1. Yes, it's better than honey
Pure maple syrup and honey are commonly labeled as healthy and natural sweeteners — often as an alternative to sugar or sugar substitutes. Contrary to what some believe, there are few similarities between pure maple syrup and honey. Nutritionally, they vary widely in calories, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
2. Contains Numerous Antioxidants
Refined sugar, corn syrup and agave nectar contain minimal antioxidant activity, but maple syrup, dark and blackstrap molasses, brown sugar, and raw honey showed higher antioxidant capacity (with molasses having the highest). The medical journal Pharmaceutical Biology revealed that pure maple syrup contains up to 24 different antioxidants. These antioxidants, in the form of phenolic compounds, are beneficial for reducing free radical damage that can cause inflammation and contribute to the formation of various chronic diseases. Whenever possible, select darker, grade A maple syrups since these contain more beneficial antioxidants than the lighter syrups do.
3. Gets a Lower Score on the Glycemic Index
Refined sugar, and refined carbohydrates in general, are known to be rapidly metabolized by the liver causing a “sugar high”. Even worse, consuming too sugar and too often quickly spikes your blood sugar and raises insulin levels, which overtime can lead to weight gain and even diabetes. While maple syrup is still considered a food that is high in sugar it’s lower on the glycemic index. Nonetheless, consume only in small amounts.
4. Fights Inflammatory Diseases
With polyphenol antioxidants, it can be considered part of a healthy diet that’s helpful in preventing certain diseases like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or heart disease.
5. Alternative to Sugar for Improved Digestion
Consuming high levels of refined sugar can contribute to candida, IBS, leaky gut syndrome and other digestive disorders. Most artificial sweeteners also cause symptoms of indigestion, including gas, bloating, cramping and constipation. To keep the digestive tract in healthier shape and free from chemicals, use maple syrup as your primary sweetener.