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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Agave Nectar

Here is my latest little find…Agave Nectar.  It’s a nice natural sweetener to add to your repertoire.  Compared to honey it is not as thick and is more mild in flavor, which I like for some purposes.  The gycemic load and gycemic index of agave nectar are lower, which is good for those with diabetes.

But let’s talk health claims for a moment.  Agave nectar is not necessarily healthier than other sugars.  I actually bought it initially because I heard it was better for you (not good for you, just not as bad).  Well, it’s about as healthy as sugar.  Or even high-fructose corn syrup, for that matter (HFCS and agave nectar have very similar composition).  I suppose the lower glycemic index and gylcemic load is a good thing, but high levels of fructose, which agave nectar has, is not so great for you.  It all ends up coming out in the wash.

But I still like it. It’s a nice alternative to have in the cupboard. We’ve enjoyed using it to sweeten oatmeal (it’s much cheaper than pure maple syrup) and yogurt, and Cate likes it on her toast!

PS…I’m no scientist or dietician…if you are more interested in the composition of agave nectar and such, click here or here or here or here. 🙂


  1. My hippie friend just gave me a bottle of this stuff- LOVE it. I’ve been using it as a honey substitute in recipes, or as a sugar substitute. Sweet without being too sweet.

  2. 2

    I tried the Maple-Agave blend from Trader Joe’s just because it’s cheaper than the pure maple syrup. I’m switching from Aunt Jemima so I think it’s a step in the right direction as far as healthy goes, right?

    • Hi Renee
      unfortunately Agave syrup isn’t all it’s “sugar coated” up to be… Agave syrup may be low in glucose (which is why people following the Glycemic Index might think it’s a healthy substiture, but it contains LOADS of fructose!
      Actually: it has more fructose than High Fructose Corn Syrup!
      (High fructose intake has been linked to insulin resistance, hypertension, heart disease and hypertension).
      I hope that helps!

  3. 3

    The Weston A. Price quarterly journal recently featured an article on agave contrasting its modern and traditional forms and comparing it to other traditional sweeteners such as maple syrup. I was surprised to learn that agave is 98% fructose! Yes, this would land our beloved agave in the HFCS status (high fructose cactus syrup)! Do your own research on-line at the WAPF site. I can’t do the high fructose thing to my family.

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