Honey v maple syrup revisited! I’ve just been writing up a recipe using maple syrup and it occurred to me that whilst the information about my take on honey and maple syrup is in the blurb about Science and Nutrition it wasn’t available as a post of its own – so here it is!
I use maple syrup rather than honey in most of my recipes.
This isn’t just a personal preference (although I do prefer maple syrup if using it in the raw). Maple syrup is actually better than honey for what I am trying to achieve!
Here goes with some science – for a starter, and I for one was quite surprised by this, maple syrup is lower in calories than honey. It’s quite a significant amount – over 10%!
Also – and this is even more scientific – the carbohydrate content in maple syrup is primarily sucrose, which is a complex sugar that your body breaks down into equal parts of fructose and glucose whereas honey’s carbohydrate content is pretty much pure fructose and the problem with that is that too much fructose is detrimental to heart and liver health.
Honey is however higher in vitamin content but maple syrup is much better on mineral content. So I suppose that’s a balancing act as to what you are trying to achieve. Fruit is though a better source of the same vitamins.
On the whole, I tend towards maple syrup as I don’t use it in my recipes for the “what is good for me” content. I use it as it adds sweetness, so the concern for me is much more about avoiding what is bad for me.
One final thing to really keep in mind is that you should never give honey to babies or to children with a vulnerable health profile due to the risk of botulism. That’s a risk you don’t run with maple syrup. The botulism content of honey is very real – it is even as significant as the risk of say salmonella with raw eggs.
Agave syrup is often put forward as the “natural” and “healthy” choice – in fact it is higher in calories and carbohydrates, it 90% fructose and has none of the nutritional payload you get with maple syrup.