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The Truth Behind Agave Nectar

By August 6, 2013Home

Agave nectar is yet another “health” craze that has swept the nation, increasing in popularity, particularly over the past few years, but has the wool been pulledagave over our eyes?

Enthusiasts claim that agave nectar is a much healthier sweetening alternative when compared to traditional table sugar or corn syrup. Agave has been coined as the all-natural sweetener that doesn’t raise your blood sugar. Sounds fantastic right? Just what we’ve been looking for.

Don’t be so sure…

First, the term “natural” is not regulated by the FDA, so essentially, companies can use it a little more loosely than you might think. Perhaps you should take a closer look those products that claim they’re au-naturale.

As for the non-blood sugar raising properties, is it true? Yes, it is, but read on BEFORE you begin celebrating…

The reason that agave does not raise blood-sugar levels is because it is about 90% fructose (table sugar is about 50%, high-fructose corn syrup is 55%). Fructose  is digested in the liver and immediately converted into triglycerides (stored fat), rather than blood glucose, which is why is doesn’t raise blood sugar levels.

Whats more is when you switch to agave in an effort to be healthier or even lose weight, it’s actually working against you by increasing your appetite which can lead to weight gain. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like accidental sabotage to me.

There are some claims that agave can actually help the body as a result of the saponins that it contains. Saponins have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. They have the ability to reduce cancer risk, lower your cholesterol, and boost your immune system. It’s also said that perhaps less processed agave is better than the more highly processed agave.

I don’t know about you but there seems to be a lot more questions than answers and no matter what the health craze is, it points back to the same fact:

We’ve got to stop trying to take the easy way out by cheating the system. We are trying to have our cake and eat it too, with these “healthy sweeteners” along with the vast majority of other diet/healthy-alternatives foods.

Is it worth jumping on board with the newest health craze if you only end up jumping back off after later learning its not all its chalked up to be?

This isn’t to say all health-trends are bad. There are certainly some new healthy-foods/trends that are more good than bad, but with that being said, it’s important to do your research and not jump on the band-wagon as soon as a new product hits the market, especially when it comes to your health.

What are your thoughts on agave nectar?

~ Letisha

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