Known for its distinctive aroma and flavour, maple syrup is popularly used as a sweetener and an ingredient in recipes for centuries. It has recently gained a lot of fame as a substitute for table sugar and other sweeteners for those who watch their diet. But a lot of people wonder whether this delicious syrup suits their diet.
So, is maple syrup plant based? Yes, maple syrup is plant based. In its pure form, maple syrup is obtained from the xylem sap of different species of maple trees by tapping. This makes it easy to say that maple syrup is plant based. As long as it is 100% pure and contains no added animal-based ingredients, it is appropriate for those who follow a plant-based diet.
Below, let us discuss everything you should know about maple syrup to be able to find out whether it can be a part of your plant-based diet.
Why Maple Syrup is Plant Based?
It can be confidently classified as a plant-based food because it comes directly from trees. However, it is the process used to get the final product that sometimes makes this food far from being plant-based.
The sap from the trees is boiled for water evaporation and sugar caramelization, giving the right consistency and concentration. Sometimes, companies add animal fat in the process to get rid of the foam instead of vegetable oils. This is why you should always read the product label to find out what it actually contains.
What Are The Main Ingredients in Maple Syrup?
The primary ingredient in maple syrup is the sap collected from maple trees. The sap is then processed to achieve the desired thickness and sweetness. At this point, producers can add ingredients like vegetable oils or animal fats to defoam the final product. However, it is important to see that you get a high-quality maple syrup that does not list any such animal-based ingredient.
Some low-quality products even contain additives like sugar, dairy ingredients, artificial flavourings and colourings that make it inappropriate for a plant-based diet. You should always check the label for ingredients and prefer an organic variety to make sure it is as pure as possible.
Maple Syrup Nutrition
Maple syrup is an excellent sweetener for those who follow a plant-based diet. It suits a wide variety of recipes and can be used as a topping and spread in daily diet. When used as a sugar substitute, maple syrup provides comparatively fewer calories and some nutrients as well. It contains 52kcal and 14 grams of carbohydrates per serving of 1 tbsp.
Maple syrup is rich in antioxidants and contains a decent amount of minerals, particularly manganese, zinc, calcium, riboflavin and magnesium. Zinc is an antioxidant that aids several important body functions like cellular growth and regeneration. Calcium strengthens bones and teeth while manganese helps produce energy.
So, can you consume maple syrup on a plant-based diet? Yes, you can replace artificial sweeteners and sugar with maple syrup. Though it contains antioxidants and nutrients, it should be consumed in moderation when used as a part of a healthy plant-based diet.