Is Agave the perfect sweetener?

Agave’s Syrup is a sweetener that recently saw a huge increase in sales as people looking for the best sweetener to replace sugar, and Agave sounds like the perfect sweetener, as its syrup combines a very good taste and a low glycemic index. But is for real?

Agave’s Syrup is made by filtering the juice of the plant and boiling it to create its final form [1]. Although the original juice contains inulin, a natural polysaccharide, the final product (the one we buy) contains a minimum amount of inulin, which is mainly fructose [2, 3].

The truth is that Agave syrup does not raise blood sugar levels, because it consists mainly of fructose (which fructose is less glycemic than glucose) [4]. This is why this sweetener is recommended for diabetics. However, fructose is dangerous to our health.

A recent study says that agave syrup could reduce the blood sugar levels from diabetics, while helping obese people to lose weight [5]. Although it sounds amazing, it’s not because simply what we buy has nothing to do with the product they used for the study.

According to study’s investigator Mercedes G. López, the researchers found that this sweetener is reducing glucose levels and at the same time it increases the levels of GLP-1.

However, it should be noted that the research is only refers to agavins contained in unprocessed juice, which work like fiber (pass through the digestive system without being digested) and not to the final product that is being sold, since after its chemical treatment it does not contains the specific fibers, which you should keep that in mind when reading about the properties of this sweetener so it does not confuse you.

As I previously mentioned, Agave syrup contains too much fructose, even more than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) [6]. The high glucose content makes Agave syrup dangerous for promoting insulin resistance, metabolic problems, type 2 diabetes, as well as for triglyceride and uric acid levels [7, 8, 9, 10].

Fructose is mainly metabolized in the liver, and the excessive and long-term use may cause problems similar to chronic alcohol consumption [11]. Also, fructose is stored exclusively as fat by the body, increasing lipogenesis, since it does not have any nutritional value from the body [12, 13, 14].

You should not confuse fructose from Agave’s syrup (and HFCS) with the fructose found in fruits since the produced fructose does not come with the fiber contained in fruits. Our body is made to process small amounts of fructose and in particular, the quantity contained in a fruit. So, according to studies, Agave syrup is worse for your body, even than sugar.


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