Food for Thought: Is Agave a healthier alternative to sugar?


You may see agave advertised as a healthier alternative to sugar, but is it? 

Agave syrup comes from the same cactus plant from which we get tequila. However, it is highly processed and generally is not more healthful than sugar.

The ads say agave has a lower glycemic index which means it does not raise blood sugar as much as granulated sugar. However, this claim is misleading. Agave is high in fructose, which does raise blood sugar less than granulated sugar, but it has some harmful qualities.  

Fructose raises your bad cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid and the fat in your liver.  All these factors increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease. So no sugar, including agave, is healthful and all sugars should be use in small portions.

Experts suggest we eat just 5 percent of our calories from added sugars.  On average that is about 6 teaspoons a day.

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