Agave Nectar vs. Table Sugar



Q: Agave nectar is starting to pop up on my grocery-store shelves. What are the pros and cons of using agave instead of sugar? Should I switch?

A:  Agave nectar (or syrup) is a natural sweetener produced from the agave plant (actually, it’s the same plant used to make tequila). Some people think it tastes similar to honey with a hint of molasses. Agave nectar is 50 to 90 percent fructose in composition and, therefore, contains a higher percentage of fructose than regular old table sugar (sucrose). This high percentage of fructose has some benefits and some drawbacks.Because it’s lower in glucose, agave has a lower glycemic index than table sugar. That means agave doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike as rapidly after eating it, which means it can temper the sugar rush associated with eating sweets.

Also, its high fructose content makes agave nectar about 1.4 times sweeter than sugar, meaning you can use less agave to achieve the same level of sweetness. Even though agave and white sugar contain approximately the same number of calories (about 20 calories per teaspoon), the fact that you can use less to sweeten your coffee, morning oatmeal, or baked goods means you could save yourself a few calories. In baked goods and sweet treats, you can substitute 1/2 to 2/3 cup agave nectar for every cup of granulated sugar.

Now for the downside: Fructose is metabolized differently from glucose, so it can have some undesirable effects on our here to read the rest of the answer!


August 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Diet, Interesting Articles, Weight Loss Tips.


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