Home Diets to lose weight Agave Syrup Is it as healthy as they say?

Agave Syrup Is it as healthy as they say?

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

A sweetener, different

This product is a true stranger to the vast majority but lately some homeopaths and naturopaths have made it fashionable as a sweetener .

Also known as Agave Nectar or Agave Honey, it is the sweet vegetable juice that is extracted from the plant with the same name, which has an appearance similar to yucca or a cactus such as Aloe Vera or Aloe Vera . This plant is native to Tropical, Subtropical, and Caribbean America. There are more than 100 varieties, although blue Agave and Maguey are generally used to make agave syrup.

The procedure says a lot about the purity and effectiveness of the product because, when it has grown for around 7 and 10 years, the sap is extracted and fermented , from which we obtain pulque (which is used as an alcoholic beverage in Mexico) after Obtain pulque is an enzymatic process that breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars. Once this process has elapsed, we obtain the syrup, which has a texture similar to honey.

This syrup has a double concentration of common sugar, 70% is fructose and 30% glucose. It has more calories than common sugar but as it has a higher concentration, we will consume less because a little is enough to sweeten the product to our liking.

What does Agave syrup give us?

It is attributed a low glycemic index, lower than sugar that makes us feel full earlier, but for less time than syrup. This can lead to eating less, but it is not necessarily healthier than regular sugar .

Although it is true depending on how the obtaining procedure has been carried out, the syrup is of greater or lesser quality, since when obtained through an enzymatic chemical process, some of the syrups end up being 100% fructose; If it is over-refined, it would lose part of its properties by losing fruit oligosaccharides with probiotic properties that help intestinal transit and strengthen the immune system . These fruit oligosaccharides are modified in the enzymatic process in the transformation of the syrup, generating a higher concentration of fructose , which causes an increase in triglycerides, greater risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

Agave Syrup better than sugar?

As everyone knows, sugar is the drug of the 21st century and more and more people are aware of its negative effects produced by an excessive consumption of sugar in the diet, this motivates us to look for alternatives to sweeten our dishes and drinks ; thus falling into the error of consuming products that are less healthy than sugar. This is the case of agave syrup, since if the production system were as it was traditionally done, the syrup would retain the nutritional properties attributed to it but is currently refined in such a way that it loses all its nutritional value .

Is Agave Syrup better for diabetics?

One of the commercial hooks of agave syrup is precisely this, and it has an explanation. According to their properties, the high fructose content, which does not produce blood glucose peaks , is the best sweetener for diabetics. So far, everything is correct but we must emphasize that this refers to fructose in a natural way, since in nature we do not find fructose molecules in isolation as occurs in agave syrup; the natutal fructose is found in the fruit accompanied by water, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, pectins and it is also mixed with other sugars, however the fructose that we find in the agave syrup is pure and without any nutrient; which causes damage to the body.

Why is eating fruit, which contains fructose, is healthy while agave syrup is not? The answer is very simple: when you eat fruit, the fructose it contains, together with the rest of the nutrients, makes it pass slowly and reach the liver, where it is metabolized. If it arrives slowly, it is absorbed and the body will not detect a surplus, while if it is purely fructose without other nutrients , an explosion of fructose reaches the liver that causes it to accumulate in the form of fat that will circulate through the blood until it accumulates in the adipose tissue.

Therefore, we can affirm that agave syrup is NOT better than sugar for diabetics either , since it is not the same as consuming natural fructose from fruit. And the fact that it can be healthier than sugar depends a lot on how you extract and refine the product.

  • Without a doubt, today the best sweetener for diabetics is stevia .

Agave syrup for weight loss and its relationship with the fitness world

Another of the sectors that fell at the feet of this substance are the people who decide to take care of themselves and exercise, it is the perfect audience for all kinds of products of this style, since agave syrup is sold because despite containing the same calories than sugar, its concentration is higher and therefore we consume less; but do we really consume less? It is not quite like that, sometimes it can be worse because thinking that we consume less … we end up adding more than necessary.

The desire to take care of ourselves, lose weight and provide the body with healthier sugars makes us fall into typical mistakes like this; And that is what has happened with agave syrup since it was marketed with the idea that it was not fattening and does not produce blood glucose peaks, which makes us keep glucose levels stable, thus controlling appetite; And this is not really the case, because pure fructose causes more damage to the liver, causing all fructose to accumulate in the form of fat, and increasing the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease .

In addition, fructose inhibits the level of leptin, the satiety hormone that indicates to the body that it is no longer hungry, that is, fructose makes us want to continue eating, which contributes to weight gain .

Contraindications of Agave Syrup

As we have commented previously, Agave syrup can have negative consequences on our body such as an increase in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels . Also, people who have hyperuricemia problems (gout attacks) should not consume it because fructose can worsen their symptoms. It also contributes to an increased risk of diseases such as obesity and tooth decay.

Sugar, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, agave syrup, stevia, saccharin?

There are so many types of sweeteners and sweeteners that we no longer know which one to choose. The fundamental thing is to be able to reduce the consumption of all of them, but in the case of using any of them, we will prefer unrefined brown cane sugar, honey or stevia . As long as they are as less refined as possible, and their process of obtaining is the most natural.

While it is true, these fads have their supporters and detractors. There is no better answer than seeing how it influences your body. Try it, you do try to acquire the one with the lowest glycemic index , since this will mean that it is less refined.

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