Watch Global TV's Family Health with Beatrice Politi tonight around 6:15 pm to hear a few different thoughts (including mine!) on agave nectar, and stevia, two natural sweeteners that have recently received alot of press.
Agave nectar is a sap from the agave plant that looks like and is processed very similar to maple syrup. I've used it in a few raw food baked good recipes which I've posted on my blog before. It is natural but is not calorie-free. Sugar is sugar. Empty calories are empty calories.
There are a few good things and a few concerns about agave nectar. One great thing is that it is a low glycemic food so it doesn't spike blood sugar like white sugar or brown sugar or honey. However long term it may decrease the sensitivity of insulin receptors, possibly not making it a great choice for diabetics.
It is mostly (90%) fructose though which has been implicated in rising blood triglyceride levels, and increased uric acid (what contributes to gout). Since it is mostly fructose it has to be metabolized by the liver which converts it to fat much easier and quicker than with sugar.
Tune in for more information and I'll also post the link tomorrow as usual!
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