There is so much to learn about maple as a sweetener. Below I hope to impart some facts. These charts and articles may seem complicated so keep it simple. Reduce your sugar intake and make what little sugar you choose consume a really good sugar. Everything in moderation. Right?
Scientists are also taking a closer look at natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, and molasses. Beyond their primary constituents glucose and fructose, these sweeteners contain other classes of bioactive compounds including complex carbohydrates, amino acids, and polyphenols that might impart health benefits, scientists have found (C&EN, April 14, page 10).
An obvious way to reduce added sugar is to rely more on artificial sweeteners. Their intense sweetness means we can use less. But this switch may not have the intended benefit, according to Purdue University behavioral neuroscientist Susan E. Swithers, who studies correlations between eating and weight management.
“Substituting a part of the diet with a similar-tasting item that has fewer or zero calories sounds like a commonsense approach to lose weight and possibly improve health,” Swithers says. “But common sense is not always right.”
When the mouth tastes something sweet, it tells the body to prepare for the calories, Swithers notes. But when those calories aren’t present, she believes the body’s mechanisms to control food intake become ineffective.
She points to lessons learned from reducing sodium to meet recommended healthy levels in the diet. When salt is not added to processed or fresh prepared food, and the consumer is given a saltshaker to add as much salt as they want, people tend to use less salt overall, Swithers notes. She thinks this behavior would hold for sugar as well.