Sugar is the main fuel for the brain. The latter is the most energy-demanding organ of the body and draws more than half of the sugar needed for the proper functioning of the whole body. However, sugar is known to have various negative effects on the body. As such, maple syrup may be viewed as a healthy natural product that can ideally replace table sugar and added sugars in our daily diets.
Functioning of the brain
The brain is full with nerve cells (neurons) that literally live on energy provided by sugar. Glucose levels define brain functions like memory, thinking and learning. A lack of sugar prevents neurotransmitters from being generated, leading to the destruction of neurons. Furthermore, a shortage of sugar in the brain may induce hypoglycemia (deficiency of glucose in the blood stream), especially in diabetic patients. This may eventually entail severe complications.
Refined sugar is a known silent killer
Despite the fact that sugar is essential for the functioning of the body, it is also considered as a silent killer. Table sugar and added sugars may cause insulin resistance which is in itself a worrying condition leading to diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It is directly linked to obesity in children and in adults. Refined sugar and added sugar like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup contain absolutely no nutrients. They are generally hidden in junk food. Excess fructose from various sources of food equally overloads the liver which consequently becomes unhealthy and fatty. Sugar is also related to cancer and heart diseases. Moreover, refined sugar is not satiating and its consumption is known to be very addictive. In fact, studies have shown that it is even more addictive than cocaine.
Maple syrup as a healthy substitute
Maple syrup has recently been classified as a superfood, outrunning blueberries and even fish rich in omega-3 fats. Extensive studies have showed that this natural product is packed with 54 nutrients out of which 5 are unique to the syrup itself. Being a natural sweetener, maple syrup is presently one of the most appreciated sugar substitutes.
It contains absolutely no added sugars, chemicals or preservatives. It is obtained by boiling sap harvested from maple trees and is eventually filtered to remove any impurities. Every 100g of maple syrup contains about 67g of sugar; its glycemic index is much lower than that of table sugar which makes it an ideal sweetener even for diabetics. At the same time, the amount of nutrients maple syrup provides to the body is similar to the nutrients found in a serving of nuts or berries. Of course, it should equally be consumed with moderation as other sweeteners.
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