Agave Syrup: Beware of the Fructose Abuse
Updated: Mar 8
Agave syrup is often marketed as a natural and vegan-friendly alternative to other sweeteners, but it has some drawbacks that consumers should be aware of. One of the main concerns is that agave nectar has a high fructose content, which can have negative health effects when consumed in excess. Fructose is a type of sugar that is naturally found in fruits and vegetables. When consumed in whole foods, fructose is generally considered safe and even beneficial, as it provides vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber that can help slow down its absorption and prevent negative health effects. However, when fructose is extracted and concentrated into a sweetener like agave syrup, it can have harmful effects on the body. Excessive amounts of fructose can cause insulin resistance, increase triglycerides, promote fat storage in the abdomen, and increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease. Fructose has also been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can damage the liver and impair blood glucose control. One of the reasons agave syrup is marketed as a healthier sweetener is because it has a low glycemic index (GI), which means it causes a slower and more gradual increase in blood sugar levels compared to other sweeteners like table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. However, this doesn't necessarily make it a healthy option, as the high fructose content in agave syrup can still have negative effects on health.
It's also important to note that not all agave syrups are created equal.
The agave syrup used for tequila (is derived from its leaves), has a fructose content that is, approx. 57 %. The agave syrup (derived from the root of the plant), has a fructose content up to 90 %. While it also contains healthy fiber like fructans (inulin). Processed Agave syrup is an overly refined, unhealthy syrup that has, been destroyed with heat and enzymes. They are displaying it as a healthier alternative to High fructose Corn Syrup which has 55% fructose 45% glucose. Table sugar consists of sucrose, which is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. “The human body needs one glucose molecule to breakdown every fructose molecule. Agave syrup contains 21 calories per teaspoon, compared with table sugar having 16 calories per teaspoon. Agave Tequilana (blue agave) syrup can have a fructose content of up to 60%, while Agave Salmiana (green giant) syrup has a more balanced mix of glucose and fructose. Additionally, some companies may mix different types of agave syrup together, which can make it difficult to know exactly what you're getting. Overall, while agave syrup may be a natural and vegan-friendly sweetener, it's important to consume it in moderation and be aware of its high fructose content and potential health risks. Healthier Alternatives to Agave Syrup
1.Raw Honey. Dave's Apiaries
2.Molasses. Golden Barrel Unsulfured Blackstrap Molasses (1 Gallon Jug)
3.Coconut nectar. Urban Platter Coconut Nectar Syrup 500g
4.Brown rice syrup. Organic Brown Rice Syrup , 400 Gm
5.Maple syrup. Rolling Ridge Maple Syrup
6.Liquid stevia. NOW Foods Better Stevia Liquid,8-Ounce
7.Date syrup. Medjool Date Syrup