If you want more nutrition with your sweetness, a 2009 study from the University of Oslo discovered that some alternative sweeteners, such as those sold in health food stores, include antioxidants. The highest antioxidant value is found in blackstrap molasses and date sugar, followed by barley malt sugar and brown rice malt syrup, dark brown sugar, and maple syrup. Agave, honey, and corn syrup were all near the bottom of the list. There aren’t many studies like this out there, so I’ll keep it in mind for future reference.
The 8 sweet syrups
All sweet syrups include roughly 20% water and just 7085% sugars, thus they’ll always provide you with fewer kilojoules (Calories) and sugars than white or raw sugar, which is 100% sugar (sucrose). The syrups aren’t just sucrose; they’re made up of glucose, fructose, and occasionally other sugars, which alters how they’re absorbed.
They’re frequently promoted as ‘natural,’ yet they’re no better than sugar. They have kilojoules (Calories), much like sugar, and must be accounted for on weight-loss and diabetic diets. They, like sugar, can promote tooth decay.
Honey is my favorite flavor out of the eight. It’s heavenly, sweet, and fragrant. And it has the best nutritional value – however this varies depending on the type of honey, such as flowery or Manuka.
Honey contains some B vitamins and minerals, but in small amounts that aren’t nutritionally relevant you’d have to eat a lot of honey to get the same amount of B vitamins and minerals as you would from whole grains.
Although there is tremendous diversity, most commercial honey has a moderate Glycemic Index or GI of 50-65, flower honeys like Yellowbox and Ironwood have lower GIs. It’s worth noting that white sugar has a GI of 65.
Maple syrup is made from concentrated sap from the wild sugar maple tree, which contains a mixture of sugars ranging from 90 to 100 percent sucrose and 0 to 10% glucose or fructose. Maple syrup also contains residues of organic acids, vitamins, and mineral material, with manganese, potassium, iron, and calcium being the most common minerals. In terms of nutritional value, it’s comparable to golden syrup or molasses.
To make the sweet maple syrup, the sap from the tree is boiled to decrease it. “100% pure maple syrup” should be all that is written on the label.
Make sure to purchase the more expensive 100 percent Canadian maple syrup rather than the less expensive maple-flavored syrup, which has a poor flavor and is made from a nasty combination of sugar, corn syrup, molasses, caramel color, alcohol, vanilla extract, flavors, and a sulphite-based preservative.
Agave syrup or nectar is made from numerous agave plant species in Mexico, but the main difference is that it is primarily fructose, whereas sugar is half fructose and half glucose.
Agave syrup is around 1.5 times sweeter than table sugar, thanks to its fructose, and it has a significantly lower GI (Glycemic Index). However, because of the high fructose content, it may cause stomach issues in certain people.
Agave syrup is often touted as a healthier alternative to sugar, but in my opinion, it is still processed and no healthier than maple syrup or golden syrup. Both contain almost the same amount of sugars and have undergone a comparable filtering, boiling, and reduction procedure.
According to a University of Oslo study, it is no healthier than white sugar. It has a liquid consistency akin to maple syrup, and I like the caramel undertones. Here’s what I’ve already written about agave.
Molasses, the leftover syrup from the milling of sugar cane, is used to make golden syrup. It’s made up of three sugars: sucrose, glucose, and fructose, but it’s not as sweet as white table sugar since it contains more water and less sucrose. It’s a golden-colored concentrated sugar syrup with a particular flavor. I’ve had a jar in my kitchen for years, but I only use it once in a while to make Anzac cookies and to add moisture to my Christmas cake.
Treacle is a dark-brown, viscous liquid with a stronger flavor and scent than golden syrup. During the manufacturing of sucrose sugar, part of the glucose and fructose components are broken down, similar to golden syrup. This method prevents the formation of crystals, resulting in a stable liquid product. Treacle comes in a variety of colors, from light to dark (sometimes referred to as blackstrap molasses).
Molasses is a black, sticky liquid that forms when raw sugar crystallizes during the sugar milling process. 36-38 percent sucrose, 10-13 percent glucose and fructose, and 24-30 percent water make up the mixture. It also contains traces of B vitamins and a few minerals like magnesium and potassium. Although blackstrap molasses has been touted as a “health food,” the amount of B vitamins present is negligible. In my opinion, it does not warrant the reverence it is frequently accorded. It has a harsh flavor that is neither sweet nor appealing. Surprisingly, it has more sodium (salt), which contributes to its unpleasant flavor.
Barley malt syrup
Sprouting barley is used to make barley malt syrup (commonly known as malt extract or just malt). The enzymes that transform barley’s starches into sugars and proteins into amino acids are triggered when the grains are soaked in water, gently heated, and allowed to sprout. It’s then combined with water, heated, condensed, and filtered to remove the sweet syrup.
This results in a dark-brown, thick, and sticky syrup with a characteristic malty taste. Because it’s just half as sweet as refined white sugar, you might be tempted to add more to achieve the desired sweetness. It tastes like dark treacle or molasses to me. It’s wonderful for baking bread you may have seen BARLEY MALT listed as a yeast food in breads. It comprises roughly 75 percent maltose, 16 percent glucose, and trace amounts of sucrose and fructose, as predicted.
