During these days of New Year’s resolutions and what-can-I-do-better-for-myself thinking, many of us are trying to be better eaters. We’re cutting back on sugar, especially added sugar. And while most of us know that maple syrup is a better alternative to sugar in terms of nutrition, there are lots of people who believe it’s also a better alternative when it comes to calories and sugar content.
In this article, we’ll give you the facts about maple syrup vs sugar so that you can make an informed decision about which one is better for your diet.
How Much Sugar Is in Maple Syrup?
The amount of sugar in maple syrup varies quite a bit. But in general, the makeup is roughly 50% sugar, 40% water, and 10% minerals and vitamins. But the amount of sugar in a tablespoon of maple syrup is roughly the same as the amount of sugar in a tablespoon of granulated sugar: 4 grams of sugar.
You can see that maple syrup is not much different than sugar as far as the sugar content is concerned. That said, there are some added benefits from maple syrup that you don’t get from sugar, such as minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. But that may not be enough to make up for the fact that you’re consuming more calories when you use maple syrup instead of sugar.
What’s in Maple Syrup?
To be honest, maple syrup is just a fancy way of saying “sugar water”. It’s made from sap collected from maple trees (although not all maple trees are used for this process—only certain types are used). This sap is boiled down until it becomes a syrup. And the sugar content of maple syrup varies by grade and brand.
But in general, maple syrup is roughly 50% sugar, 40% water and 10% minerals and vitamins. Also, maple syrup is a source of manganese and zinc, which are both minerals that play essential roles in human metabolism and development. It’s also a source of antioxidants like phenolic compounds.
Why Maple Syrup May Be a Healthier Choice
Maple syrup is a better alternative to sugar because it has fewer calories, less added sugar and more minerals and vitamins. –
- Fewer calories: A tablespoon of maple syrup has about the same amount of calories as a tablespoon of sugar: 4 grams. However, a cup of maple syrup has about 800 calories, while a cup of granulated sugar has roughly 1,600 calories.
- Less Added Sugar: A cup of maple syrup has about 60 grams of sugar. However, a cup of granulated sugar has 75 grams of added sugar.
- More minerals and vitamins: A cup of maple syrup has about 13-15% of your daily recommended amount of manganese, as well as 10% of your daily recommended amount of zinc. And it also has small amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Calories in Sugar vs. Maple Syrup
As we mentioned above, a tablespoon of maple syrup has roughly 4 grams of sugar, while a tablespoon of granulated sugar has 4 grams of sugar. A cup of maple syrup has roughly 60 grams of sugar while a cup of granulated sugar has 75 grams of sugar. So as you can see, maple syrup has a lot less sugar than sugar. But it also has a lot fewer calories. A cup of maple syrup has 800 calories while a cup of granulated sugar has 1,600 calories. So even though maple syrup has more minerals and vitamins than sugar, maple syrup should be used in moderation because it has more calories than sugar.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Maple Syrup as a Replacement for Sugar
Although maple syrup is a better alternative to sugar in terms of added sugar and calories, it’s not a good replacement for sugar when it comes to baking. Just like sugar, maple syrup is a liquid whereas baking requires granulated crystals to bind and hold baked goods together. And maple syrup is too thick to properly do this. So while maple syrup is a better alternative to sugar if you’re trying to cut back on calories and added sugar, it’s not the best choice if you’re trying to bake.
Maple syrup is a better alternative to sugar in terms of calories, added sugar and minerals and vitamins. But it’s not a good alternative when baking, as it’s too thick to properly bind ingredients together. That said, maple syrup is a better choice if you’re trying to cut back on added sugar as it has fewer calories and less added sugar than granulated sugar. And it’s certainly a better choice if you’re trying to consume more minerals and vitamins. However, don’t use maple syrup as a replacement for sugar in baking as it’s too thick for proper binding. Instead, use it in moderation as a better alternative to sugar when you’re looking to cut back on added sugar.