By Tom Collins
Maple syrup is more nutritious than other common sweeteners, says the International Maple Syrup Institute which is now in full swing promoting maple syrup as a healthy choice.
The institute spent five years analyzing studies and found that one-quarter cup of maple syrup has more nutrients than the same amount of high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, white sugar and even honey.
Maple syrup is especially high in riboflavin and manganese, respectively giving about 37 per cent and 95 per cent of the daily value needed in each one-quarter cup serving. Maple syrup also has nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium.
Maple syrup producers have jumped on the idea of promoting the health benefits of maple syrup.
The key in consumption, says maple syrup institute board member Ray Bonenberg, is moderation. “What we’re saying to people is that as a sweetener, it’s a smart choice as a topping or an ingredient in cooking or baking.”
Maple syrup is 66 per cent natural sugar, says Bonenberg, a Pembroke producer. “We’re not advocating somebody eat a litre a day. We’re not saying it’s better than an apple or that it’s better than broccoli. You’re going to use sugar in your diet in some way, shape or form, and all we suggest is you use this as a substitute for compound white sugar and high fructose corn syrup and you should be okay.”
Bonenberg says studies also show maple sugar allows insulin to move more effectively in the body to do its job of converting glucose to glycogen to be stored in the liver and that the use of maple sugar has been linked to a reduction of colon cancer in rats and mice.