The Truth About Agave

From Experience Life

Is agave nectar a healthy alternative sweetener or an overhyped sugar syrup?

The claim: Agave nectar has gotten some positive press for being better for you than sugar and many other sweeteners because it metabolizes more slowly. Food manufacturers who package and sell agave in the U.S. market also claim that it has been used medicinally by indigenous people in Mexico and Central America for centuries.

The reality: How fast or slow agave metabolizes depends on its level and method of processing. Derived from a starchy root, agave has been used in Central America for centuries, but not always as medicine. Indigenous people both fermented it to create an alcoholic beverage and also boiled it to make miel de agave, a reduction they used as a sweetener. But that sweetener, which was minimally refined and probably slower to digest as a result, bears no resemblance to the agave nectar now on most store shelves.

The fine print: The modern process for producing agave nectar is not unlike the process of converting corn into high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Most industrially produced agave syrup is processed with enzymes and other harsh chemicals that convert the starches into fructose, according to osteopathic physician and best-selling author Joseph Mercola, DO. The finished product, agave nectar, is 70 percent (or more) fructose, on par with HFCS.

Bottom line: If you’re avoiding added sugars, and especially fructose, don’t give commercial agave syrup a special pass.

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Tanya W.
Tanya W5 years ago


J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

good to know

Magda F.
Magda F5 years ago


Ajla C.
Past Member 5 years ago


Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad5 years ago

This too is not good for you either! You need to go with stevia strictly if you want an all natural sugar, Period!

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

But it has one advantage: it's used in making tequila!!! ;-)

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

I don't think it's available in Poland anyway, or if it is, it's probably very expensive. ;-)

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

I like stevia just fine for coffee. I don't eat other sweet(pastries, etc).

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for the information.