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Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup - Which Sweetener is Good for Health?

Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup - Which Sweetener is Good for Health?

Sweets are a symbol of celebration and happiness in life. You can’t live a day without eating anything sugary. For instance, your morning tea or coffee, or the honey water, or your fruit juices or breakfast cereals, etc. all have sugar in them. Sugar is in almost everything.

All types of medicine branches - Ayurveda, modern medicine, Chinese medicine, and Greek medicine, stand unified about one fact: that white sugar is bad for your health. But what about natural sweeteners like Honey, Dates, Stevia, and Maple syrups?

But which amongst Honey vs Sugar vs Maple syrup and others is good for you? Knowingly or unknowingly, we eat sugar in numerous forms. Unlike white sugar, natural sweeteners are not just sucrose; they are also rich in minerals and loads of antioxidants.

Today, we will take a closer look at the different aspects of natural sweeteners: their origin, health benefits, nutrient profile, price, and shelf life, to help you figure out which sweetener, honey vs sugar vs maple syrup, fits your health criteria.

Let’s begin!

Table of Contents

  • Origin: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup
  • Health Benefits: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup
  • Nutrients: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup
  • Shelf life: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup
  • Price: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup
  • Flavour: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup
  • FAQs: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup - Which Sweetener is Good For Health?
  • Conclusion

Origin: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup

First things first, let’s learn about the basics of honey, sugar, and Maple syrup. 

What is Honey And Where It’s Produced?

  • Honey is made from the nectar and plant secretions collected by bees. The bees forage on various species of flora and selectively pick nectar from them. The honey matures in honeycombs and is later scraped from them. The collected honey is either processed or filtered to remove the remains of bees and honeycomb and is ready to be sold. 

Honey is naturally available in every country that has floral vegetation. India is one of the major producers of different kinds of honey.

What is Maple Syrup And Where It’s Produced?

  • Maple syrup is collected from the sap of Maple trees. Unlike honey, collecting sap from Maple trees takes a lot of time. Small hooks are placed in the trunk of a Maple tree, and the sap is collected in buckets. After that, the sap is boiled and filtered to give it a luscious colour and viscosity. Then it is bottled and sold.

Maple syrup is largely produced in Canada and the Northeastern and Northern Midwest states of the United States. In India, Maple syrup is imported from these countries. 

What is Sugar And Where is it Produced?

  • Sugar, as you know, is highly processed sugarcane juice. The sugarcane juice is filtered, boiled, crystallised, crushed, and bleached to get sugar as the end product. 

Sugar is produced largely by India, Thailand, China, Brazil, and the United States.

Honey is less processed than Maple syrup and white sugar. It can be consumed in its natural, raw form. 

Health Benefits: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup

Let’s see the health benefits of honey, Maple syrup, and sugar.

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  • Honey has several medicinal properties. It is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial in nature
  • It helps in weight loss and liver detox, promotes metabolism, boosts the immune system, cures cough and cold, treats dandruff and dry skin conditions, improves sleep patterns and memory, and reduces stress and anxiety levels.
  • Honey also heals wounds and prevents gum disorders like gingivitis, etc. 
  • Maple syrup is also rich in antioxidants and is helpful in reducing inflammation. It is good for skin health, boosts immunity, and may help in controlling weight due to its lower glycemic index (54) than honey (58). 
  • White sugar has no health benefits, except one– it provides instant energy/glucose for the body. Other than this, it is the cause of several health diseases like diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, Candida, IBS, gas, bloating, constipation, cramps, etc.

Honey has multifold health benefits over Maple syrup and white sugar. It has been graced by several years of research and wisdom from ancient sages and today's scientists. Maple syrup is still new, and many studies are underway to know more about its effects on the human body.

Alright, let’s see what nutrients are present in honey, Maple syrup, and sugar.

Nutrients: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup

Here’s a comparison between 1 tablespoon of honey, sugar, and Maple syrup. 


