Is Maple Syrup a Healthy Sugar?

Maple syrup is undeniably sweet and tasty. When consumed in moderation, maple syrup is indeed healthier than standard refined sugar. Some might even consider it a superfood. Maple syrup is a natural sweetener extracted from the sap of maple trees, collected and concentrated without the addition of any chemicals. It takes about 10 gallons of tree sap to make a quart of maple syrup. Sugars comprise about 60% of maple syrup, which contains sucrose, glucose, and fructose. While sucrose makes up most of the sugar in maple syrup, the glycemic index of maple syrup is lower than that of sucrose. That means that consuming an equal amount of maple syrup compared to sucrose would result in a relatively smaller increase in blood sugar levels. When it comes to refined sugar, maple sugar is a much better option and is actually sweeter, which means a smaller amount of syrup is required to achieve the same level of sweetness compared to refined sugar. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of white sugar, you would only need ¾ of a cup of maple syrup. Maple syrup’s health benefits include its anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s loaded with antioxidants, and it can inhibit the growth of various cancer cells, including prostate, lung, breast, and colorectal. When it comes to buying maple syrup, always make sure the label indicates that it’s 100% real maple syrup. The darker-colored varieties contain more antioxidants. Despite its benefits, it’s important not to eat too much maple syrup. Adults should limit sugar intake to 1½ ounces daily, equivalent to less than 8 teaspoons of maple syrup (1 tablespoon of maple syrup has 3 teaspoons of sugar).