5 Rice Malt Syrup Substitutes – The Healthier Alternatives

Time to rant!

Imagine my heartbreak when I came to know that my all-time favorite rice malt syrup is more sugar than brown rice. 

What? Don’t you believe me? Let me state my case.  

The trendsetters led us to believe that rice malt syrup is a healthier sugar substitute. People use it in baking and desserts, considering it an excellent vegan alternative for honey and fructose. 

But that is not the whole story. Here is the whole story…

Rice malt syrup is basically glucose. It has about 98 Glycaemic Index (GI), which is even higher than white sugar, 65. The high GI leads to cravings and feeling hungry all the time – leading you to obesity. This is what rice malt syrup does to you. 

Hey, but don’t be sad. All you need are some rice malt syrup substitutes that are healthier and tastier options.

Wondering what these options are? Read along to learn more!

Rice Malt Syrup – The Whole Story

Rice malt syrup is made by cooking rice starch then distilling the residual sugars, much like its namesake. Enzymes that break down carbohydrates are exposed to cooked rice and transformed into smaller sugars. Then, the impurities are filtered out. The outcome is a thick sugary syrup.

Rice malt syrup, known as brown rice malt or brown syrup, is mainly used as a sweetener in the culinary arts. It is favorably used in baking and cooking to sweeten dishes without increasing the number of calories.

Moreover, rice malt syrup gluten-free is the right choice for people who wants to avoid gluten because they have celiac and other gluten-related disorders.

Nutritional Value of Rice Malt Syrup

  • Calories: 216
  • Thiamin (B1): 12% of the RDI
  • Carbs: 44 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Pyridoxine (B6): 14% of the RDI
  • Pantothenic acid (B5): 6% of the RDI
  • Fat: 1.8 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Niacin (B3): 15% of the RDI
  • Iron: 5% of the RDI

Side Effects of Rice Malt Syrup 

Different health problems could result from too much consumption of rice malt syrup. Rice Malt syrup Glycaemic Index is even higher than white sugar, making it unhealthier and riskier. The other cons of rice malt syrup are: 

  •    Ample Calories with Zero Nutrients

Brown rice syrup, like most processed sugars, is high in sugar and low in vital elements. It is full of calories without any significant nutrients. 

  •    More GI than All The Other Sweeteners

The rice malt syrup glycaemic index is 98, higher than practically any other sweetener on the market. Higher GI means a higher risk of obesity. 

  •    Traces of Arsenic Content

Rice syrups and items sweetened with them have been discovered to contain high levels of arsenic. Arsenic is a toxic chemical found in small concentrations in various foods, including rice and rice syrups.

Note: The FDA contends that Arsenic content levels in rice malt syrup are too low to be dangerous. Nonetheless, it would be best if you avoid newborn formulae sweetened with brown rice syrup entirely.

Hence proved that you can’t consume rice malt syrup without compromising your health? But that doesn’t mean we cannot use other syrups and sweeteners. 

Fortunately, we have some fantastic rice malt syrup substitutes for you!

The Best 5 Healthy Substitutes for Rice Malt Syrup

The Healthy Alternatives to Rice Malt Syrup are:

  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Stevia
  • Agave Nectar
  • Date Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Barley Malt Syrup
  • Corn Syrup 

They’re all suitable substitutes for rice malt syrup. Molasses and corn syrup are the best baking rice malt syrup substitutes. At the same time, Maple syrup and agave syrup are the best topping replacements for rice malt syrup. At the same time, the other rice malt syrup alternatives are artificial sweeteners, honey, and barley malt extract.

Let us check some of them in detail.

1. Honey – The Sweetest Substitute Ever

The picture shows honey.

Honey can be a good substitute for rice malt syrup or other sweeteners. We can use honey in drinks, baked desserts, and other homemade sweets.

We can use as much honey as we like, but we have to taste it first. Some are sweeter than the syrup called for in your recipe. 

Substitution Quantity: You should use 3/4 cup honey instead of 1 cup rice malt syrup because honey is sweeter and has more calories.

