Agave nectar is rapidly becoming a popular alternative to sugar because of claims that it’s
better for you. Agave nectar derives from the blue agave plant found in Mexico. It’s considered an “all-natural” alternative to table or refined sugar. Agave has gotten it’s fame and popularity among groups associated with diabetes and those looking to improve their health. However, a lot of information about agave nectar can be misleading and doesn’t have any scientific evidence to back it up. Let's break down the myths and get to the truth about agave and the effects it has on your body.
Agave is natural
Although agave comes from a plant, there aren’t any natural elements to it. Agave is extracted by cutting and pressing the plant. Instead of leaving it in this form, which may have some health benefits, the nectar is heated and the fructans is broken down into fructose. This process completely destroys any resemblance of nutrition and enzymes that might have been in the agave nectar and we’re left with a glorified version of syrup. Agave is basically a refined and processed sweetener made from agave nectar.
It’s a good alternative for diabetics
Companies that produce agave nectar promote it as a safer alternative to sugar because it has a low glycemic index. This is an attractive sounding argument for diabetics because other sugars like high fructose corn syrup can spike blood sugar levels. Agave on the other hand, because of it’s low glycemic index, won’t spike blood sugar levels. However, agave contains a very high concentration of fructose, which causes insulin resistance. When your blood sugar spikes and your body is resistant to insulin, your levels can remain elevated, making it very difficult to lower them. This can be especially dangerous for diabetics and ultimately have a more adverse affect on their condition than regular table sugar.
Agave is healthier than table sugar and HFCS
One of the main reasons that agave nectar has taken the world by storm is because it’s marketed as being “healthier” than table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. However, agave contains an extremely high percentage of fructose, ranging from 70% to over 95%. HFCS contains on average 55% fructose, which is nearly half of the amount of agave nectar. All of these facts lead back to agave nectar causing an increase insulin resistance. In fact, individuals that eat agave nectar on a regular basis are at risk for elevated triglycerides, metabolic changes, and weight gain. All of these effects can lead to a great risk of heart disease.
The bottom line truth
Agave nectar, when broken down and analyzed, is no more than a processed and refined syrup masquerading as an “all natural” and healthy alternative to sugar. The truth is that it contains no nutritional value of any kind and the same thing as table sugar and some scientific research has shown that it has the potential to be more dangerous.
The smart approach to sugar
At Legendary Foods, we believe that there isn’t a safe amount of sugar. Sugar is empty calories that have a negative impact on your body and health. Instead of reaching for processed sugars and syrup to sweeten your food, grab a snack that is sweetened with ingredients from nature. It’s a great place to start when committing to a healthy lifestyle and Legendary Foods believes that great tasting food doesn’t have to come from a laboratory. Our nut snacks and flavored nut butters are seasoned with delicious ingredients from nature that help benefit human health. Not only do our seasoned nuts and nut butters provide a good source of nutrition, they taste so good that you’ll think they’re junk food. Legendary Foods wants to help you live a legendary life.