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Is maple syrup a better sugar for your health?

Published on March 13, 2017 at 13:02 / Updated on June 7, 2022 at 14:05

Quebecers will be unanimous on this point: maple syrup is, without a doubt, the local product of which we’re most proud. It's our very own treasure, a secret ingredient in many recipes. This coveted food is literally part of our culinary heritage, but is it really a healthier sugar? Let’s focus on the benefits of enjoying this wonderful syrup. 

Did you know?

Liquid sugars have a higher water content, which is the reason for the variation in calories when compared to the same volume of other sugars. In fact, the water content of maple syrup is the highest of all types of sugars, including refined sugars, which means that it is less concentrated in sugar. The syrup is liquid and contains a greater amount of water, while granulated sugars, for their part, have only a very low percentage of moisture, or even none! There’s nothing more unpleasant than a bag of brown sugar that has lost its moisture and has become rock hard!

Per 5 milliliter (or 1 teaspoon) serving:

Honey - There are 5.9 grams of total sugars

Maple syrup - There are 4.1 grams of total sugars 

Brown sugar - There are 4.5 grams of total sugars 

Refined white sugar - There are 4.2 grams of total sugars 

Is it better than refined sugar?

In addition to its exquisite taste, maple syrup provides a few benefits. It contains phytochemicals—compounds naturally present in plants that act as real antioxidants. Maple syrup also contains small amounts of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are not found in refined white sugar. In addition, researchers have determined that maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than other types of sugars, which results in a slower rise in blood sugar levels. 

The downside

However, many people use too much syrup because of its liquid consistency or simply because it is less refined than white sugar. Although maple syrup may seem like a better choice, it's important to remember that maple syrup is a simple sugar like any other, and should be consumed in moderation. In short, maple syrup therefore turns out to be a good substitute for white sugar in our diet, but only in an equal or lesser proportion.

In conclusion, whether it’s because of its irresistible taste, our attachment to the product or to sweeten our meals with something local, maple syrup will enhance the flavour of your recipes every time. However, although it is more natural than refined white sugar, it’s nonetheless still a sugar…but we can still enjoy a little bit anyway, especially during maple syrup season!

Familiprix in collaboration with Hubert Cormier

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