Maple syrup is one of the widely used sweeteners today. The manufacturers claim that it is 100 % natural and is in fact far healthier than the regular sugar that we use. They also claim that maple syrup is also better in terms of the nutrition provided to the human body. Believing these claims, people have started to use it in their day to day life without even making any efforts in authenticating if the claims made are genuine or not. Maple syrup is actually manufactured using the sap of the maple trees. These saps are actually sugary fluid which comes out of the maple trees. Its use has been mentioned in various history books making it one of the food items consumed for many centuries now. Currently Canada is the country which produces almost 80 % of the total maple syrup used in the whole world.
There is a two-step process involved in the manufacturing of the maple syrup. Firstly a hole is made in the trunk of the maple tree and the sugary fluid circulating is collected in these holes. Then the next step involves the process in which this syrup is boiled till the water present in it evaporates and sugary syrup which is thick in nature is left behind. Then with the help of the filtration, the impurities present in them are removed. Now depending upon the color of the final syrup obtained, the maple syrup is then classified into Grade A and Grade B. In the Grand A variety, we further have the Light, Medium and Dark Amber category. The Grade B category maple syrup is the darkest syrup obtained and so they have the strongest flavor. This is the reason they are generally used for baking while the Grade A category ones are directly used as the syrup. The darker maple syrup or the Grade B maple syrup is generally manufactured using the sap obtained in the harvesting seasons. It is very important to have prior knowledge before buying the maple syrups from the market. You should select the actual maple syrup and not the flavored maple syrups as they offer more health benefits. Moreover the flavored maple syrup is loaded with the fructose corn syrup or the refined sugar which not only affects your health but also invites various diseases towards your body.
The reason why maple syrup is preferred over the refined sugar is the presence of many essential nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. A fresh and pure 100 grams of maple syrup contains the following minerals. Potassium: 6% of RDA, Zinc: 28% of RDA, Calcium: 7% of RDA, Iron: 7% of RDA and Manganese: 165% of RDA. Further the 100 grams of pure maple syrup also has 67 grams of table sugar. This high percentage of the sugar is not at all appropriate as they can lead you to type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart related diseases. If you go for the maple syrup considering that it has good amount of minerals in it and ignore the sugar content, then it is not a wise step and you need to think again on your decisions. The only other healthy way by which you can get the right quantity of minerals is by eating the real foods as they are not adulterated and are perfectly natural. Choose a balanced diet of both the plants and animals and you will surely be protected against the diseases.
But if you are anyway going to eat the artificial sweeteners then maple syrup is the best option in front of you as they have about 1/3rd sugar content compared to the refined sugars available these days. Another good thing about the maple syrup is that its glycemic index is 54 which is less than the table sugar and is a good sign. The table sugar has the glycemic index of 65. This low level of glycemic index helps in maintaining the blood sugar level inside the human body. The less the glycemic index, the better it is for your health. Another advantage of using the maple syrup is the presence of the 24 different varieties of the antioxidants. Yes, this is absolutely right. They have 24 varieties of antioxidants. The oxidative damage inside the human body makes it prone to the diseases and also fastens the process of aging. Actually there are some of the unwanted chemical reactions which happen inside the body involving the free radicals that harms you severely and these chemical reactions are called by the name of the oxidative damage. The antioxidants present in the maple syrup helps in neutralizing these free radicals which eventually helps in getting rid of these oxidative damages. The darker maple syrups have more percentage of antioxidants in them than the lighter ones and so you should opt for the darker ones.
The final verdict is that although the maple syrup contains the nutrients and essential antioxidants, it also has the high amount of sugar content in it which is not good for your health. You can call maple syrup as slightly better than the actual sugar. So its use should be limited so that you stay protected. Do not use it regularly as it may harm your health.