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The Sugar Wars: Maple Syrup vs. Coconut Sugar

Maple Syrup and Coconut Sugar went head to head in our last episode of "The Sugar Wars" and this one was a worthy match!

Flavor Profile 

Maple syrup has caramel notes along with the woodsy maple flavor that you might expect from a maple syrup product. Maple syrup can have a complex flavor with notes of vanilla, cinnamon and even hazelnut.

Coconut sugar is caramel colored with a taste that is similar to that of maple syrup or brown sugar.

Health Benefits

Glycemic Index 

The glycemic index defines foods by how quickly it causes your blood sugar to rise. Sugars naturally rank higher on the glycemic index, however, maple syrup is clearly the better option as it has a lower glycemic index than cane sugar. 

Real Maple Syrup has a glycemic index of 54. Maple syrup is define as having a "medium" index.

Coconut Sugar has a glycemic index of 35, which puts it in the "low" index.  

Vitamins, Minerals & Antioxidants 

Real Maple Syrup is full of antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial. An article published by Livestrong.com that describes Real Maple nutrition even explains that "Researchers have also recently discovered that maple syrup is a source of phenolics, a class of antioxidants that are found in berries."   

Real Maple Syrup also contains high amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. These minerals do great work for your body including things like cell formation, maintaining healthy red blood cells, and immune support. 

Maple Syrup contains a number of vitamins including vitamin B6, B5, B2, B1, niacin, folic acid, biotin and vitamin A which assist in things like energy metabolism and vision.

Coconut sugar contains trace amounts of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper. Coconut sugar also provides small amounts of phytonutrients, such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidin, and antioxidants. You'll also find the B vitamin inositol, often used as a mood booster, in coconut sugar.

Additional Nutritional Facts

In a head to head on calorie content, 1 teaspoon of coconut sugar has about 15 calories while 1 teaspoon of maple syrup contains 52 calories.

Processing/Refinement

Real Maple Syrup is a straight-from-nature product that has a rather simple process flow. Sap is taken from a tapped maple tree and then boiled into a concentrated syrup. That's it!

Coconut sugar, more accurately coconut palm sugar, is made in a two step process as well. The flower of the coconut palm is cut and the liquid sap is collected. The sap is then boiled and dehydrated and coconut sugar is what's left.

Replacement

When replacing Coconut Sugar with Real Maple Syrup the replacement is a simple 1:1 ratio.

Winner: Real Maple Syrup

Coconut Sugar's flavor profile is similar to Maple Syrup's and the glycemic index and calorie content are lower than Maple's. However, Maple Syrup's health benefits and refinement process naturally crown Maple the winner in this head to head!

Disclaimer: We are not encouraging you, the consumer, to put more sugar in your diet. Instead, we are suggesting that when you do choose sugar, choose real maple, the best alternative.

If interested, please learn more here:

https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/nutrition/is-coconut-sugar-a-healthier-sweetener/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coconut-sugar#section3

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jj-virgin/coconut-sugar-healthier-s_b_5669084.html

https://www.livestrong.com/article/367337-what-are-the-benefits-of-coconut-sugar/

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