Nutritional Value of Honey

One tablespoon (20 grams) of honey include:

  • Calories: 61
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams Suitable for blood sugar levels than usual sugar
  • Riboflavin: 1% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Copper: 1% of the DV
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 17 grams

Health Benefits of Honey

  • Suitable for Blood Sugar Levels Than Usual Sugar

Honey may offer some slight advantages over regular sugar when it comes to blood sugar control.

Although it raises blood sugar levels in the same way that other sugars do, its antioxidants may help prevent you from metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

  • May Improve Heart Health

Honey may help prevent heart disease. It may aid in reducing blood pressure, fat blood levels, regulating your heartbeat, and avoiding the death of healthy cells. All of which can benefit your heart function and health.

  • May Help Stop Coughing in Children.

Coughing is a common problem of upper respiratory infections in children. Both children and parents may experience sleep and quality of life issues due to these infections. On the other hand, common cough medicines are not always effective and can cause harmful effects. Honey, it turns out, could be a decent alternative, as studies suggest it’s an excellent therapy choice.

Note: Honey is not advised for children under one year of age, as it’s associated with a chance of botulism.


2. Maple Syrup: Rice Malt Syrup vs. Maple Syrup

 The picture shows a bottle of maple syrup.

Maple syrup is produced from the xylem sap of sugar maple, black maple, or red maple trees. These trees store starch in their root system and trunks in the months leading up to winter. In winter, the starch is turned to sugar, causing the sap to rise.

It is high in energy, manganese, zinc, and iron. Its distinct flavor, antioxidants, and minerals make this syrup a healthier and a better option than brown rice syrup.

In North America, Maple syrup has been drunk for many centuries. The province of Quebec in eastern Canada presently produces over 80% of the world’s supply.

Substitution Quantity: Use 3/4 cup maple syrup instead of 1 cup brown rice syrup since maple syrup is sweeter.

Nutritional Value of Maple Syrup

1/3 cup (80 ml) of pure maple syrup contains:

  • Calcium: 7% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 6% of the RDI
  • Iron: 7% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 28% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 165% of the RD


3. Corn Syrup – The Sister Substitute

rice malt substitutes

Corn syrup is produced from corn. It is also called glucose syrup. Corn syrup is the filtered and processed sugar compounds from certain species of maize that are primarily employed to provide thickening and sweetening effects in various forms of food. It is most commonly used in large-scale sweets and beverage manufacture.

Apart from the noticeable visual differences, viscosity is the main disadvantage of using corn syrup as a rice malt syrup substitute. Different types or brands of corn syrup are slightly denser and often incorporate various other preservatives or additive compounds. It alters the taste or function.

Substitution Quantity: Corn syrup can be a direct one-to-one rice malt syrup replacement. It has nearly the same sugar content and flavor intensity as the rice malt syrup.


4. Molasses – The Dark One

The picture shows puffed rice with molasses.

Molasses is also one of the oldest natural sweeteners you can find. Suppose you choose to use molasses as a brown rice syrup substitute. In that case, it’s important to remember that it’s somewhat bitter and has very little sweetness. Molasses is too rich in minerals and also contain a high iron quantity.

There are three types of molasses. They vary in color, consistency, flavor, and sugar content.

Of all the molasses kinds, blackstrap molasses is the most concentrated and has the most vitamins and minerals. As a result, some sites claim that it provides the most significant health benefits.

Substitution Quantity: To replace molasses for brown rice syrup, utilize a ½ cup of molasses rather than 1 cup of brown rice syrup.

Nutritional Value of Molasses

One tablespoon of molasses, or 20 grams, contains the following amounts of each nutrient’s daily value:

  • Vitamin: B-6: 8%
  • Selenium: 6%
  • Potassium: 6%
  • Iron: 5%
  • Calcium: 3%
  • Manganese: 13%
  • Magnesium: 12%
  • Copper: 11%

Benefits of Molasses

  • Bone Health

Molasses is the best source of selenium, iron, and copper, all of which help support healthy bones.

  • Heart Health

Molasses is a potassium-rich food, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure and heart health.

