Although agave was formerly believed to have therapeutic advantages, it can actually be more harmful to your health than normal sugar
One of the few topics on which the majority of medical professionals are in agreement is the negative consequences of sugar. Many other sweeteners, both natural and artificial, have grown in popularity since many health-conscious people attempt to avoid sugar. One of these is agave nectar, often known as agave syrup. It is advertised as a natural sweetener that is diabetic-friendly and doesn't raise blood sugar levels and is present in many health foods. However, this article explains why agave nectar can be worse for your health than regular sugar.
What Actually Is Agave?
The agave plant is indigenous to Latin America and the Southern United States. Although agave is a relatively new phenomena in the West, it has likely been utilised for thousands of years in Mexico. Agave was once thought to have therapeutic benefits. Additionally, the sap was cooked to create miel de agave, a sweetener. In order to create tequila, the sugars in agave are additionally fermented. In actuality, tequila is one of Mexico's most well-known exports and the commercial application of agave that is most prevalent today. Agave probably has some health advantages, like many other plants. However, processing and refining often tend to eliminate some or all of these advantageous health effects. No exception applies to the refined agave sweetener that people use nowadays.
How Nectar Is Made?
It would be more accurate to refer to the sweetener as agave syrup instead of the more popular agave nectar label. The traditional sweetener that Mexicans previously prepared and used has little in common with this. Nevertheless, the process's creation starts at the same point. To get the sap, which is sweet, the plant is first cut and squeezed. This sap has a lot of sugar, but it also has fibre that's good for you, such fructans, which are thought to help with insulin and metabolism. The sap is subjected to heat and/or enzymes during the syrup-making process, which extracts the fructans and converts them to fructose. All of the health-improving qualities of the fruit are destroyed during this procedure, which is comparable to how other toxic sweets like high fructose corn syrup are manufactured.
The rate at which a food's sugar enters your system is gauged by its glycemic index (GI). Generally speaking, meals having a higher GI create more blood sugar rises and could be more harmful to your health. Fructose, in contrast to glucose, does not temporarily increase insulin or blood sugar levels. The marketing of high fructose sweeteners as "healthy" or "diabetic friendly" is due to this. Since fructose makes up the majority of its sugar content, agave nectar has an extremely low GI. In comparison to ordinary sugar, it contains a very small amount of glucose. Research in mice evaluated the metabolic effects of sucrose, or regular sugar, and agave nectar. After 34 days, agave nectar-consuming mice lost less weight and showed lower levels of insulin and blood sugar. In this brief study, fructose did not increase blood sugar or insulin levels, whereas glucose in plain sugar did. However, when comparing the health impacts of sweeteners, the GI is only one aspect to take into account. The negative effects of agave, and sugar in general, have very little to do with the glycemic index but everything to do with the enormous levels of fructose, and agave nectar is quite high in fructose.
Agave nectar is probably not the best choice if you need to increase the sweetness in your diet. Many natural sweeteners, such as stevia, erythritol, and xylitol, are far healthier options. In actuality, normal sugar appears healthy in comparison to agave nectar, which may be the least healthiest sweetener on the planet.