Presented as a healthy sweetener, agave syrup is probably one of the biggest scams in the food marketing of the last decade! This is not a product that comes directly from the agave, but is the result of a series of chemical processes that can do much damage.
Agave syrup: what is it?
Present in most major organic stores, agave syrup is the star, consumed worldwide. Indeed, it was presented as a 100% natural and organic, which is sugar better than sugar, with no impact on the glycemic index of diabetics! Advertising was successful, and as a result agave syrup is expensive and is found in the composition of many so-called Organic food and dietary juices, biscuits, etc.
However, this syrup is far from natural and beneficial to the health. In fact, its sugar is equivalent to glucose in its pure form, and it is far from good for diabetics, or even for people who wish to lose their extra weight.
How this syrup is made?
The agave is a plant of slow growth, mainly grown in Mexico and other countries with similar climate. When it reaches the age of 10, the juice is extracted from its heart, by removing the leaves, which weighs between 65 and 155 pounds. The sap is removed and heated for long hours in order to be transformed into “syrup”. It is very rich in fructose.
Furthermore, the different manufacturing processes of this syrup vary the glycemic index. This can vary from 55 to 90 (more than white sugar), and the label does not always provide this type of information.
Agave syrup and weight gain
Agave syrup has a high fructose content, which varies between 70 and 90%, and it is obtained artificially, through a process of refinement. When consumed, it goes too quickly to the liver, which is unable to turn it into energy. Thus, the body converts and stores it in the form of fat, resulting in weight gain.
On the other hand, fructose is naturally present in fruits, but does not exceed a content of 6%. Moreover, fruits contain other elements such as vitamins and minerals, enzymes and fiber that slow down its absorption by the body and promote its transformation into energy.
A study by Harvard University showed that eating whole fruits prevents type 2 diabetes, unlike the juices extracted from the fruits that are particularly rich in fructose and low in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and increase the risk of diabetes.
In addition, the fructose content in marketed beverages inhibits the leptin, responsible for satiety hormone. Therefore, you will tend to eat more and store more so called visceral fat, which will be housed in the abdomen and that will increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What is the alternative for agave syrup?
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, says that agave syrup, because of its high concentration of fructose is bad for health. It is therefore recommended to find other more natural and less harmful substitutes, such as organic honey or stevia which are natural sweeteners that can be consumed even by people with diabetes, but in moderation.
References: besthealthmag.ca, authoritynutrition.com