Sameer from Richmond Hill, Ontario ask: So a friend of mine up here uses maple syrup as apposed to honey. I always thought honey was better but recently heard that it loses most of it's vitamins and minerals once it's on store shelves. Also apparently the sugar contained in maple syrup is better? Thoughts?
Darryl's response: Rather you have honey or maple syrup, consuming it in it's rawest form will ensure it has the greatest potency of minerals and vitamins due to it's minimal processing, especially processing that involves a lot of heat.
Note: infants under 1 year of age should not consume honey nor maple syrup due to the existence of Botulinum spores and its ability to cause infant botulism.
In terms of the actual mineral/vitamin content of honey versus maple syrup, honey contains more vitamins, maple syrup contains more minerals. Honey provides a source of vitamin B-6 and vitamin C -- maple syrup contains neither of these. Honey also contains more than three times the amount of riboflavin than maple syrup. Maple syrup, on the other hand, contains more minerals than honey. It provides much more iron, calcium, zinc, manganese and potassium. Maple syrup also contains more sodium than honey.
Maple syrup does contain less fructose than honey, but fructose is not as bad as most fitness experts make it out to be. Fructose helps raise your blood sugar faster than most other types of sugar, which is important during the post-workout window and especially during bodybuilding/physique show, where the competitors need a quick source of sugar to fill their muscles and to help keep their energy levels high. Otherwise, I wouldn't overdo honey nor maple syrup during the rest of the day, where you're less active.
The pure calorie content of maple syrup versus honey is negligible. Maple contains 52 calories per tablespoon and tablespoon serving of honey contains 64 calories.
So as you can see, both honey and maple syrup have their own unique benefits, and as with anything in life, it's good to have variety, so have both!
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