Remember in 2012 when a couple of thieves somehow managed to steal $18 million worth of maple syrup–that’s six million pounds in weight–just overnight? That was one of the largest agricultural thefts in history, and has since been deemed “The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist”. It was pretty smart considering that the golden sap is worth more than crude oil.

So the thieves probably weren’t stealing the syrup for its health benefits, though the golden sap does come with a list of health benefits nonetheless. And while there are plenty of “healthy” sweeteners on the market, real health nuts know that natural maple syrup and honey still reign supreme. But how do they fare against one another?

Let’s find out.

Calories, Carbohydrates, and Fat

Calories always seems to get the bad end of the stick, but it really depends on what you’re looking to get out of it. If you’re looking to cut down on calories, maple syrup is the way to go. A cup of maple syrup contains 819 calories whereas a cup of honey contains a whopping 1031 calories. This won’t matter too much if you’re putting a little bit of sweetener in your coffee, but if you’re baking, probably stick with the maple tree sap.

When it comes to carbohydrates, maple syrup also has a lower content than honey. In one tablespoon, there are about 13 grams of carbohydrates in maple syrup, and about 17 grams in honey. But here’s the catch, maple syrup is actually a better energy source because honey is mostly made up of fructose, which isn’t usable by your body’s cells.Too much of fructose is actually bad for your body. Maple syrup, on the other hand, is mostly made up of the healthy complex sugar, sucrose!

And fat? Well, there’s no fat in honey, and only 0.1 grams in one tablespoon of its syrup counterpart. I think you’re safe with either one on this.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants

When it comes to vitamins, honey is indeed a better source than the maple sap. It’s got vitamin C and vitamin B6, both of which are not found in its rival syrup. And honey has a higher content of vitamin B2.

Minerals are another story. Maple syrup pretty much trumps honey in almost all mineral content. It offers more iron, manganese, calcium, zinc, and potassium. All of these minerals are essential to maintaining a healthy body.

Both maple syrup and honey offer about the same amount of antioxidants. Although they both only contain intermediate amounts, the antioxidants are valuable and help fight cancer-causing cells.


So is the golden maple tree sap better than honey? For the most part, yes. It’s got lower sugar content, less fructose, and more minerals. But if you’re looking for a little vitamin boost, honey is the better option. And maybe you prefer the taste of one over the other! Either way, they are both delicious and much healthier sweeteners compared to the refined sugary concoctions on the market. Just make sure to take everything in moderation.

Share with us your thoughts on these two popular sweeteners. Are you team maple syrup or team honey?


Daniel is a Digital Marketing and Content Strategist at SPUD. He graduated from UBC with a degree in English and International Relations with a focus on environmental topics. A wordsmith by day and a bookman by night, he's a self-proclaimed gastronomic snob, a buck-a-shuck addict, a sub-par skier, and a devoted kingsguard of the oxford comma. He also frequents the dog park with a schnauzer named Duke. | Instagram: @dannnyellow

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