Organics maple syrup is often talked about as being better than sugar because it is a “natural” sweetener. I agree that maple syrup is a good choice when deciding which sweeteners to use and take into your body. However, those who know that “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “good,” probably want to know more.
Higher Nutrition Value:
The first reason that most paleo-diet proponents and whole-foodies prefer to use “natural” sweeteners like organic maple syrup is that they are more nutrient-dense than regular sugar. Here’s what I mean: (photo credit: huff post)
Another reason real food advocates like to use maple syrup is that it’s less processed. Maple syrup starts its life as sap in a maple tree and then is concentrated by boiling off the water into the syrupy texture that we are familiar with and put on our paleo/gluten-free pancakes. Sugar starts its life as a piece of sugar cane. The sugar cane is shredded and the shreds are then squeezed to extract sugar cane juice. This juice is boiled until it thickens and molasses-rich sugar crystals begin to settle. The molasses-rich crystals are sent to a rapidly spinning centrifuge to remove molasses and leave pure naturally white sugar crystals. The sugar crystals are then dried. As you can see there is more processing involved in making white sugar. The more a food is processed and taken out of its natural (whole-food) form the more nutritional value it looses.
Lower Glycemic Load
The glycemic load (GL) is an accurate–more accurate than the glycemic index–way of describing how a certain serving of a food will affect your blood sugar levels. A food with a “low” GL is 10 or lower. A “medium” GL is 11-20, and a “high” GL is anything above 20. Here’s how maple syrup and sugar stack up: 1 Tbs pure maple syrup: 8 1 Tbs table sugar: 11 As always with a real food diet and/or paleo diet make sure that you limit your intake of sweeteners. Most anything that tastes sweet contains fructose, no matter what form it comes in (fruit, maple syrup, or corn syrup). Our bodies were not made to handle large amounts of fructose, so eat sweets diligently and with caution, especially if you are overweight or have blood sugar balance issues. Make sure to indulge only in paleo, refined-sugar free treats, and you can have your gluten-free cake and eat it too.