Maple Syrup Versus Honey: Which One Is Better For You?

Looking to reduce the amount of processed sugar in your diet, but still need to satisfy that sweet tooth? If so, you may already be considering giving maple syrup or honey a try. But which one is better for your health? While both are natural sweeteners, maple syrup and honey have some distinct nutritional differences that may influence your decision.

According to Verywell Fit, despite their differences, maple syrup and honey do share some commonalities. For one, both are primarily made up of carbohydrates from their natural sugars, and neither has substantial amounts of fat or protein. Research has also shown that both contain antioxidants that could help reduce the risk of certain diseases.

As far as differences, the first one you'll want to note if you're counting calories is that honey contains eight more calories than maple syrup per tablespoon. While this seems nominal, if used in larger quantities, the calories add up fast. A cup of honey comes in at 128 more calories compared to the same amount of maple syrup.

Health benefits of maple syrup vs honey

Spoon University took a look at maple syrup versus honey to help answer the sticky question of which one is going to be the sweeter deal for supporting your health. Points go to honey for its high levels of antioxidants, which help to reduce cell damage and the risk of certain kinds of diseases. Phenols, a specific kind of antioxidant found in honey, reportedly reduces the likelihood of blood clots and improves healthy blood flow to the heart. Honey is also high in vitamin B6 and vitamin C and contains fluoride, which can be good for your teeth.

But don't throw out your jug of maple syrup just yet. According to Spoon University, maple syrup has a somewhat lower glycemic index compared to honey, which means you're less likely to experience a sugar rush followed by a crash. Maple syrup also does better on the minerals front. Honey has a low mineral content, whereas maple syrup contains iron, calcium, manganese, and zinc. Like honey, maple syrup also contains antioxidants, though at lower amounts.

So, which of these two sweeteners ultimately wins the battle? As is often the case, the better option for you comes down to your personal health goals. If you're looking to take in fewer calories and less sugar, Spoon University suggests maple syrup; if you're looking to support your vitamin intake, honey is going to be the better choice. Whichever you end up choosing, you should already feel good about taking the step to reduce processed sugars in your diet in favor of healthier options.