similar food intake. Weight gains were comparable for rats fed honey and a sugar free diet although food intake was significantly higher in honey-fed rats. HbA1c and triglyceride levels were significantly higher in all sugar treatments compared with rats fed a sugar free diet, but no other differences in lipid profiles were reported. No differences in percentage body fat or protein levels were reported.

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