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MAPLE SYRUP

Maple syrup is a great alternative sweetener that provides a warm flavor to pancakes, baked goods, glazes and coffee. This natural sap beats out others due to its high antioxidant content that can benefit your cardiovascular system. Native Americans began using maple syrup due to its high caloric content that gave them natural energy (and of course that sweet taste!). Maple syrup isn’t only for pancakes - try this nutrition packed syrup in some of our other recipes!

Table of content
1Health Benefits of Maple Syrup
2Disadvantages of Maple Syrup
3Top 100 Maple Syrup Recipes
4Maple Syrup in Video
5About Maple Syrup
6Maple Syrup vs. Honey
7History of Maple Syrup
8Q&A About Maple Syrup
9Nutritional Information
10Research

1. Health Benefits of Maple Syrup

1. Pure Maple Syrup is a Healthy Alternative Sweetener!

What products are considered a sweetener?

A sweetener is a product that is added to a drink or dish to give it more of a sweet taste. Adding table sugar to a product such as coffee is an example of a sweetener. Many products that are considered “artificial sweeteners” are now very popular, due to their sweet taste and little to no calorie content. However, many of these sweeteners are produced synthetically and may not be very good for you.

What is wrong with eating artificial sweeteners?

According to Harvard Medical School, we aren’t quite sure yet, but it might be best to play it safe.

Natural sweeteners, such as maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar are becoming trendy as more and more people choose to avoid processed sugar. According to Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, the writer of Feed the Belly, Americans typically will “eat 165 pounds of added sugar [in their diets] each year”. That is a whole lot of sugar to be eaten as an additive to your diet.

Artificial sweeteners, such as acesulfame potassium, which is found in soft drinks, gum and frozen desserts have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They are safe in moderation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that these processed sugars are something you should eat constantly.

The bottom line is that all of these artificial sugars are not created equal. The Food and Drug Administration has approved of 5 artificial sweeteners. These include acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, saccharin and sucralose. The popular “natural” exception that has also been approved is stevia.

Studies have found that overweight and obese people who drink “diet” beverages, including diet soda, are more likely to gain weight and eat more calories than those who drink sugary drinks. The thought process behind this is that people believe by choosing a “diet” drink they have chosen the healthier option, and then can eat more solid food. While more research is needed, it is suggested that foods containing artificial sugars may unintentionally lead to weight gain.

Another important study has linked artificial sugars with addiction. In a study that gave test rats the option to freely choose between cocaine and saccharin, a sugar substitute, rats chose the saccharin for its sweetness. This study revealed that sweetness can surpass cocaine as a reward. It is thought that sugar-rich diets generate a reward signal in the brain, one that can override self control mechanisms and can also lead to addiction.

Why is maple syrup a good alternative to other sweeteners?

Pure maple syrup in particular is a good alternative to other sweeteners. Maple syrup can be measured in grades and can also be refined, so make sure you are choosing unrefined Maple Syrup. Used in moderation, maple syrup is much better than cane sugar due to its nutrient content and the fact that it is unprocessed. Unrefined maple syrup goes through a significantly less complex production process that regular sugars.

In regards to glycemic content, maple syrup places lower on the glycemic index than cane sugar. Maple syrup is at 54 on the glycemic index, whereas cane sugar is at a 65.

The glycemic index measures the ranking of carbohydrates in foods in relevance to how they affect blood sugar levels. This is extremely important for diabetics. Carbohydrates that are lower than the ranking of 55, like maple syrup, are typically approved for diabetics in moderation because they are slowly digested and cause a slower rise in blood glucose and insulin levels.

Pure maple syrup is a good alternative choice to sugars because it has more nutrients than other sugars, has a lower glycemic index, and is significantly less processed.

EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: Pure maple syrup is a great choice as an alternative sweetener to your morning coffee. In its natural form, maple syrup is significantly less processed with far fewer additives, meaning that it is better for your digestive system. Maple syrup is also lower on the glycemic index than cane sugar, and contains beneficial nutrients that make it a healthy choice.

2. Disadvantages of Maple Syrup

1. Maple Syrup is Full of Sugar!

While maple syrup is a great alternative sweetener to other sugary substances, it still contains high amounts of sugar!

