Sugar Bush

For centuries, maple trees have been tapped for their sweet sap by the native woodland peoples.  Maple syrup was the main seasoning ingredient for the Ojibwe people. 20130502_sugar_bush_lg_5[1]

Maple syrup has been called “one of the world’s healthiest foods” (The World’s Healthiest Foods, Essential Guide to the Healthiest Way of Eating by George Mateljan).  A one quarter cup serving of maple syrup contains more calcium than the same amount of milk and more potassium than a banana.  Maple syrup is also a great source of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and iron.

Maple-flavored syrup, on the other hand, is made up of mostly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), preservatives and artificial flavorings.  HFCS is an added sugar.  That is, not a naturally occurring sugar.  Added sugars have been linked with many health concerns including type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

Maple syrup in small quantities provides an all natural sweetener.  Despite it’s high sugar content, pure maple syrup is a much healthier sweetener than refined white sugar or HFCS which have been stripped of all their natural nutrients in manufacturing.

Maple syrup does have high levels of natural sugar so it will raise blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes.  For that reason, maple sugar should be used in small amounts and only sparingly.thCAGQTBKU

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