  • Blood Sugar

Sugars, especially molasses, should be avoided by people who have trouble controlling their blood sugar. On the other hand, molasses may help healthy adults on a high-carb diet maintain blood sugar levels.


5. Agave Syrup – The Natural Sweetener

The picture shows four glasses of agave nectar.

Another rice malt syrup substitute, Agave syrup, also known as maguey syrup, is a sweetener produced commercially from agave plants such as Agave tequilana and Agave salmiana. The sugar in blue agave syrup is 56 percent fructose, which has sweetening effects.

Agave nectar is a better brown rice malt syrup alternative because it is a natural sweetener. 

Substitution Quantity: It is heavily processed, so be cautious! One cup of brown rice syrup equals 12 to 1/3 of agave nectar.

Nutritional Value of Agave Nectar

  • Calories: 60
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 0 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 16 grams
  • Dietary Fibre: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 16 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

Health Benefits of Agave Nectar

Here are some health benefits of agave nectar, which prove that it is a better replacement for rice malt syrup. 

  • The Glycaemic Index (GI) of this Syrup is Low. 

A low-GI diet may control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

  • It May Be Beneficial for Your Metabolism. 

Vitamin B6, found in agave, is essential for how your body digests meals, especially proteins and carbohydrates.

  • In Pregnancy, it is suitable for You and Your Kid

Vitamin B6 helps you avoid morning sickness and fatigue. Folate, which is found in agave, aids in developing your baby’s neurological system.


FAQs About Substitutions for Rice Malt Syrup.

Can you use honey instead of rice malt syrup?
Honey can replace brown rice syrup; use a third of a cup of honey for each cup of brown rice syrup because honey has a much sweeter flavor.
What is the difference between Diastatic and non-Diastatic?
The enzyme concentration or activity distinguishes non-diastatic malt from diastatic malt. Diastatic malt is dried at low temperatures rather than kilned to preserve its enzymatic activity. Non-diastatic malt is made for sweetening and coloring purposes.
Can you replace rice malt syrup with maple syrup?
Maple syrup is the best rice malt syrup substitute, followed by honey, simple syrup, barley malt syrup, molasses, and date syrup, depending on the application. It has a similar syrup consistency and can be used in the same recipes.
What can I use instead of glucose syrup?
Many products can be used as a good substitute for glucose syrup. Even rice malt syrup substitutes glucose syrup in some recipes. However, to achieve the same effect as liquid glucose, we can employ the following few options:
Honey: It is high in sugar and calories, but it can substitute for corn syrup, exceptionally light corn syrup, and has health benefits. It may add a twist to your recipe and affect the taste and flavor of the food, but it’s worth a go if you don’t want to use glucose sugar.
Molasses: It can give baked foods and Savory dishes a rich, sweet, but somewhat burned flavor. It will not significantly alter the flavor, but the meal’s color will be considerably darker.
Maple Syrup: Maple syrup has a distinct flavor. But if you don’t mind a more earthy flavor in your dish, it is a perfect substitution for gold syrup. It has a similar sweetness level and consistency to starch sugar.
Brown rice syrup: Brown rice syrup isn’t exactly “healthy.” However, it is lower in calories than the other selections on this list. Rice syrup is a better option only if you’re trying to reduce your calorie count or fructose intake.
How do you make rice malt syrup?
Making rice malt syrup is easy. Heat a nonstick pan over high heat before pouring in the fermented rice-wheat liquid. Switch to medium heat until the mixture turns a golden-brown hue. When the rice malt syrup has a consistent sticky texture, you can remove it from the heat. Allow it to cool before pouring the syrup into the jar, which should be at 50°C. For each session, scoop using a dry, clean spoon. It’s time to eat.


Final Verdict – Rice Malt Syrup Substitutes

Rice malt syrup is the traditional delicious sweetener, but it can also be unhealthy for you. Luckily, you can use any of the rice malt syrup substitutes listed above and continue to enjoy your meals.

Remember, each of these replacements has its benefits and side effects. You have to choose carefully and keep an eye on the nutritional values of these syrups. 

If you think we have forgotten to list any other rice malt syrup substitute, feel free to remind us in the comment section. 


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