As an entirely natural ingredient that’s free from artificial additives, pure maple syrup is often cited as a good alternative to processed sweeteners like sugar.
For years, researchers have sought to substantiate these claims, uncovering a number of findings into the potential health benefits of maple syrup in the process.
A new study into the effects of replacing a small amount of refined sugar with pure maple syrup adds to this growing body of research and suggests maple syrup is better for cardiometabolic health.
The makings of the study
Last week, data from a new clinical nutrition study conducted by leading professors at Laval University in Quebec was revealed at the annual conference of the Canadian Nutrition Society.
The study examined the effects of substituting 5% of the total daily recommended energy intake provided by added sugars with an equivalent quantity of maple syrup.
It was conducted on 42 adults with mild alterations in their cardiometabolic profiles and an average body mass index of 28 kg/m ², which is classified as overweight.
While animal studies have been conducted into the potential health benefits of maple syrup, this was the first study of its kind to be conducted on human subjects.
The trial revealed a number of findings that represent a major advance not only for the maple syrup industry but also for people with cardiometabolic risk factors.
The findings from the study
The study found that replacing refined sugar with maple syrup reduced certain cardiometabolic risk factors, with subjects in the treatment group experiencing:
- A reduction in abdominal fat;
- Decreased systolic blood pressure;
- Improved glycaemic response;
- A reduction of certain bacteria.
A reduction in abdominal fat
One of the differences observed in the treatment group was a reduction in abdominal fat. High levels of abdominal fat have been linked to an increased risk of certain cardiovascular diseases.
Decreased systolic blood pressure
Another potential health benefit identified by the study was a decrease in systolic blood pressure. A high systolic blood pressure can increase the risk of strokes and heart disease.
Improved glycaemic response
An oral glucose tolerance test conducted as part of the study found that the treatment group had a superior glycaemic response, with this generally associated with improved cardiometabolic health.
A reduction of certain bacteria
While replacing refined sugar with maple syrup did not induce major changes in the overall composition of gut microbiota, there was a reduction in pectinophilus and klebsiella.
Maple syrup: a natural alternative to refined sugars
Building on years of research into the potential benefits of maple syrup, the results of the study suggest maple syrup is better than processed sugars for cardiometabolic health.
If you’re looking to begin the dietary switch from refined sugars to maple syrup, make sure to check out our range of maple syrup recipes for inspiration!
A Source of Natural Energy
Maple syrup is a natural source of energy. Check out how maple can act as fuel before, during, and after exercise.