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Agave syrup also known as agave nectar, is a naturally occurring sweetener similar to consistency of honey, commercially produced from numerous species of agave, including Tequilana (Blue Agave) and Salmiana, which mainly grows in South Africa and Mexico. The production of agave syrup includes the harvesting of several agave plants having about seven to fourteen years of age. The juice is then pull out from the core of agave, called the pina. The juice is cleaned and then heated to breakdown the complex components (the polysaccharides) into simple sugar. The core polysaccharide is called fructan, a polymer of fructose particles. Then the juice is concentrated to a syrupy liquid, slightly solvent than honey. Its color varies from light- to dark-amber, reliant on the degree of processing.
Very few of the people know that agave syrup is dangerously high in fructose. Although fructose and glucose look analogous, however, they have completely different effects on your body. We know that glucose is an extremely important element for the body to function well. It is found in various healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruits— and your body even produces it to make sure that you always have enough of it. Whereas every cell in your body can metabolize glucose, your liver is the only body part that can absorb fructose in noteworthy amounts. Consuming excess amount of fructose in the form of agave syrup could wreak havoc on your metabolic health and may contribute to insulin resistance, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. So no one is going to have all these diseases all at once, or are you planning to have some of it?
Because of these access volume of fructose your liver gets burdened and starts turning the fructose into fat, which raises blood sugar levels. Most of the researchers believe that some of this fat could store in your liver and cause fatty liver disease. Even more, high fructose intake could increase your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and oxidized LDL causing obesity. Always keep this in mind that agave nectar is about 87% fructose — much higher than plain sugar. When people are looking to find healthy alternatives to regular sugar who would be planning to consume agave syrup considering this as healthy alternative. None of this applies to whole fruits, which are completely loaded with fiber and make you feel full quickly. Your body is fortified to handle the trivial amounts of fructose found in vegetables and fruits.
Agave syrup is much higher in fructose than refined sugar, it has a higher risk of causing adverse health effects, such as increased belly fat and fatty liver disease.
Well we talked a lot about agave syrup to give you the better idea to make the right choice when it comes to your health. If you are really conscious of consuming too much sugar, adversely effecting your health, you should consider rice syrup which is often used in Asian and European countries. This syrup is moderately sweet, much less so than agave nectar, sugar, and honey, somewhat resembling to the taste of butterscotch. Rice syrup is used like any other liquid sweetener in manufacturing gums, bakery products cereal and pharmaceutical applications all require rice syrup to produce the final product. Some of the amazing benefits that you can reap while consuming rice syrup are, it is natural and organic, hypoallergenic and best for people who are lactose intolerant. Completely vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free making it the healthy alternative for people looking to maintain their diet.
If you are willing to add extra sweetness to your diet, agave nectar is probably not the way to go. Several natural sweeteners — including rice syrup is much healthier and lighter on body to digest. Realistically, agave nectar should be considered as the least option available in the world.
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