MAPLE SYRUP: THE HEALTHIER SWEETENER
Over the past few years, many people have been trying to limit their intake of processed, or at the least, over-processed foods. There are several alternative options for all commonly used foods, except for sugar. Despite what manufacturers and foodie bloggers claim about the many different forms of sugar – brown, raw, coconut sugar etc., research indicates that the body seems to process it all the same way.
Since not sweetening our foods at all is not an option for many people, they may choose to compromise by trying honey or maple syrup. Purchasing locally is also a preference for some. Raw honey has nutritional benefits but much of the honey we buy at the store is pasteurized, and in that process it loses much of its food value. Expectant mothers are advised against eating raw honey as it may contain botulism spores, which are not really a threat unless you are pregnant or are an infant.
Let’s now switch our attention to one of the prides of Canada, Maple Syrup! Although maple syrup is still broken down in our bodies the same as sugar, it is touted to have less fructose than some other options, which makes it slightly healthier. Also, maple syrup endures less processing than sugar, which preserves more of its original nutrients. It contains: anti-oxidants, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, copper and manganese, all of which are known to contribute to overall health and well-being.
Conclusion: Maple syrup not only offers trace minerals and anti-oxidants, it is also a low-processed and locally produced food option for sweetening. If more convincing is needed, maple syrup is also a baby-friendly sweetener, excellent for adding to cereals and plain yogurts. So although sweetening of any food is frowned upon by health enforcers, let’s be realistic. If you sweeten, choose Maple Syrup!