Low GI of 42 (although I’d expect it to be high, given rice malt syrup is heavy in maltose and glucose – this product hasn’t been GI evaluated according to the internationally accepted procedure)
Brown rice malt syrup
Brown rice malt syrup resembles molasses in appearance (think thick and dark), but tastes better, similar to barley malt syrup or strong honey. It’s made by cooking brown rice flour or brown rice starch with enzymes in a commercial setting. As a liquid, this breaks down the starches into simpler sugars. The syrup is filtered and heated until it reaches the proper consistency and the surplus water has evaporated.
The finished product contains 45 percent maltose, 52 percent maltotriose (a triple sugar), and a minuscule 3% glucose. It’s similar to molasses in that it can be utilized in the same way.
The GI is 98. Extremely high (From the GI Database at Sydney University.) Note that some sites have this wrongly stated as having an extremely low GI.)
Is golden syrup a worse alternative to sugar?
Golden syrup is a sweet, transparent, golden-amber-colored syrup that can only be made professionally and was invented in the 1880s in London. It’s basically white sugar/sucrose in another form. The sucrose has been inverted, which means it has been broken down into two simpler sugars, fructose and glucose. Because the fructose in golden syrup heightens the perception of sweetness, it can be employed as a sweetening agent with around 25% less golden syrup than granulated white sugar.
The flavor is mild and caramel-like, but with a lingering acidity that counteracts the sweetness and helps to explain why golden syrup is so popular. However, unlike other brown sugar variants that provide minor nutritional benefits above white sugar, golden syrup provides no such benefit; there is no nutritional difference.
Is maple syrup a healthier alternative to sugar?
Added sugars are still sugars, whether they come from nature or are processed. They are treated as such by your body. Despite the fact that maple syrup is mostly sucrose with traces of fructose and glucose, all sugar eventually changes to glucose in the intestine before entering the bloodstream. Despite the fact that maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, it nevertheless rises blood sugar, albeit more slowly.
The final line is that “natural” does not always imply “healthy.” Yes, pure maple syrup undergoes less processing than other sugars. Yes, it has higher levels of antioxidants and minerals than table sugar. Should you use maple syrup in your diet as a result of this? No. If you’re going to use sugar in a dish, you might as well use maple syrup instead of refined sugar because it’s somewhat healthier.
The truth is that maple syrup still contains a lot of sugar. Adding calcium or potassium to your diet by eating several tablespoons of maple syrup every day would be extremely bad.
It’s crucial to note that whether you use table sugar, honey, agave, or maple syrup, the American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than nine teaspoons of sugar per day (approximately 36 grams or 150 calories) and women consume no more than six teaspoons (about 25 grams or 100 calories).
If you have any questions regarding lowering your blood sugar levels or reducing your sugar intake, speak with an INTEGRIS Health primary care physician.
What can be used in place of golden syrup?
To summarize, light corn syrup and brown rice syrup are the best golden syrup alternatives. Agave nectar, honey, and maple syrup, on the other hand, are excellent substitutes.
If needed, sugar (with water), molasses, and liquid sweeteners can also be utilized, but the following are all far superior possibilities!
Golden syrup is a thick, rich amber/yellow-colored syrup made as a byproduct of the inverting cane or beet sugar process. Maple syrup is made by concentrating the sap of maple trees, while golden syrup is a thick, rich amber/yellow-colored syrup made as a byproduct of the inverting cane or beet sugar process.
The fundamental distinction between maple syrup and golden syrup is that golden syrup has more sugar than maple syrup. Golden syrup is therefore sweeter than maple syrup, but maple syrup has a stronger and more complex flavor.
1. Linnea Covington. “What is Golden Syrup?” you might wonder. 27 July 2021, The Spruce Eats
2. Peggy Trowbridge Filippone “Making Maple Syrup: Everything You Needed to Know.” The Spruce Eats will be held on July 24, 2020.
3. “Here’s Why the British Love Golden Syrupand Why You Will, Too!” 6 May 2021, Martha Stewart
Which syrup is the most nutritious?
According to research, maple syrup is a good source of antioxidants. Maple syrup has 24 distinct antioxidants, according to one study (7). Darker syrups, such as Grade B, contain more of these healthy antioxidants than lighter syrups ( 8 ). However, when compared to the enormous amounts of sugar, the total antioxidant content is still modest.
Honey vs. golden syrup: what’s the difference?
Although both honey and golden syrup are liquid sweeteners, they are not the same thing. Golden syrup is a thick, liquid sweetener that is produced as a byproduct of the sugar refining process. Because it is an inverted sugar, it retains moisture and resists crystallization, making it ideal for baking moist cakes (such as gingerbreads) and slightly chewy cookies.
Honey is an inverted sugar as well, but honey has a particular flavor that can alter the taste of the finished food. When compared to golden syrup, it is likewise extremely costly. The most common brand is Lyle’s Golden Syrup, which is available in various countries. Corn syrup is the greatest substitute for golden syrup if you can’t get it. We recommend light corn syrup for most recipes, although dark corn syrup can be used for sticky gingerbread cakes if desired.