Nutrient Values and Health Benefits
A study, unveiled in May 2023, reveals that maple syrup provides functional food benefits for cardiometabolic health, when replacing refined sugars.
Quebec scientists demonstrate the health benefits of maple syrup
The research “Substituting refined sugars by maple syrup decreases key cardiometabolic risk factors in individuals with mild metabolic alterations: a randomized, double-blind, controlled crossover trial” was conducted by a Université Laval team led by Dr. André Marette, PhD, at the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec and Dr. Marie-Claude Vohl, PhD, at the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods.
In a clinical study, 42 volunteers took either two tbsp of maple syrup or two tbsp of sucrose syrup each day for eight weeks. After a four-week break, they switched sweeteners for the next eight weeks. The serving size was 5% of average caloric intake (half the 10% maximum of added sugars recommended by the World Health Organization). The results were compelling.
Improved Blood Sugar Levels
Study participants who consumed maple syrup had a better response to the oral glucose tolerance test than those who received a flavoured syrup of refined sugar. This means that, after eating, their bodies better regulated their blood sugar levels.
Reduction in Blood Pressure
The study found that subjects who consumed maple syrup tested lower systolic blood pressure than those who consumed refined sugar. When the heart beats, it exerts force on the arteries. Lowering blood pressure contributes directly to lesser risk of cardiovascular problems.
Less Belly Fat
After each of the two study periods, participants who tested with maple syrup lost abdominal weight, compared to those who consumed the sucrose syrup. Beyond physical appearance, this is beneficial to overall health and reduces the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
THE RESULTS SUGGEST THAT
The consumption of maple syrup as a natural sweetening agent is more beneficial to cardiometabolic health than that of refined sugars and can be associated with selective changes in gut microbiota.
Maple syrup represents a good alternative to refined sugars, as it lessens liver damage and glucose homeostasis (blood sugar regulation).
Maple syrup is a healthier choice than refined sweeteners.
For Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP), this study builds on years of ongoing research on the properties of maple syrup, made solely from the sap of maple trees, which makes it an entirely natural product with unique health benefits.
Maple syrup contains 100 nutritional compounds, many with known health benefits. Maple Syrup :
A single 60 ml (1/4 cup) serving of 100% pure and natural maple syrup…
- meets 72% of the daily nutritional requirement for manganese, 27% for riboflavin, 17% for copper, and 6% for calcium.
- contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, amino acids, phytohormones, and inulin, which acts as a prebiotic that encourages the growth of “good” bacteria in the gut.
- has 67 polyphenols, 9 of which are unique to it. One of these polyphenols, called Quebecol, appears naturally when sap is boiled to produce maple syrup.
A NATURAL SOURCE OF ENERGY
Maple syrup is a natural fuel favoured by many athletes because it provides simple carbohydrates, which easily break down into glucose. People like these, with active lifestyles, eat or drink maple products in some form (and there are many) before, during, and after physical exertion.
Take a look at this short video that illustrates the benefits of maple syrup for the athletes:
Learn more about the benefits of maple syrup, including as a natural source of energy, at Maple from Canada.
The 4 Grades of Maple Syrup