Is Agave the perfect sweetener?

Agave’s Syrup is a sweetener that has recently become a favorite among people who want to avoid sugar, since its syrup combines a very good taste and a low glycemic index. But is this the perfect sweetener?

Agave’s Syrup is made by filtering the juice of the plant and boiling it to create its final form [1]. Although the original juice contains inulin, a natural polysaccharide, the final product (we buy) contains a minimum amount of inulin, which is mainly fructose [2, 3].

The truth is that Agave syrup does not raise blood sugar levels, because it consists mainly of fructose (which fructose is less glycemic than glucose) [4]. This is why this sweetener is recommended for diabetics. However, fructose is dangerous to our health.

A recent study says that agave syrup could reduce the blood sugar levels from diabetics, while helping obese people to lose weight [5]. Although it sounds amazing, it’s not so because simply what we buy has nothing to do with the product used for the study.

According to study’s investigator Mercedes G. López, the researchers found that this sweetener is reducing glucose levels and at the same time increasing levels of GLP-1, a peptide that makes the stomach empty more slowly and facilitates the production of insulin, helping people feel fuller after their meals.

However, it should be noted that research only refers to agavins contained in unprocessed juice, which work like fiber (pass through without being digested) and not to the customer’s product, since after its chemical treatment it does not contains the specific fibers, which you should keep that in mind when reading about the properties of this sweetener so it does not confuse you.

As I wrote above, Agave syrup contains too much fructose, more than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) [6]. The high glucose content makes Agave syrup dangerous for promoting insulin resistance, metabolic problems, type 2 diabetes, as well as for triglyceride and uric acid levels [7, 8, 9, 10].

Fructose is mainly metabolized in the liver, and the excessive and long-term use may cause problems similar to chronic alcohol consumption [11]. Also, fructose is stored exclusively as fat by the body, increasing lipogenesis, since it does not have any nutritional value from the body [12, 13, 14].

You should not confuse fructose from Agave’s syrup (and HFCS) with the fructose in fruits, since the produced fructose does not come with the fiber fruits contains. Our body is made to process small amounts of fructose and in particular the quantity contained in a fruit. So, according to studies, Agave syrup is worse for your body, even than sugar.