Wednesday, February 11, 2015
"Do You Use Agave?"
The short answer is, "No."
A slightly longer answer is, "I haven't ever felt the need because I'm used to using honey, which we always have a supply of" (gratefully).
And here is the long answer:
Agave isn't as healthful as many people believe. For one thing, many types of bottled agave nectar call it "raw" when, in fact, it is heat treated and therefore does not still contain its enzymes and nutrients--unlike actual raw honey (which is what I use). And also unlike raw honey, agave syrup is not a “whole” food, but rather a fractionated and processed food. In fact, the way it is processed is similar to how High Fructose Corn Syrup is processed! (link)
The reason agave nectar is touted as "low glycemic" and therefore better for diabetics, is because of "the unusually high concentration of fructose (90%) compared to the small amount of glucose (10%)." Interestingly enough, "Nowhere in nature does this ratio of fructose to glucose occur naturally." This article lists 9 ways that fructose is actually bad for the body and can lead to serious health conditions, since it has to be metabolized by the liver (instead of by every cell in the body, like glucose is).
Even Dr. Oz, a year ago, retracted his endorsement of this sweetener for the reasons mentioned above (see article here) and urges consumers instead, "to use the smallest amount [of agave] possible."
This site even makes the shocking statement that, "Agave nectar may just be the unhealthiest sweetener in the world. It makes regular sugar look healthy in comparison… and that is saying something."