The Reasons all Other Sweeteners are OUT and Maple Sugar is IN!
Maple sugar. You see the words and you have to do a double-take. You’ve heard of cane sugar, pure sugar, brown sugar and even coconut sugar, but this is a new one. What is it?
Chances are you are familiar with the sticky-sweet treat of maple syrup. You have most likely eaten it on your waffles or pancakes and perhaps with your ice cream or oatmeal if you are adventurous. Maple sugar is the same pure deliciousness that is maple syrup, evaporated into a beautiful sugar form. And the good news is that all of the nutritious qualities that make up maple syrup are the same as those that are in maple sugar. Talk about sweet.
So, we know that it’s good, but here’s why it’s the best.
Maple Sugar has Fewer Calories than Other Sugars
Many eating habits are driven by the numbers on the back of a package, because when it comes to thinking about health and well-being, one of the first places the mind wanders is calories. In the case of calories, maple sugar wins compared to cane sugar, brown sugar, and coconut sugar. According to the calorie counts on MyFitnessPal, maple sugar contains around 11 calories per teaspoon, where cane sugar, brown sugar and coconut sugar contain anywhere from 15-18 calories per teaspoon.
Maple Sugar is Pure and Unrefined
One of the biggest battles in the sugar world is refined vs. unrefined. The fact is, unrefined sugar has better qualities and is an overall better choice when you are eating sweets than refined sugar. Refined sugar goes through a chemical process to get to a consumable form. When this happens many of its natural qualities are lost. Unrefined sugar is in its natural form and goes through no chemical processes. When a sugar is in its natural form it maintains its natural health qualities and nutritional value.
Maple Sugar Contains No Artificial Colors or Sweeteners
When it comes to sweets, sugars aren’t the only thing to consider. There are also many artificially enhanced sweeteners that make their way into our candies, treats and coffee. Artificially enhanced sweeteners are more likely to contain artificial coloring and flavoring to make them more appealing. Artificial flavorings and colorings are likely to be chemically formulated, making them harmful if ingested over long periods of time. In fact, the type of syrup that most people use as a condiment is an artificially flavored form of corn syrup. But, because maple sugar comes directly from pure maple syrup, which comes directly from the maple tree, it contains no artificial coloring or flavoring.
Maple Sugar Contains No Common Allergens
In its pure form, maple sugar goes through a very simple, physical change to get from maple syrup to maple sugar. When it is derived from its natural source, a maple tree, maple syrup does not contain any common allergens such as: dairy, egg, soy, wheat, corn or nut products (maplesource.com). This makes it a safe sweetener choice for the majority of people.
Maple Sugar Contains Beneficial Vitamins and Minerals
Since maple sugar is formed through the evaporation of maple syrup it is an unrefined sugar, meaning it still carries the nutritional qualities of maple syrup. According to the International Maple Syrup Institute, maple syrup contains: manganese, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium, all of which are necessary to a daily diet. Likewise, these vitamins and minerals have shown to be beneficial to heart health and strong immune systems. Other sugars are devoid of vitamins and minerals, or only contain trace amounts, which limits the benefits.
Maple Sugar is Full of Antioxidants
Along with vitamins and minerals, there are high amounts of antioxidants found in maple syrup. Again, because maple sugar is unrefined, it also carries these qualities. Maple syrup is shown to have 65 antioxidants that are beneficial to human health (Pure Canada Maple). According to WEbMD Antioxidants are beneficial to the body because they protect it from free radicals that can cause cell damage within the body. This cell damage is linked to harmful diseases such as cancer. The amount of antioxidants that are found in maple syrup are the same ranks as fruits and vegetables like apples and broccoli.
Consuming Maple Sugar
If you want to start using maple sugar in your diet to replace other sweeteners, the great news is, it’s available! You can find it most times in health food stores, specialty stores, and sometimes even in your local grocery. There are even specialty shops that create all of their baked goods, treats and candies with maple sugar, making them a great choice to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Just a note, although the benefits of maple sugar are great, as with any sweet, you still want to consume it in moderation.