There have been some articles surfacing that claim agave nectar is no better than high-fructose corn syrup–a statement that, as a vegan baker and agave-lover, flabbergasted me, to say the least. How could my beloved, natural, organic, alternative agave be no better than processed, Monsanto-sprayed, genetically modified high fructose corn syrup? Is my beloved brownie-sweetener really nothing more than glorified high-fructose junk?
The answer is not as black and white as the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF)–the group whose research started this “agave-gate”–would have you believe. (For more about the Weston A. Price foundation, read this.)
Agave can have a lot of fructose, around 90 percent (Sugar is 50 percent fructose, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is 55 percent). The problem with taking in a lot of fructose is that your body must convert it to glucose in the liver, but if you have too much, it gets stored as fat. Fructose is correlated with increased blood triglyceride levels, heart disease, and insulin resistance. This isn’t really a concern when you’re eating fruit, a natural source of fructose (along with other vitamins and minerals). It’s when synthetically made fructose is ingested in such concentrated levels that the problems arise.