Agave Nectar – Dangerous Sweetener
Agave Nectar has been promoted as a healthy alternative sweetener because it is low glycemic (which means it doesn’t elevated blood sugar quickly when consumed). However, it appears that this sweetener is very high in fructose, in fact according to an article posted by Dr. Mercola today, it is higher than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Consuming more than 25 grams of fructose per day is when biological changes can occur.Many of us have been using Agave to get away from all the problems being linked to HFCS.
According to the article, agave “nectar” or agave “syrup” is nothing more than a laboratory-generated super-condensed fructose syrup, devoid of virtually all nutrient value, offering you metabolic misfortune.
Dr. Mercola says that agave syrup has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener — ranging from 70 to 97 percent, depending on the brand, which is FAR HIGHER than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which averages 55 percent.
This makes agave actually WORSE than HFCS.
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There are two overall reasons fructose is so damaging:
- Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose. Fructose is broken down in your liver just like alcohol and produces many of the side effects of chronic alcohol use, right down to the “beer belly”
- People are consuming fructose in quantities that are 400-800 percent higher than they were 100 years ago due to its pervasive presence in just about all processed foods
According to the menace of fructose doesn’t stop there. The additional problems listed are:
- Fructose also elevates your uric acid levels, which is actually more dangerous than elevated cholesterol levels as it causes chronic, low-level inflammation, which increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis and premature aging.
- Fructose also “tricks” your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism — it actually severely impairs your body’s normal appetite-control systems.
- Excessive fructose rapidly leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity (“beer belly”), decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure — i.e., classic metabolic syndrome.
- Fructose metabolism is very similar to alcohol metabolism, which has a multitude of toxic effects, including NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). Metabolically it’s very similar to drinking alcohol without the buzz.
There is more information in the article – so do some due diligence, but for now it looks like Agave Nectar is leaving my cupboard. Raw, organic locally grown honey is back in for my coffee although honey is also high in fructose – it at least has the enzymes and can be tolerated in small quantities by most people. If you have insulin issues you should avoid all sweeteners, especially the artificial ones.
I found another validation from Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation that stated:
Buyer Beware: Most agave nectar has in excess of 50% fructose.
Fructose stimulates overeating and obesity. It raises cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, and decreases HDL in the bloodstream, leading to heart disease. Fructose also elevates uric acid levels, causing chronic, low-level inflammation.
Alternatives to agave nectar are: Stevia, Sweet Fiber®, Yacon Syrup, Erythritol, and Lo Han.
(Any time you alter an ingredient in a recipe, you may have to experiment with proportions to get the recipe to work correctly.)
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