The Truth about Agave
Written by Evan Crothers
In recent years there has been a movement towards healthier lifestyles and better eating habits. For good or bad our obsession with beauty and youth has pushed us to look to look for that fountain of youth in many areas. One of the good areas has been nutrition. Words like organic and all natural have been plastered all over our foods. These are great words but large companies have used it to their advantage. This has caused many people to make choices that in fact are not to their benefit.
This is where Agave Nectar/Syrup comes in. It is the poster child for the power of marketing over science.
Agave Nectar/Syrup is a liquid that is gluten free, sweeter than sugar and has a low glycemic index (low effect on blood sugar). Because of its low glycemic index, it has been marked as “diabetic friendly.” So what’s the problem?
The reason Agave has a low glycemic index is because it is made up of mostly fructose, which we know is a very damaging form of sugar when used as a sweetener. Fruit contains small amounts of fructose around 7-10%. However, when you eat fruit you are also consuming its fiber, which helps your body deal with the small amounts of fructose.
Agave Nectar contains the highest level of fructose out of any commercial sweeteners. Table sugar contains 50%, High Fructose CS contains 55%. Now get ready for this. Agave contains an astounding 90% fructose! That is almost double that of High Fructose CS! Hell NO!
Research has shown that the fructose found in sweeteners causes insulin resistance and raises triglycerides (a risk factor for heart disease). It also encourages acquiring fat around your middle, which puts you at risk for diabetes. High fructose levels also contribute to a non- alcoholic fatty liver disease. No thank you!
In the agave plant, the sweetness comes from a fructose called inulin, which is considered a fiber. However, there is not much inulin left in when it is converted to syrup.
Basically, Agave is a highly processed sugar with amazing marketing! So think twice before choosing Agave. Keep in mind that just because a company has plastered all natural or organic all over its product doesn’t mean it is automatically good for you.
What to use instead?
Stevia is an herb that also serves as a natural sweetener. It doesn’t raise blood sugar, and has been shown to prevent tooth decay and actually stabilize blood glucose.
Evan Crothers is a Certified Holistic Health Coach/ Nutritionist and creator of CONFIDENCE THROUGH NUTRITION. For more information or to sign up for a FREE Health History please Visit: Confidencethroughnutrition.com