There's no question that getting your sugar fix from the bee's knees or the tree's squeeze offers more health benefits than cane sugar. So, in the battle of honey vs maple syrup, which will be the ultimate victor? To be more specific, let's consider the pure, high-quality versions of these sweeteners (no Aunt Jemima's here).

The Argument for Honey

sweet, honey, tea
Jina Kim

What's sweeter than the land of milk and reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer? Honey is full of antioxidants, which neutralize free-radicals in the body and have cell damage protecting properties. Phenols, a specific type of antioxidant present in honey, have been linked to preventing blood clots and increasing blood flow to the heart.

Honey is also high in memory and energy enhancing Vitamin B-6 and immune system revving Vitamin C. Honey can also support a strong smile with its fluoride content.

A single teaspoon of honey contains 17.3 grams of sugar and 64 calories, 0 of which are fat.

The Argument for Maple Syrup

maple syrup, syrup, tea, honey
Photo from Flickr

Maple syrup has a glycemic index of 54, whereas cane sugar is a whopping 65 and honey sits at 58. This allows your body to use it more efficiently for energy, rather than giving you a rapid rush and crash. To learn more about paying attention to glycemic index in foods, read here.

While not quite as much as honey, maple syrup is also fairly high in antioxidants. While honey has low mineral content, maple syrup contains iron, which promotes the production of red blood cells, calcium, and manganese for strong bones, and immunity boosting zinc.

A single teaspoon of maple syrup contains 13.5 grams of sugar and 52 calories, 0.1 of which are fat. 

The Verdict

It's important to remember that we're considering these syrups in moderation. While they both contain healthful nutrients, they shouldn't be your go-to way of getting a daily dose of vitamins and minerals. They're sugars, after all, and have the same liver-overloading, fat-promoting effects that refined sugar does in large amounts. 

But if we're talking teaspoon to teaspoon, which sweetener are you going to serve up your sticky buns with, it depends on your health goals.

If you want to reduce calorie intake, keep sugar content low, or have more stable energy levels, maple syrup is a stronger option. Take a look at these yummy maple syrup-filled recipes to get your fix.

If you're looking to get more vitamins in your diet or cut back on fat intake, consider using honey. Buzz on over to this awesome goat cheese and honey quesadilla recipe that features a nutritious dose of honey. Whatever your health goals are, it's homemade sweets ftw. 

Whether honey or maple syrup is your drizzle of choice, there's no need to feel guilty about getting your fingers a little sticky next time you're in the kitchen. Let your sweet tooth do your body some good.