You’ve probably heard a lot about agave syrup, but do you know exactly what it is? What’s its composition? Does it have a small effect on blood sugar? Does it have a high fructose content? These are some of the questions I hope to answer in this article. Whether agave syrup is a good choice for you depends on your personal preferences, but if you’re concerned about sugar, you might want to skip it altogether.
What is Agave Syrup ?
Agave syrup, also known as maguey syrup or agave nectar, is a natural sweetener produced from several species of agave. Blue agave syrup contains approximately 56% fructose, which provides the sweetening properties. Other types of agave syrups contain a lesser percentage of fructose, but are still sweet in flavor. Learn more about agave syrups and their uses!
Agave syrup comes in several different grades, each with its own unique flavor. Light agave syrup is best for milder, more delicate drinks, such as cocktails like the vodka sour. Light agave syrup can be used in baking and in drinks to enhance the flavor of hot beverages. Agave syrup can last over a year when stored properly. You can also use it as a maple syrup substitute in certain drinks.
How is the nectar made?
Agave is a naturally sweetener produced from a plant in Mexico. Its composition is almost 90% fructose, and its glycemic index is lower than that of table sugar. The sweetness of this sweetener is great for sweetening hot beverages and desserts, and it’s also low in calories. Agave has very little protein and is a good alternative to sugar in a diabetic’s diet.
This sweetener is made from the sap of agave plants, which are mostly found in Mexico and Latin America. The sap is boiled with additional sweeteners to produce agave syrup. Agave syrup is often thought of as a raw food, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Agave nectar is primarily processed into a syrup. After completing the process, it is packaged and delivered to stores in grocery stores around the world.
Minimally affects blood sugar levels
Agave nectar is low on the glycemic index, which measures how quickly a food or drink can raise blood sugar levels. Agave nectar is comprised of glucose and fructose, which are both present in equal amounts in the food. Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have a much higher glycemic index, meaning that they are more likely to spike blood sugar levels than foods low on the GI.
Dangerously high in fructose
Although the agave plant is actually not a sugary food, the syrup it produces is extremely high in fructose. This syrup is manufactured by various manufacturers under different generic names, including “agave nectar.” This type of sweetener contains significantly higher amounts of fructose than agave nectar. However, the sugar content of agave is not always that high.
While the benefits of agave nectar over conventional sugar may not be obvious, this sweetener is high in antioxidants. Some people also believe that it helps control blood sugar levels. However, the fructose content of agave is high enough to cause elevated blood sugar levels. Agave also contains high levels of fructose, which contributes to oxidative stress, which causes damage to the tissues.
The bottom line
The bottom line of agave nectar is that it is a sugar substitute that doesn’t raise blood sugar levels and has no aftertaste. The sweetener is used in hundreds of products and is now popular in trendy bars and drinks. It has some health benefits, but the best way to determine how much of an impact it has on your health is to read the labels of the products you use. There are some things to keep in mind before buying agave products.
High fructose diets raise LDL cholesterol, contribute to abdominal fat, and increase the risk of heart disease. Natural whole fruits are packed with fiber and make you feel full fast. Although the human body has adapted to handle fructose in small quantities, agave nectar isn’t the healthiest sugar alternative. However, it is good to avoid HFCS and high fructose corn syrup if you’re trying to lose weight.