Is Maple Syrup Low FODMAP?

Maple syrup & IBS

If you’ve ever followed a low-FODMAP diet, you’ll know just how common fermentable carbohydrates are in everyday foods. 

This is especially true with sweeteners, which are predominantly made up of carbohydrates, and can therefore pose problems with digestion. 

But what about maple syrup? How does its FODMAP content compare to other sweeteners? And is it suitable for people with IBS? Let’s find out!

Is maple syrup FODMAP-friendly?

Yes, pure maple syrup is low in FODMAPs and can be enjoyed in moderation by people following a low-FODMAP diet. This is because it consists mostly of sucrose and contains only small amounts of fructose, the sugar most often associated with digestive issues. 

Still, the presence of fructose in maple syrup, albeit low (less than 4% of overall carbohydrates), means it’s best to restrict portion sizes to around two tablespoons per day – which is still more than enough to drizzle over pancakes and add to recipes. 

Just make sure you’re using pure maple syrup rather than an imitation product. Maple-flavoured blends are usually placed next to pure maple syrup in the supermarket and contain additives that may be high in FODMAPs. 

In many cases, maple-flavoured syrup is made using high-fructose corn syrup. As the name suggests, this ingredient has a high fructose content and can therefore cause problems for people with IBS. 

With pure maple syrup, you can rest assured that the fructose content will be low as the product is derived from just a single ingredient: maple tree sap. If you’re in any doubt, check the label information for additives.

Learn more about maple syrup’s natural production process below.

Is maple syrup better for IBS than other sweeteners?

As sweeteners go, pure maple syrup is one of the best options for people with IBS, owing to its low fructose content. The likes of honey, golden syrup, corn syrup, agave syrup and molasses contain higher amounts of fructose and so are less suitable for a low-FODMAP diet. 

While there are other low-FODMAP sweeteners, pure maple syrup is one of only a handful that are FODMAP-friendly and completely natural, providing added nutritional benefits over refined sugars like white and brown sugar. 

In short, maple syrup’s low fructose levels make it one of the best options for people with IBS, while its various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants mean it’s generally healthier than other low-FODMAP sweeteners.

Comparing maple syrup to other sweeteners

Maple syrup vs sugar

Maple syrup, white sugar and brown sugar are all low in fructose, making them suitable for people with IBS when consumed in moderation. Among these options, maple syrup is the best choice if you are looking for a FODMAP-friendly sweetener with added nutritional value.

Learn more about the similarities and differences between sugar and maple syrup below.

Maple syrup vs honey

Honey is known for being a natural alternative to sugar, however its high fructose content renders it unsuitable for people with IBS. Maple syrup, on the other hand, is low in fructose, while also having fewer calories and sugars than honey.

Learn more about the similarities and differences between honey and maple syrup below.

Maple syrup vs golden syrup

Golden syrup has a markedly higher amount of fructose than maple syrup, making it less suitable for people with IBS. In addition, golden syrup is heavily processed and doesn’t offer any of the nutritional benefits associated with pure maple syrup.

Learn more about the similarities and differences between golden syrup and maple syrup below.

Maple syrup vs agave syrup

Agave syrup is made up predominantly of fructose and is not recommended for people following a low-FODMAP diet. In contrast, maple syrup has only small amounts of the monosaccharide, making it more suitable for people with IBS. 

Learn more about the similarities and differences between agave syrup and maple syrup below.

Low-FODMAP recipes with maple syrup

Not only is maple syrup a FODMAP-friendly sweetener, but it’s also an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in everything from desserts and cocktails to sauces, glazes and marinades. 

If you’re looking for a simple but delicious low-FODMAP starter, why not give these stuffed red peppers a try? After being sliced and baked, the peppers are loaded with a sumptuous, maple-infused tabbouleh filling. 

For a healthy salad that’s packed with fibre and protein, our Asian broccoli salad is a great option – though it’s best to limit the amount of edamame beans used in the recipe or seek a FODMAP-friendly alternative. 

Maple syrup makes for an excellent glaze alongside ginger and soy sauce in this delightful baked mackerel dish that’s first griddled before roasting in the oven. Not only is it packed with flavour, but it’s also low in FODMAPs! 

If you find yourself with leftover potatoes and carrots, one FODMAP-friendly way to use them is by making some bubble and squeak patties that can be enjoyed either as a snack or as part of a main meal alongside other foods.

Discover hundreds of other delicious recipes featuring maple syrup below.

Maple syrup: a low FODMAP sweetener

If you’re restricted to a low-FODMAP diet, it’s good to know you can still satisfy your sweet tooth with maple syrup. The natural sweetener is low in fructose and considered FODMAP-friendly when consumed in servings no larger than two tablespoons.

This makes it an excellent alternative to popular sweeteners like honey, golden syrup, corn syrup, agave syrup and molasses, which are generally not recommended for people with IBS.

As a highly versatile ingredient, maple syrup can be incorporated into a wide range of FODMAP-friendly dishes. Looking for some inspiration? Make sure to check out our full range of maple syrup recipes!

Frequently asked questions

Is maple syrup low FODMAP?

Yes, maple syrup is low FODMAP and can be enjoyed as part of a low-FODMAP diet when consumed in quantities no larger than two tablespoons (30ml). This is because maple syrup is low in fructose, the sugar most heavily associated with IBS flare-ups.

Is maple syrup OK for IBS?

Yes, maple syrup is generally considered OK for people with IBS and serves as one of the most FODMAP-friendly sweeteners around. It does contain small amounts of fructose, which is why it’s best to limit portion sizes to two tablespoons.

Why is maple syrup low FODMAP?

Many sweeteners contain high levels of fructose, the monosaccharide often linked with digestive issues. Maple syrup, on the other hand, is mostly made up of sucrose and contains only small amounts of fructose, making it a FODMAP-friendly sweetener.

More about maple

The colour and flavour of maple syrup changes in subtle ways during the seasonal harvest

At the start of the sugaring season, the syrup is generally clear, with a light, sweet taste. It becomes darker with a caramelised flavour as the season progresses throughout the spring.

An unopened can of maple syrup keeps for many years

Once the can is opened, syrup should be kept in an airtight container in a cool place.

Maple spread doesn't contain any butter or dairy products

Like all 100% pure maple products, maple spread comes from the sap of the maple tree that’s all.

A natural source of energy

Maple syrup is a natural source of energy. Check out our recipes for food and drinks before, during, and after exercise.