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The Great Agave Nectar Debate

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The Great Agave Nectar Debate

By Becky Striepe, Green Options

When I went vegan years ago, agave nectar was one of the first things on my shopping list. It’s commonly used as a vegan substitute for honey – you can substitute it in recipes that call for honey one-to-one. It’s also been touted as a healthy natural sweetener that doesn’t affect blood sugar levels in the same way as conventional sugar.

The report says that:

agave “nectar” and HFCS “are indeed made the same way, using a highly chemical process with genetically modified enzymes. They are also using caustic acids, clarifiers, filtration chemicals and so forth in the conversion of agave starches.” The result is a high level of highly refined fructose in the remaining syrup, along with some remaining inulin.

They also debunk the claims about its effects on blood sugar levels. They’re saying that fructose content has a point of diminishing returns and that agave nectar goes way beyond that point. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about this. An article from Natural News seems to support those claims about fructose, but then the LA times spoke to Roger Clemens, a professor at USC and spokesman for the Institute of Food Technologists about fructose in agave nectar. From what he said, it sounds like the amount of fructose can vary a lot depending on how it’s processed.

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118 comments

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2:08AM PDT on May 14, 2014

Thank you :)

7:07AM PST on Jan 31, 2013

This is one of the best article I have found about agave nectar. It is great that the author chose to take on both sides of the story and not just dwell on one side. Indeed, all agave are not equal. Aside from coming from differing species of the agave plant, they also have various processing procedures and content. I usually use xagave as my preferred brand as it is low in fructose organic, and raw.

2:31PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

good to know

2:26AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Samo domaci med

2:37PM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

I use local honey often.

7:04AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

I agree with Carlotta. I'm going to use more local honey. In fact my husband has been looking into starting a hive of our own. May very well be a good idea.

5:27AM PDT on May 8, 2011

Tequila!!!

1:58PM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

why honey, or agave?? I use nothing. i also drink plain silk soy milk. if i need to use a sweetener i use stevia.

8:35AM PST on Feb 20, 2011

local honey may be best

11:56AM PDT on Apr 6, 2010

Adds to the confusion... but thanks for some direction to go.

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