Updated: Oct 10
Agave Syrup: Beware of the Fructose Abuse
Agave syrup is 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 adverse health effects when consumed in excess.
Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables. When consumed in whole foods, fructose is safe and beneficial, providing vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre that can help slow down its absorption and prevent adverse health effects. However, when fructose is extracted and concentrated into a sweetener like agave syrup, it can harm 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 is linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can damage the liver and impair blood glucose control.
Agave syrup is marketed as a healthier sweetener 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 negatively affect health.
It’s also important to note that not all agave syrups are created equal.
The agave syrup used for tequila (derived from its leaves) has approximately 57 % fructose content. The agave syrup (derived from the plant’s root) has a fructose content of up to 90 %. While it also contains healthy fibre like fructans (inulin). Processed Agave syrup is an overly refined, unhealthy syrup destroyed with heat and enzymes. They display it as a healthier alternative to High fructose Corn Syrup, which has 55% fructose and 45% glucose. Table sugar consists of sucrose, which is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. “The human body needs one glucose molecule to break down every fructose molecule. Agave syrup contains 21 calories per teaspoon, compared with table sugar, which has 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, making it difficult to know what you’re getting.
While agave syrup may be a natural and vegan-friendly sweetener, it’s crucial 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