When looking at the calorie content of sugar free maple syrup, it’s important to first understand how it compares to traditional maple syrup. Traditional maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees, which is boiled to evaporate water and concentrate the sugar. This makes traditional maple syrup high in natural sugar and calories. Sugar free maple syrup, on the other hand, is made using sugar substitutes like sucralose or stevia to replicate the flavor of maple without the calories.
Calories in Sugar Free vs Regular Maple Syrup
Here is a comparison of the calories in 1/4 cup of sugar free maple syrup brands versus regular maple syrup:
|Type of Syrup
|Calories per 1/4 Cup
|Mrs. Butterworth’s Sugar Free Syrup
|Log Cabin Sugar Free Syrup
|Walden Farms Pancake Syrup
|Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Syrup
|Aunt Jemima Original Syrup
|Mrs. Butterworth’s Original Syrup
|Pure Maple Syrup
As you can see, while 1/4 cup of regular syrup contains 180-213 calories, the same amount of sugar free maple syrup contains 0 calories. This is because sugar free syrups are artificially sweetened and do not contain any naturally-occurring sugars.
Ingredients in Sugar Free Maple Syrup
So if sugar free maple syrup doesn’t contain any actual maple syrup or sugar, what does it contain? Here is a look at some common ingredients:
- Water – Provides the liquid base and consistency of syrup.
- Natural and artificial flavors – Help replicate the distinctive maple taste.
- Sucralose or aspartame – Artificial sweeteners that provide sweetness without calories or carbohydrates.
- Cellulose gum or xanthan gum – Thickeners that give syrup its viscous texture.
- Salt – Enhances overall flavor.
- Potassium sorbate – A preservative.
- Colors added – Replicate the brown hue of maple syrup.
As you can see, sugar free maple syrup avoids high calorie sugars and instead relies on artificial sweeteners for flavor. This allows it to provide the maple taste people crave without the high amount of calories you’d get from pure maple syrup.
Benefits of Sugar Free Maple Syrup
Using sugar free maple syrup offers several benefits:
- Has zero calories compared to 180-200 calories in a typical 1/4 cup of regular syrup.
- Zero grams of sugar – unlike regular maple syrup’s high sugar content.
- Doesn’t raise blood sugar – safe for people with diabetes.
- Tooth-friendly – won’t harm dental health like real maple syrup.
- Lets you enjoy maple flavor without extra calories, sugar, or carbs.
- Easy swap to make recipes and meals healthier.
- Can be part of a weight loss diet since it’s zero calories.
For people wanting to watch their sugar and calorie intake, sugar free maple syrup can be an excellent substitution in recipes and meals. It provides the delicious maple taste people love while removing the high amounts of sugar and calories.
Downsides of Sugar Free Maple Syrup
However, there are some downsides to consider with sugar free syrup:
- May cause digestive issues like gas or bloating due to sugar alcohols.
- Contains artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame.
- Highly processed and not a natural product.
- Flavor differs from pure maple syrup.
- Texture is thinner than regular syrup.
- Some brands contain preservatives and artificial colors.
- Higher cost than regular syrup on a per ounce basis.
While sugar free syrups offer the benefit of zero calories and sugar, some people may prefer to stick with small portions of regular maple syrup to avoid artificial ingredients and get more authentic maple flavor.
How Sugar Free Maple Syrup is Made
Since it doesn’t contain natural maple syrup, how is sugar free maple syrup produced? Here is an overview of the manufacturing process:
- Start with a water base and mix in thickeners like xanthan gum to replicate texture.
- Blend in natural and artificial flavors that provide a maple taste.
- Add in a sugar substitute like sucralose or aspartame for sweetness.
- Include preservatives like potassium sorbate for longer shelf life.
- Optionally, add food coloring to create a brown maple color.
- Heat and stir mixture until well incorporated and thickened.
- Pour finished sugar free syrup into retail bottles.
As you can see, real maple syrup isn’t used at all. The syrup is formulated using thickeners, artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors to replicate maple flavor and texture without natural sugars or calories.
Why is Sugar Free Maple Syrup Thinner?
One difference people may notice is that sugar free syrup has a thinner consistency versus traditional maple syrup. There are two main reasons for this:
- It is made with a water base rather than maple sap which gives it a thinner texture.
- Does not contain the high sugar content of real maple syrup which thickens the texture.
While it may not be quite as thick, adding thickeners like xanthan gum in manufacturing helps sugar free syrups achieve a viscosity much closer to regular maple syrup.
