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Healthy substitute for corn syrup

Healthy Substitute for Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a common ingredient in many sugary drinks and other processed foods, perhaps due to its sweet taste and the fact that it is relatively inexpensive to make. Many other recipes also include this sweetening agent, and it is popular for other functions it performs in cooking, such as thickening and softening the texture of meals.

Healthy substitute for corn syrup(1)

According to health studies, corn syrup, despite its tasteful appeal and versatility in use, has been linked to obesity, diabetes, tooth damage, and high cholesterol. It is also possible to occasionally run out of corn syrup in your kitchen when you need it and not get a short supply. As such, frequent users of corn syrup need to consider using healthier alternatives to corn syrup.

This article, thankfully, has suggested a number of these alternatives and how to use them for the best results in culinary procedures properly. Another great thing is that you do not need to compromise on flavor with our suggested options, so you get healthier replacements with equally great taste.

Corn Syrup Nutrition Facts

Healthy substitute for corn syrup


What is Corn Syrup?

Corn syrup is derived from corn starch, and it contains various levels of maltose and higher oligosaccharides depending on the grade. Corn syrup is also popularly referred to as glucose syrup by confectioners and is used to soften the texture of meals, add volume, prevent sugar crystallization, and enhance flavor.

Corn syrup is not to be confused with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is made by converting a significant amount of the glucose in corn syrup to fructose using the enzyme D-xylose isomerase, resulting in a sweeter molecule with higher fructose levels. Before the widespread use of high fructose corn syrup, glucose syrup was the most common maize sweetener in the United States.

Corn syrup is often used as a thickening agent, a sweetener, and a humectant (an additive that retains moisture and keeps food fresh) in professionally prepared dishes. Most commercial “pancake syrup” brands use corn syrup (or HFCS) as the major ingredient and a less expensive substitute for maple syrup.

Uses of Corn Syrup in Recipes

Corn syrup is available in two different types: light and dark, with the light version being decolorized and clarified. It is used in baked goods, jams and jellies, and various other foods and is particularly regarded as a sweet ingredient since it does not crystallize when cooked. Dark corn syrup can be used in the same manner as light corn syrup, but it has a darker color and a stronger flavor and can also be used as a table syrup.

Corn syrup is commonly used to sweeten baked goods, confectionery, frostings, jams, and jellies. Corn syrup can also be used in various products, including cookies, rice Krispies, caramel snack mixes, nutritious bars, ice creams, and sorbets. This delicious ingredient is in chocolate, fudge, cakes, and cookies.

Common recipes that benefit from the sweetening effect of corn syrup include the following:

Healthy Substitutes for Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a sweet-tasting ingredient that is useful in loads of recipes. Despite its great taste and versatility, however, the use of corn syrup has been linked by research studies to the incidence of obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and high cholesterol. Corn syrup can thus be considered harmful to health and well-being, and there is a need to consider using substitutes in its place.

You can also run out of corn syrup altogether when you need it. Consider using one of these substitutes in place of corn syrup next time you need a replacement:

Cane Syrup

Cane syrup


To make cane syrup, sugar cane juice is simmered until it achieves a thick, molasses-like consistency to make cane syrup. Cane syrup has a similar taste to molasses, although it lacks sulfur content.

There are no additives or preservatives in this alternative option, and it goes through less processing. Another bonus is that some cane syrup is made from “organically cultivated sugar cane,” meaning it wasn’t sprayed with pesticides or fertilized with artificial fertilizers.

Cane syrup contains about 60 calories per tablespoon, similar to table sugar but without the chemicals. Cane syrup makes a great alternative for corn syrup in a traditional pecan pie for Thanksgiving.

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar


Agave nectar is created from the Agave tequila plant, mostly grown in Mexico. This marginally healthier alternative to corn syrup has roughly 60 calories per tablespoon, slightly more than table sugar.

However, despite being less processed than corn syrup, agave nectar is still more processed than maple syrup or honey, so you may want to keep that in mind when making a decision. For example, to utilize agave nectar in a recipe, replace 3/4 of the corn syrup with agave nectar.




Honey can be considered the pinnacle of a healthy corn syrup replacement, and it has a slew of health advantages. Honey consumption aids in the prevention of cancer, the reduction of ulcers, the reduction of throat irritation, and the improvement of the skin. Honey has a variety of flavor qualities, with darker honey having stronger antioxidant content.

When it comes to honey, the choices are limitless. There are various forms of honey to choose from, such as Alfalfa, Blueberry, Clover, etc. Heating honey, however, turns it into a glue-like material that is difficult to stomach, so it is best to consume honey in its purest and most natural form to reap the most health benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I use instead of corn syrup in a pie?

You’d need a full cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water to replace a cup of corn syrup in the pie. If your favorite recipe calls for light corn syrup, use plain, granulated white sugar; use tightly packed brown sugar if it calls for dark corn syrup.

Why is corn syrup worse than sugar?

High fructose corn syrup has been shown to enhance hunger and induce obesity more than ordinary sugar. Diabetes, inflammation, excessive triglycerides, and a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are all linked to high fructose corn syrup.

Is Karo syrup corn syrup?

Karo light corn syrup comprises a salt and pure vanilla extract. It has a mildly sweet flavor and is clear and colorless. Karo dark corn syrup is made up of corn syrup and a little refiners’ syrup (a cane sugar product with a molasses-like flavor)


Whether or not you agree with the destructive potential of increased corn syrup use, it’s hard to deny that it is found in many processed foods. As such, corn syrup is an ingredient

that should be used in moderation due to several health risks, to be on the safe side

Consider using one of these healthy alternatives the next time a recipe asks for corn syrup. These substitutes can also work if you run out of corn syrup. Also, remember to use the appropriate substitution amounts and methods for the best results.