Some maple syrups may contain varying amounts of sugar. Some large brands mix maple sap with corn syrup in order to cut down on the price of production. When maple syrup has fillers like corn syrup, or added sucrose, you definitely lose out on nutrition.

When compared to honey, maple syrup wins out on being more nutritious. A tablespoon of pure maple syrup will typically contain around 13.5 grams of maple syrup, and around 12.4 grams of that will be sugars that are mainly from sucrose. In comparison to a tablespoon of honey, that is nearly entirely sugar, maple syrup is still the better option (albeit still sugary!).

The key to enjoying maple syrup is moderation. For the most part, maple syrup is considered an okay sweetener for diabetics: however, we recommend checking with your doctor first.

Choose dark maple syrups without any additives. The high antioxidant content of dark maple syrups will help alleviate some of the problems that are associated with sugar consumption.

EAT SMARTER TAKE AWAY: While maple syrup may be a great natural alternative sweetener, it still is high in sugar. By choosing a dark grade maple syrup and using it in moderation you get the benefits of antioxidants alongside the sugar. The key to anything in life is moderation, so keep that in mind when you use any sweetener or sugar product.

3. Top 100 Maple Syrup Recipes

 

4. Maple Syrup in Video

Maple syrup is a great addition to any meal - not just breakfast! While you can’t go wrong with maple syrup on pancakes or french toast, it also adds a boost of nutrients and sweet taste to a simple cup of coffee. This versatile ingredient adds sweet flavor to baked goods and a surprisingly delicious addition as a glaze to meat dishes. Try some of these maple syrup recipes to add some healthy, natural sweetness into your life!

5. About Maple Syrup

What is maple syrup?

Maple syrup is a type of syrup that is produced from the xylem sap of maple trees. Xylem is a type of transport tissue that is found in vascular plants, like maple trees, that is used to transport water and nutrients from the roots of the tree to its other limbs.

What kinds of maple syrup can you buy?

Maple syrup is graded based upon its translucency and its density. This is very important, because many types of maple syrups are excessively processed and contains added sugars. If you are trying to use maple syrup as a healthy sweetener, this can be crucial in making sure that you aren’t consuming unhealthy nutrients. Recently, maple syrup in North America has undergone a new grading system. It is a little bit difficult to figure out, considering now they are all considered “Grade A”, as opposed to Grade A, B and C. Here is what it means:

6. Maple Syrup vs. Honey

Both are natural sweeteners with countless health benefits, but which wins out? It’s a pretty close race, but we think that pure maple syrup would win this race. Both products are similar in calorie content, but maple syrup still contains less calories. Maple syrup contains a little fat (.1 gram per tablespoon), whereas honey doesn’t contain any, but maple syrup has an astounding antioxidant and mineral profile. Maple syrup is also lower in fructose and sugars. Both products are great for you in moderation as natural sweeteners, but keep in mind they both have a moderately high sugar content.

7. History of Maple Syrup

Both are natural sweeteners with countless health benefits, but which wins out? It’s a pretty close race, but we think that pure maple syrup would win this race. Both products are similar in calorie content, but maple syrup still contains less calories. Maple syrup contains a little fat (.1 gram per tablespoon), whereas honey doesn’t contain any, but maple syrup has an astounding antioxidant and mineral profile. Maple syrup is also lower in fructose and sugars. Both products are great for you in moderation as natural sweeteners, but keep in mind they both have a moderately high sugar content.

 

8. Q&A About Maple Syrup

How do you pronounce maple syrup?

May-pull sir-up.

Who is the leading producer of maple syrup in the world?

Canada.

What state in the United States is the leading producer of maple syrup?

Vermont.

How old does a maple tree have to be to get tapped for sap?

Ideally 30 years old.

How long can you “tap” or get sap from maple trees?

You can tap maple trees until they are over 100 years old!

9. Nutritional Information

This is the nutritional information for 1 cup (322 g) of maple syrup!

Calories 940 Calories from Fat 5
Total Fat 1g 0%
Saturated Fat 0.1g 1%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.3g  
Monounsaturated fat 0.2g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 29mg 1%
Potassium 657mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 216g 72%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugar 192g  
Protein 0g 0%
Manganese 531% Zinc 89%
Calcium 22% Iron 21%

 

10. Research

Benefits

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