Nutrient Comparison Between Honey, Maple Syrup, and Sugar

Nutrients

Honey

Maple Syrup

Sugar

Calories

63.8 kcal

52 kcal 

48 kcal

Water

3.59 g 

6.48 g 

-

Carbohydrate

17.3 g 

13.4 g 

100%

Protein

0.06 g 

0.08 g 

-

Fructose

8.59 g

0.104 g

-

Calcium

1.26 mg 

20.4 mg

-

Potassium

10.9 mg

42.4 mg

-

Sucrose

0.187 g

11.7 g 

100% sucrose

Magnesium

0.42 mg

4.2 mg

-

Sodium

0.8 mg

2.4 mg

-

Chromium

0.10 mcg

– 

-

Manganese

0.017 mg

0.09 mg

-

Iron

0.088 mg

0.01 mg

-

Copper

0.008 mg

0.018 mg

-

Source: Food Data Central, Researchgate, Food Data Central


Honey and Maple syrup both have similar nutrient contents. Honey has slightly more calories than Maple syrup. The average ratio of potassium and sodium is balanced in honey when compared with Maple syrup, making it great for blood pressure. 

Other minerals are also present in trace amounts in both. However, to get a substantial amount of them, a lot of honey and Maple syrup must be consumed, which will result in a rise in blood sugar levels.

Remember, for both Maple syrup and honey, less is more!

Let’s look at the shelf life of all three: honey, Maple syrup, and white sugar.

Shelf life: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup

Shelf life is an important factor that affects the consumption time frame of any edible product. A product that has a high shelf life is always a better option.

  • Natural honey has a longer shelf life than Maple syrup and sugar. It does not require any preservatives. Moreover, aged honey has its own healthy properties. Ayurveda suggests using one-year-old honey in weight-loss remedies. Honey can undergo physiological changes like crystallisation and solidification with a change in temperature. That’s natural. 
  • Maple syrup, when unadulterated, can last for up to a year. If it is adulterated with corn syrup, it may go bad pretty soon. The chances of moulding are higher due to the higher moisture content in Maple syrup. It is advised to keep it in an airtight container all the time.  
  • Commercially produced white sugar can last for many years. However, moisture is its enemy too. When not kept in airtight containers, it can start melting and form big chunks of sugar. 

Price: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup

Honey is locally available. So, the prices are fairly affordable and depend on the type of honey. Honey is available in the forms of unifloral, multifloral, raw and wild, and natural and processed varieties. You can easily pick honey based on your needs. 

Maple syrup is not a local product of India. It is imported, so the prices are higher as compared to honey. Also, it takes a lot of time to collect and process the sap from Maple trees, which also adds to their cost and labour.

Sugar is available everywhere and is the cheapest among the three. But, it costs more for your health.

 

Among honey vs sugar vs Maple syrup, Maple syrup is costlier, followed by honey and then sugar.

Flavours: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup

In this flavour comparison between honey vs sugar vs Maple syrup, honey has the edge. Let’s see how. 

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The taste of honey depends on the nectar it’s made from, and therefore it provides a wide range of floral flavours for different purposes. They are widely used in cooking sweet and savoury dishes. Here you can find a few must-try honey recipes - 8 Honey Recipes to Try This Season - Guide 2023

  • Maple syrup only has one type of flavour, and has a woodier note to it. It is mainly used in baking and as an alternative sweetener. 

FAQs: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup - Which Sweetener is Good For Health?

What is the healthiest alternative to sugar?

All the other natural sweeteners are healthy alternatives to sugar. The most commonly used sugar alternatives are Honey, Jaggery, Dates, Coconut sugar, Agave sugar, Maple syrup, etc. 

Is it good to replace sugar with honey?

Without a doubt, you can replace white sugar with honey. Honey acts not just as a sweetener; it is a powerhouse of antioxidants and many minerals. It has therapeutic properties and helps improve the body’s metabolism.


Conclusion

We hope that this blog: Honey vs Sugar vs Maple Syrup - Which Sweetener is Good For Health, helped you understand more about the different aspects of these sweeteners. Honey and Maple syrup, both are nutritious and sweet. While Maple syrup has a slightly lower glycemic index and calories, honey has more health benefits than Maple syrup. 

However, both are sweeteners, and overdoing them is not recommended to maintain a healthy life. Also, remember that all the benefits and nutrition come from unadulterated and pure products. Therefore, only consume natural and organic food.

To find 100% natural, raw, and organic honey, check out the Two Brothers Organic Farms honey products. Acacia, Mustard, Taramira, Indian Berry, and Onion Flower Monofloral Honey, Multifloral Honey. Buy them now!

Read more : 

What Are The Different Types Of Honey And Their Benefits?

How To Use Honey For Weight Loss?


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