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The Great Agave Nectar Debate

The Weston A. Price article goes on to slam agave nectar because of its saponin content, citing that saponin causes all manner of undesirable symptoms, from diarrhea to miscarriage. The report says, “At the very least, agave products should carry a warning label indicating that the product may cause a miscarriage.”

Yikes!

Opinions about saponins seem to vary depending on who you ask, too. Saponins are present in other foods, like alfalfa and many varieties of beans, which carry no such warning label.

They also say in the article that agave nectar is not a raw food, which is just flat out untrue. Agave nectar is not always raw, but it can be. While some manufacturers process agave using high heat, you can find raw agave processed with enzymes instead of heat. Many sorts of agave are processed using low heat, below the 118F threshold which is the limit for food to be considered raw.

Before we purge agave nectar from our cabinets, it’s important to consider the source of this information.

A comment on a Re-Nest article about the topic mentioned that the Weston A. Price Foundation is “widely criticized” and even called them “anti-vegan, anti-vegetarian and very pro-dairy.” A little Googling did turn up a few articles to support this comment. The site Disease Proof rails on the Foundation for “advocating a meat, butter, and raw milk-centered diet,” among other things. Veg Source has some not-so-nice things to say about them, too. Even their own site talks about their “emphasis on animal foods as essential for health.”

All of that said, agave nectar doesn’t strike me as terribly healthy. At its heart it’s a sugar, and as Dr. Robert Lustig would tell us, sugar is hazardous to our health in pretty much any form. Agave nectar isn’t health food, but I don’t think it’s the poison Weston A. Price Foundation makes it out to be, either.

So, I’m going to be keeping my bottle of agave nectar in the pantry for when I want to make truffles or sweeten my tea and practice moderation. What about you?

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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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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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