The Top 6 Facts About Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is one of the more well-known sweeteners we have today. Many proponents claim that it is one hundred percent natural and that it is healthier than sugar. This article serves as an unbiased review of maple syrup through six different key points.
1 – How is Maple Syrup Made?
Maple syrup is produced by using the sap from maple trees. It has been used prevalently in North America dating back to the Native American era. More than eighty percent of the world's supply of maple syrup is presently delivered in Canada, and it is made in a simple two step process.
First, the maple tree is drilled and then the sap is gathered into a holder. Then, it is heated to a boiling temperature and filtered to remove all the excess water and contaminants.
2 – Maple Syrup by Grades
Maple syrup is generally graded and classified by color. There are two grades given for maple syrup in the United States, an A and a B grade. Grade A is further classified into a light, medium, and dark amber. Grade B is the darkest of all.
The darker maple syrup usually comes from sap being collected towards the end of harvest. These darker syrups are usually much stronger in taste and are more commonly used in cooking recipes, while the lighter syrups are mainly used in everyday meals, such as pancakes.
The key to buying the highest quality and healthiest maple syrup is to buy the original syrup without all the additives in flavored ones. These are usually overloaded with sugar.
3 – Pluses: Vitamins and Minerals; Negatives: Sugar
Maple syrup is used as a healthier substitute to table sugar because it contains some positive elements in its nutritional makeup. Some of these minerals include calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and manganese.
Maple syrup contains an average measure of a few minerals, particularly manganese and zinc, but remember that it also contains copious amounts of sugar. It can be equated to about two thirds the amount of sugar in a serving of table sugar. So it is better, but not entirely good for you.
Sugar can be genuinely hurtful and if indulged in overabundance, it is accepted to be among the main sources of the world's greatest medical issues, including heart disease.
Many people justify eating maple syrup because they feel that the few positive minerals it contains will be good for them. The problem with this is that in order to consume these few minerals, one has to ingest an unhealthy amount of sugar to go with them. This is why it is recommended to get these positive minerals through a balanced diet of whole foods.
If one is forced to eat sugar and has no alternative, than maple syrup is the way to go because it contains one third less sugar than traditional table sugar.
4 - Maple Syrup and Antioxidants
Antioxidants have long been known to slow down aging and prevent many diseases by counteracting against free radicals in the body. Maple syrup contains about twenty four different antioxidants, and typically the darker the syrup is the more antioxidants it has. Nonetheless, all of these antioxidants are also counteracted by the amount of sugar that is in maple syrup as a whole. The amount of sugar itself is enough to make it an unhealthy product if consumed in large amounts.
5 - Maple Syrup Studies
Various useful substances have been found in maple syrup. Some of these substances are absent in the maple tree itself, but rather are created when the syrup comes to a boiling point. These substances have been shown to combat cancerous cells and free radicals in the digestive system in test tubes. None of these studies have been confirmed in humans yet and can be considered insignificant because the majority were sponsored by maple syrup production companies.
6 – In Conclusion: Slightly Better than Sugar
Despite the fact that maple syrup contains a few supplements and cancer prevention agents, it is exceptionally high in sugar. This makes it much less desirable than whole and unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables. However, if one replaces all the sugar in their diet with maple syrup then there will definitely be positive health benefits attributed to it, primarily because it contains one third less sugar.