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Keywords:

  • HDL-cholesterol;
  • honey;
  • obesity;
  • sugars;
  • weight gain

ABSTRACT:  To determine whether honey and sucrose would have differential effects on weight gain during long-term feeding, 45 2-mo-old Sprague Dawley rats were fed a powdered diet that was either sugar-free or contained 7.9% sucrose or 10% honey ad libitum for 52 wk (honey is 21% water). Weight gain was assessed every 1 to 2 wk and food intake was measured every 2 mo. At the completion of the study blood samples were removed for measurement of blood sugar (HbA1c) and a fasting lipid profile. DEXA analyses were then performed to determine body composition and bone mineral densities. Overall weight gain and body fat levels were significantly higher in sucrose-fed rats and similar for those fed honey or a sugar-free diet. HbA1c levels were significantly reduced, and HDL-cholesterol significantly increased, in honey-fed compared with rats fed sucrose or a sugar free diet, but no other differences in lipid profiles were found. No differences in bone mineral density were observed between honey- and sucrose-fed rats, although it was significantly increased in honey-fed rats compared with those fed the sugar-free diet.