Maple syrup may not yet be classified as a health food, but it’s getting close! Research results, mostly coming out of Canada and based in large part on work done at the University of Rhode Island, are showing that maple syrup delivers nutritional benefits superior to other common sweeteners and that it compares very favorably to some common “healthy” foods on a nutritional value basis. Here are two comparisons that support these points.
There is more. Antioxidants are best known for their health effects in disease prevention, including neurological diseases, heart diseases and some forms of cancer. Maple syrup compares favorably in this context versus some of the healthiest foods.
To me, the most significant fact in the above comparisons lies with corn syrup. In various forms it is in many of the foods we consume from potato chips to ketchup to beef (beef cattle are fattened in feedlots on a diet of corn). And, of course, it is the only sweetener in table syrups like Aunt Jemima. Evidence is growing that corn syrup is not only basically empty calories, but it may be the primary cause of the current obesity epidemic. I am not in favor of banning corn syrup from the American diet or maple syrup replacing it in potato chips or, for that matter, gasoline where a corn derivative takes the name of ethanol, but I do want a bigger share of the sweeteners that are poured on pan cakes and waffles!!!! Maple syrup has fewer calories per serving and provides a lot more nutritional value than corn syrup.
© Maple Syrup Producers Association of Connecticut