Nutrition Facts for Sugar Free Maple Syrup
Since brands can vary slightly in their recipes, here are the nutrition facts for a typical 1/4 cup serving of sugar free maple syrup:
|1/4 cup (60g) Sugar Free Maple Syrup
|75mg (3% DV)
|70mg (2% DV)
% DV = Percent Daily Value based on 2000 calorie diet
As you can see, the major benefit nutrition-wise is that 1/4 cup of sugar free syrup contains zero calories, zero grams of sugar, and zero grams of carbs or protein. This allows you to enjoy the maple flavor without any impact to your daily nutrition intake.
Sugar Alcohols in Sugar Free Syrup
Some sugar free syrups also contain sugar alcohols like sorbitol, xylitol, or maltitol which provide sweetness while being lower in calories than regular sugar. A potential downside is that sugar alcohols can cause gastrointestinal issues like gas, bloating, and diarrhea when consumed in large amounts.
Popular Brands of Sugar Free Maple Syrup
Some of the most popular brand options for sugar free maple-flavored syrup include:
- Mrs. Butterworth’s Sugar Free Syrup – Uses sucralose, features strong maple flavor.
- Log Cabin Sugar Free Syrup – Made with sucralose, milder maple taste.
- Walden Farms Pancake Syrup – Sweetened with fruit juice and thickeners for 0 calories.
- Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Syrup – Aspartame-sweetened, robust maple flavor.
- Aunt Jemima Sugar Free Syrup – Made with sucralose, tastes similar to original.
When choosing a brand, you may want to compare ingredients, taste, thickness, and cost to select your preferred sugar free maple syrup option.
Tips for Using Sugar Free Maple Syrup
Sugar free maple syrup can be used in the same ways as regular syrup. Here are some tips:
- Drizzle on top of pancakes, waffles, French toast, and breakfast foods.
- Sweeten and flavor oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, and cereals.
- Use in baking and cooking to make cakes, muffins, cookies, and other desserts.
- Blend with tea or coffee as a zero-calorie sweetener.
- Brush on meats like pork, chicken, or salmon before baking or grilling.
- Mix with balsamic vinegar and use as salad dressing.
Be aware that sugar free syrup may be thinner than regular syrup. For baking, you may want to reduce other liquids slightly to account for the thinner texture.
Comparison to Other Sugar Free Syrups
Besides sugar free maple syrup, there are other syrup options that offer zero calories and sugar:
|Mrs. Butterworth’s Sugar Free
|Walden Farms Pancake Syrup
|Torani Sugar Free Syrups
|Vanilla, hazelnut, etc.
|DaVinci Sugar Free Syrups
|Caramel, cinnamon, etc.
|Jordan’s Sugar Free Syrup
|Butter pecan, coconut, etc.
This gives people options for sugar free pancake syrup with different flavors like vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. However, maple flavored syrup tends to be the most popular for breakfast foods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sugar free maple syrup keto-friendly?
Yes, sugar free maple syrup can be part of a keto diet. Since it contains 0g net carbs and 0 calories, it won’t impact ketosis or knock you out of fat burning mode. It gives you a sweet, maple-flavored topping option for keto pancakes or other low-carb breakfast foods.
Is sugar free syrup better for you than regular syrup?
Sugar free maple syrup is better in terms of calories and carbohydrates. It also won’t spike your blood sugar like regular syrup. However, regular maple syrup is more natural while sugar free contains artificial sweeteners and flavors.
Does sugar free syrup taste the same as regular syrup?
Most sugar free maple syrups come close to regular maple flavor but there are some differences. They tend to be thinner in texture and the maple taste is imitated using artificial flavors. So the taste is similar but not quite identical to pure maple syrup.
Does sugar free syrup have any sugar at all?
No, sugar free maple syrup does not contain any actual sugar. It is sweetened using non-nutritive sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, or stevia. This gives it a sweet maple taste without calories or carbohydrates from sugar.
Is sugar free syrup ok for diabetics to use?
Yes, sugar free maple syrup is generally safe for use by people with diabetes. Since it does not contain sugar or carbs, it won’t raise blood glucose levels. But as always, diabetics should monitor their individual response when trying new products.
The Bottom Line
Sugar free maple syrup allows you to enjoy the classic maple flavor without extra calories or sugar. Compared to 1/4 cup of regular syrup at 180-213 calories, sugar free syrup has zero calories and zero grams of sugar. Brands like Mrs. Butterworth’s, Log Cabin, and Walden Farms use artificial sweeteners and flavors to mimic the taste of real maple syrup in a healthier, zero calorie product. While not 100% identical, sugar free syrup can be swapped in for regular syrup in recipes, baking, and to top your favorite breakfast foods to make them just a bit healthier.