The Facts About Maple Syrup







Do you LOVE maple syrup? Have you switched to using it in place of white table sugar? Do you ever wonder though if it really is a healthy alternative to refined white table sugar?

Sure it is! It’s high  in magnesium, potassium, calcium and even zinc! That alone makes it a better choice than using white table sugar.

Since I wrote this post:  Top 3  Refined Sugar Free Sweeteners, I’ve been asked numerous times by quite a few of you as to why maple syrup is not listed.

I will explain, but want to restate the fact that I am not a nutritionist. All the information I have learned over the years of being sugar free I have learned through reading and my own personal experience. I am confident in what works for me, it may not be right for you so seek advice of a nutritionist or doctor before making any changes to your diet.







Here’s what I’ve learned about sugar. There are two distinct types of sugar.

  • Fructose which is fruit sugar.
  • Sucrose which is refined sugar.

Fructose is broken down slowly in your body. Sucrose is quickly broken down which increases glucose in our body. When our bodies sense an increase of glucose in our blood it immediately directs the pancreas to push insulin into the blood stream. So basically  high concentrations of sucrose sugar cause blood sugar  to be effected greatly.


I’m sure my readers who have children with diabetes or are diabetic themselves could explain even better than I, but this is the simplest way I can explain why I won’t use it. I would encourage you to read this heartfelt note to Kelly The Kitchen Kop in response to her recommending maple syrup for those with diabetes. It explains it better than I for sure.

Honey is made up of 38.2% of fructose, 31% glucose and only 1.3 % sucrose. Maple Syrup is basically 99.9 % sucrose. White table sugar, turbinado and brown sugar are also 99.9 % sucrose.

So although I am NOT diabetic, my blood sugar is greatly effected when ingesting high amounts of sucrose. When my blood sugar is effected I am irritable, angry, HUNGRY, and craving everything in sight. I don’t really like that feeling all that much and choose to avoid it at all costs. I believe some people have no problem ingesting maple syrup or anything else made of sucrose, but for me it just doesn’t work.

Do you use maple syrup? How does it effect you?





  1. Stephanie says

    I don’t eat maple syrup, but recently I’ve been reading about Dr Ray Peat (and his philosophies) who interestingly suggests sucrose or sugar over starch to reduce stress in the body etc. I also do get those sugar swings when I eat too much of refined sugar, but I noticed that my bloating is slightly less than when I eat primarily starches. Anyways, thanks for the info!!

  2. Melinda says

    I don’t like maple syrup. My husband however, loves it. He has a business associate that sends it to us a few times a year from Vermont. He enjoys it on his pancakes and faux french toast. The only use I have for it is when I make homemade low fat granola. My kids love that sprinkled on top of their yogurt/fruit concoction in the mornings.

  3. Blandine says

    Hello !
    First, let me tell you that I really LOVE your blog, who help me eating in a healthier way.

    Since I’m french, I am maybe misundersting what you are writing, but firt you tell that maple syrup IS a healthy alternative to sugar, but then you say that it is 99.9 % sucrose, the “bad” sugars. I don’t really understand…

    Thank you for you help :)

    • Brenda says

      HI Blandine, It is healthier than using white table sugar because it is less refined and it contains minerals and vitamins that are not in white table sugar. For that reason it is a good choice. But for me because it is purely sucrose, it does not agree with me and causes me to crave more sugary things. Hope that helps.

      • Blandine says

        Ok. Thank you very much for this quick answer.
        Since few years, I only use brown sugar because I thinks that it’s more “natural”. But now that I’m trying to find alternatives to sugar, even those which are not white, I’m facing difficulties : no pure stevia (some products like yogourts or sodas are using stevia instead of chimical sweetener, but there is no stevia by itself), very few agave syrup (and only at very high prices that, as a 19 years old student, I can’t afford)…

        So maybe I’ll try maple syrup sometimes.

        Once again, thank you (and sorry for my english ^^) !

        • Jime says

          Hi Blandine, are you located in France? I think Nu naturals, which carries the best pure stevia I have tried, ships to international locations and they sell through their website. Or maybe try Amazon or iherb?

  4. CW says

    Hi! Loving your blog – thanks so much!

    Just a query – I was under the impression that sucrose is simply half glucose & half fructose anyway? So it’s the glucose raising blood sugars?

    • Brenda says

      I believe yes from what I’ve read, the glucose is immediately absorbed in the body which causes the quick rise in the blood stream.

  5. Gina says

    I love maple syrup but confine my use of it as an ingredient in main dish recipes that contain protein, like chicken or pork. I don’t use it with carb-rich foods like pancakes and such, because it gives me the same effect that you describe. For me, the bad feeling is due to an overload of carbs in general, not just from the maple syrup.

  6. says

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog since I made the decision to try (with mixed success) to reduce the amount of refined sugar I eat.
    I just have a question about fructose. I’ve been reading a lot lately about how fructose is actually a really bad sugar because our bodies aren’t evolved to handle it in large quantities and so converts most of it straight to fat :/ I believe fruit is a reasonable exception though as the benefits of the vitamins and fibre are too important to avoid. Have you heard anything about fructose as a bad sugar?

  7. Michael says

    I’m sorry, but this entry is not correct. It is generally accepted that fructose is the problem monosaccharide as it is broken down in the liver and, when consumed in large doses such as in added sugars or sweet drinks, can lead to metabolic syndrome, which is a precursor to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and possibly cancer. Glucose, although not ideal in large quantities either, has not been linked in the same way to these diseases. In fact, populations that consume large quantities of glucose but very little fructose, such as mid-century Japan and its heavy rice consumption, have very low levels of these diseases.

    Sucrose is a disaccharide that is broke down into its constituent monosaccharides in the body: fructose and glucose in equal parts. So, when you consume sucrose, you are consuming a 50/50 ratio of glucose and fructose.

    Stick to whole fruits and vegetables and limit your intake of any added sweeteners (including honey or maple syrup) and you will be fine.

  8. Jo says

    I agree with Michael. I am cutting sugar out of my diet and stick to stevia or rice malt syrups for sweetness. These two options are completely fructose free but as with any sweetener should be kept to a minimum.

  9. Erin says

    I was recently diagnosed with metabolic syndrome which means I’m insulin resistant. I have a huge sweet tooth so I’ve been researching sugar substitutes to use when baking. There’s been some conflicting info on the net about maple syrup, but I went to the Diabetes Association website and it said that baking with maple syrup actually has a lower glycemic index than white sugar. As long as your pair the maple syrup with other high fiber foods or decrease other carbohydrates like baking with coconut flour instead of wheat flour. I think the key is moderation though.

  10. Charles says

    I am diabetic type 2. I usually use honey as a sweetener, But I also use maple syrup about 5 times a year. When I make baked beans and I have pancakes ,french toast ,or waffles. I also make maple syrup about 8- 10 gallons a year. I even make maple hard candy and carry it in case my sugar gets low. If you are careful and use it moderately there is no problem and it is a lot tastier then that imitation stuff they sell.

  11. y says

    WOW this article just made my day!!… I was sugar free for about 2 years and then I started including maple syrup in my coffee, tea ,healthy treats and more, and I was sure that it is better than sugar so I can eat it in big portions, I eat about 3 teaspoons to 6 teaspoons maple syrup a day , and this is not including all of the other types of sugar that I eat everyday (like fruit etc)… so lately I’ve noticed that I’m more angry and especially hungry, very hungry which is something that I’ve never had before … and I was wondering for a long time what is that thing that causing all of these things and now I think i know the answer, I’m probably going to stop using maple syrup or start using it in small portions and going back to the sugarfree lifestyle. thank you very very much :)


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