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Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that has more health benefits than pancake syrup, refined sugar, and other sweeteners. It’s best used with pancakes, waffles, bacon, and sauces. Despite the benefits, it is still high in sugar and carbs.
But you can still enjoy this morning staple on your keto diet by using keto substitutes for maple syrup.
Check out why maple syrup is not keto-friendly, find some great keto-friendly alternatives for maple syrup and an easy recipe for keto maple syrup you can follow!
What is Maple Syrup?
Maple syrup is a syrup made from the fluid or sap of sugar maple trees. It has been consumed for many centuries now and over 80% of the world’s supply is produced in the province of Quebec in eastern Canada.
Maple syrup is produced by drilling a hole in a maple tree so that the sap pours in a container. Then, it is boiled so the water evaporates leaving a thick, sugary syrup without any impurities.
In the United States, maple syrup is either a Grade A or B, where Grade A can be divided into three types, light amber, medium amber, and dark amber. Grade B, on the other hand, is the darkest available syrup.
The darker syrups are made from sap extracted later in the harvest season. Their maple flavors are stronger and are usually better for baking, whereas the lighter ones are best for pancakes and other foods.
Maple Syrup Health Benefits
Maple syrup can have more health benefits than other sweeteners like refined sugar. This syrup contains minerals and antioxidants that are good for the body. In fact, ⅓ cup of maple syrup has the following:
- Calcium: 7% of the RDI
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI
- Iron: 7% of the RDI
- Zinc: 28% of the RDI
- Manganese: 165% of the RDI
Aside from these minerals, maple syrup also contains at least 24 antioxidants. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative damage, potentially lowering your risk of some diseases.
Studies show that maple syrup is a great source of antioxidants. Darker syrups like Grade B supply more of these beneficial antioxidants than lighter ones.
Other beneficial substances have been observed in maple syrup, such as quebecol, named after the province of Quebec. These active compounds in maple syrup have been proven effective in helping reduce the growth of cancer cells and may slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates in your digestive tract.
However, there is still insufficient research and human studies to confirm these health effects.
All these benefits are also nothing compared to the downsides of maple syrup. The total antioxidant content is low compared to the high amounts of sugar it has. And the fact that it has some minerals is a poor reason to eat it, given its carb count.
The high sugar content may affect your blood sugar levels, although it is better than regular sugar. The glycemic index of maple syrup is around 54. In comparison, table sugar has a glycemic index of around 65.
Is Maple Syrup Keto-Friendly?
The short answer is no. Although it is better and more natural than pancake syrup, pure maple syrup is still loaded with sugar and is not recommended on a low-carb diet.
Unlike pancake syrups, which are highly processed, maple syrups come from the natural sap of maple trees.
Maple syrup may not contain fake ingredients or added sugar, and it has between 2% and 35% of certain vitamins and minerals, but it still contains an average of 27g of total carbs per serving, which can affect your ketosis.
Keep in mind, a serving of maple syrup means only two tablespoons. That’s a lot less than what most people use for their pancakes and waffles.
Even sugar-free maple syrup is not always keto-friendly. No-sugar syrups typically still contain artificial sweeteners, chemical flavorings, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients that sabotage your health and your chances of reaching your goals on keto.
Keto Substitutes for Maple Syrup
So, what are the best keto substitutes for maple syrup? There are many brands out there we could recommend, but the best tip we can give is to always check the net carbs, read the ingredients list, and look for the type of sweetener being used.
The best sweeteners used in keto maple syrups are stevia and monk fruit, which come from real foods instead of a chemical combination in a lab.
Avoid those with flavorings, colorings, dyes, chemical preservatives, and gluten as well. Lastly, make sure the net carbs won’t exceed your daily carb limit.
Check out these keto substitutes for maple syrup you can try out for yourself.
Lakanto Maple-Flavored Syrup
Lakanto Maple-Flavored Syrup is one of the most popular sugar-free keto syrups available, and it is made using monk fruit and erythritol.
It may not be a zero-carb syrup, but two tablespoons only have 9 grams of carbs and 1 gram of net carbs!
That’s because the sugar alcohols used do not get absorbed by the body. Lakanto’s syrup tastes like real maple syrup with the same texture, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out while you’re on the keto diet.
ChocZero Low-Carb Maple Syrup
ChocZero’s Low-Carb Maple Syrup only has monk fruit and zero sugar alcohols compared to Lakanto’s erythritol and monk fruit. But similar to Lakanto, it only has a gram of net carbs.
We also love how ChocZero uses an all-natural maple syrup extract to get the real taste and texture without the added sugar and carbs!
This product is free of GMOs and preservatives, making it a great option on keto if you love sweets and want to include them in different meal plans.
Homemade Keto Maple Syrup
You can also make your own keto maple syrup at home with only a few ingredients:
- ⅔ cups of erythritol
- ½ teaspoon xantham gum
- ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 cup of water
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon maple extract
This recipe has zero calories and zero carbs since sugar alcohols are deducted from the total carb count.
Enjoy your Keto Maple Syrups Responsibly!
Maple syrup has been consumed for many centuries now and is drizzled over pancakes and waffles. It’s made from the sap of maple trees and has numerous health benefits compared to pancake syrup.
However even though it contains minerals and antioxidants, it does not compensate for the amount of sugar it is loaded with. It still contains an average of 27g of total carbs per serving, which may affect your keto diet.
Always check the ingredients list and net carbs when choosing a keto-friendly maple syrup-like Lakanto Maple-Flavored Syrup and ChocZero’s Low-Carb Maple Syrup. You can also opt to make your own no-carb maple syrup at home!