If you’re asking yourself is maple syrup paleo, then you’re not alone. As you’re probably aware a lot of sweeteners are not allowed on the paleo diet, so it’s not uncommon to question whether maple syrup is. In this guide, we take a look at this sweetener and what you can expect from this delicious ingredient.
Maple syrup is a delicious natural sweetener is harvested as sap straight from maple trees using a simple spile and bucket setup. Spiles are drilled into maple trees in winter before the sap is ready to harvest.
Sugaring season doesn’t occur until the beginning of spring, around March or April, when the temperature gets warm enough for trees to turn stored starch back into sugar. This warm, sugary sap is collected and processed into the maple syrup that we find in supermarkets.
It’s unclear exactly when people began eating maple syrup. Written documents only date back to the 1500s, but Native American folklore referencing maple syrup suggests that it has been used as a sweetener for much longer.
Maple sap has been around for as long as maple trees, so it’s likely that our Paleolithic ancestors were well aware of the sap’s tasty properties. With just a simple hammer and spile, it would have been possible for even fairly primitive humans to create basic maple syrup. Maple sap is a natural, Paleo-friendly alternative to refined sugar. If you’re looking for another paleo friendly be sure to check out our fantastic guide on is honey paleo.
Fructose, Glucose, and Sucrose
To understand more about whether maple syrup is paleo friendly, we will go briefly into some of the main factors of what maple syrup is made up of.
Maple syrup is made up primarily of sucrose, which is composed of equal parts glucose and fructose. Different maple syrups vary slightly in the overall ratio of glucose to fructose, but due to high levels of sucrose, the ratio between the two sugars is often close to 50:50.
Glucose is your body’s primary fuel source, and you need plenty of it to keep your body functioning properly. Our brain, in particular, uses a huge amount of glucose to keep your mental faculties sharp. Glucose can also be stored as glycogen instead of fat for future use.
While maple syrup will provide you with glucose, your body will also get an unhealthy dose of fructose. Fructose is more difficult for you to utilize as a fuel source and must be metabolized by the liver, just like alcohol.
Overeating fructose can strain your liver and lead to all sorts of nasty health complications. It’s best to avoid fructose whenever possible, but the fructose content of maple syrup doesn’t necessarily prevent it from being Paleo friendly. Like with any sweetener, maple syrup shouldn’t cause any adverse health effects if used sparingly.
Maple Syrup Health Benefits
As far as sweeteners go, maple syrup is relatively healthy. It’s positively packed full of iron, calcium, zinc and a bunch of other essential minerals. Just a few tablespoons of maple syrup gives us all of the manganese that we need, which is convenient.
Many foods that are rich in manganese are not Paleo-friendly, so using maple syrup as a sweetener is a good way to keep your manganese levels up without breaking your diet.
Maple syrup also contains small amounts of select B vitamins including Thiamin, Riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
So is Maple Syrup Paleo?
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that’s Paleo-friendly and can help to beef up your meal with some extra minerals. When used sparingly, maple syrup is a tasty and healthy treat that can spice up any paleo-friendly pancake or create a rich salmon glaze.
We hope this has answered your question on is maple syrup paleo. Be sure to check out some of our tasty yet healthy breakfast recipes or some great desserts to have the maple syrup with. My favorite, of course, is to have it with some homemade paleo granola.
Also if you’re looking at buying some, then please keep reading as we have super handy advice below.
It is very important when you’re looking to buy maple syrup that you get the 100% authentic syrup. If you’re in the supermarket, you will notice that there are some variations of the syrup that say flavored maple syrup. Stay well away from this as all it is flavored corn syrup with food coloring.
Finding where to buy high-quality maple syrup can be trickier than it sounds. You can find some decent organic maple syrup over at Amazon. Their prices seem to be pretty decent in comparison to most other places I have looked.
If you have anything to share about the question is maple syrup paleo friendly, then please be sure to leave us a comment below. I would love to hear anything that I have missed about this amazing natural sweetener.