As I was walking down the syrup isle I couldn't help to notice how many options are on the shelf.
Honey, Agave Syrup, Maple Syrup, coconut syrup, Pancake Syrup, Simple syrup, Bee Free Honey, Vegan Honey, & my favourite all time Date Syrup.
I have personally realized when it comes to food the least processed is the way to go. So if the final product is very close to the initial ingredient it is extracted from then the product is least processed.
So let's review the options:
Date Syrup: Depending on the type of date (some juicier and some more dry); the extraction may need addition of non-chlorine water. then blended and the nectar is extracted and then boiled to sterile and bottle. This is the least invasive and fruit based syrup.
Maple Syrup: Has been a stable in Canada for ages due to the access to plenty of maple trees. The syrup is made from the Sap of the maple tree by creating a hole and extracting the sap from the tree trunk. Then it is boiled to preserve and bottle.
Coconut Syrup: "made from the nectar of coconut palm flowers. ... Farmers tap the sweet nectar in a way similar to that of maple syrup production: it is then collected in bamboo containers and placed under controlled evaporation until they reach the consistency of syrup" -coconutmerchant.com
To me this sounds more like boiled honey (without the bee extracting the nectar) then boiled which would destroy many enzymes and natural ingredients
Agave Syrup: "Made from the leaves the Blue Agave plants are all cut off, leaving the core of the plant exposed. ... To make the agave nectar, sap is extracted from the pina, filtered, and heated at a low temperature, which breaks down the carbohydrates into sugars." -AllaboutAgave.com
I noticed many links referring to Agave syrup to highly processed & unhealthy.
Bee Free Honey & Vegan Honey: basically are both boiled sugar and water to make the syrup. It is just a cleaver misleading marketing and advertising phrasing.
Honey: Unless you are paying $40 for a small jar all the honey you are seeing on the shelfs are somehow contaminated with sugar.
A good reference would be: https://newsfeed.time.com/2012/10/05/french-bees-produce-blue-honey/
Well use your logic, how can a bee gathered jar of honey be $8-10/jar?
Also with the bee population dropping we need to be more alert on how we are contributing to this dilemma as bees are a major aid for pollination and crop health.
We digged a bit further and came up with the following table to make a comparison in case you are looking for a rich sweetener that would give you more than just the sweet taste. Surprisingly Date Syrup beats the value based on the contents.