Agave Nectar – The Good News and the Bad News
Agave Nectar, also known as Agave Syrup, has been getting a bad rap lately due to the the fructose content. I’ve done a lot of reading on the topic from many trusted sources and I believe if you consume raw, organic agave nectar is is an acceptable natural sweetener for occasional use.It is best to choose any products that are closest to its natural state as possible. Choosing raw organic agave is doing just that. Agave comes from a cactus plant in which they squeeze the nectar (syrup) out of the “leaf” or meat of the plant.It’s important that you don’t just run out and buy just any ‘ole Agave Nectar. Unfortunately, there are harmful Agave products on the market, even in whole food or health stores. These are manufactured differently as they take the natural, short-chain fructose and bring it to high heats then add GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) “plant enzymes” and chemicals in the process. This process makes these products very harmful to your body.Raw Agave contains short chain of fructose molecules and Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). These compounds can be only partially digested by our bodies. The undigested serves as food for “friendly” bacteria and can improve the health of our intestines. These contents also help break down fats.I realize it’s harder to come by and is a bit more expensive, but it is worth it in the long run. When the agave nectar is raw, it is truly a healthy, low glycemic food so it does not absorb quickly into the blood stream. Fuctrose, whether it be in fruit or agave, is not a concern if consumed in moderation. However, if you consume too much of it, yes, you will see an incline on your scale.A newer product on the market, Xagave, is a blend between Agave and inulin. Since inulin is a healthy plant fiber, and Raw Agave is a healthy sweetener, mixing the two is a healthy choice. The consumption of raw agave has not been proven to be harmful, but of course we would still have to keep it as an occasional use.
I suggest you read information from trusted sources and come to your own conclusion about whether or not you want to consume raw agave nectar. You can certainly do life without it!! Or you can try another good alternative – coconut nectar.
Tip: ¼ cup agave nectar substitute for 1 cup of sugar