I recently read that Agave Nectar is “worse than high fructose corn syrup.” I wanted to make sure I am using it wisely, so I asked Nutritionist, Sandi Star, because I know she recommends using Agave in her Nutritional Consulting practice. Sandi explained that like all products, the ethics and production methods of the manufacturer makes all the difference in the quality and nutritional content of the end product.
Not all Agave is certified 100% organic, low-glycemic, all-natural, minimally processed, and additive and enzyme free. Good quality Agave is made only from the prized Weber Blue Agave plant because of its unique natural carbohydrate profile and richer agave taste. Some brands use lower-cost varieties of the agave plant, resulting in a lower quality and less nutritional product.
Does Agave Nectar come from starch like corn syrup? No! There is no starch in the agave plant. Some internet websites inaccurately state that agave is similar to corn syrup. By simply adding heat, the agave plant’s inulin-fructans (a carbohydrate) converts to natural fruit sugar (similar to heating an apple).
Quality Agave Nectar is an all-natural, low glycemic sweetener that tastes great and offers an alternative to sugars, high fructose corn syrups, and artificial sweeteners. Good quality Agave Nectar is delicious, and possesses several key attributes compared to chemically processed sugars, high fructose corn syrups, and artificial sweeteners:
· Low glycemic (Amber & Raw GI Rated at 17)
· 100% organic and Kosher
· 1.4x sweeter than sugar (use less, save calories)
· Dissolves in cold and hot!
· Will not crystallize
· Fantastic Taste!
· Naturally Gluten-free
“I use Agave as my main sweetener. The fructose in it accounts for its low glycemic load. The body does not metabolize this natural sugar well, so it does not readily raise blood sugar (glucose) levels. I wouldn’t worry about the effect on your liver of modest quantities of agave or fructose. My main concern about agave is its sustainability as a food source since demand may soon exceed supply.” Andrew Weil, M.D.
As more consumers look for ways to add healthier foods to their diets, Agave Nectar is one of the fastest growing natural alternatives to sugar in theUS. Every part of this amazing plant is utilized for nourishment, medicinal, and ceremonial purposes. Organic Agave provides jobs for the local residents, revenue for the community, sustainable farming practices, fair wages to workers, and a sense of pride in the Jalisco region ofMexico.
Here is Sandi Star’s Agave Conversion Instructions:
Agave Nectar is sweeter than sugar, so you can use less!
1. Substitute 2/3 cup agave nectar per 1 cup sugar.
2. Compensate for the moisture in the agave nectar by reducing other liquids added by 1 FL OZ per 2/3 cup agave used. You can also estimate the moisture to be approx. 20% of the agave used.
3. To avoid overbrowning, oven temperature should be reduced by 25 degrees F and baking time increased by about 6%.
This general guide should be suitable for most recipes, but don’t be afraid to tweak it to suit your personal taste.
Thank you, Sandi Star, for your expertise and full spectrum health advisory. Here are a couple of Sandi’s products for your health and enjoyment!