Recently I was questioned by one of my customers and David about the real health value of this long established healthy sweetener, agave syrup or agave nectar.
I had always thought agave was much healthier than cane, especially than white sugar or most other sweeteners. I knew the fact that the syrup’s low in GI level was good for our blood sugar, and the source plant agave looked and sounded very exotic, strong hence healthy to me. However, the time has come to correct those perceptions on this yummy looking product always labelled as ‘healthy substitute to sugar’.
I did some research straightaway. The result turned out, according to many health experts and institutions, agave is rather bad than good. Of course, in general sweet things are more associated with negative than positive in terms of our health. However, agave seems to go beyond the line. It is so high in fructose, higher than that found in white sugar and can cause serious damage to your liver. You may not feel the effect in a short term, but in a longer term this is more detrimental to your health.
Being low in GI sounds really good and its the strong selling point of this syrup. However, some say “the blood sugar is meant to go up and down, therefore, low GI has not so much to offer than you think. Instead, our body doesn’t recognise agave as sugar so the insulin doesn’t respond to it, triggering our appetite even more.
After the research I cancelled all the agave nectar I had ordered to use for Naoko’s Wholesome Kitchen. After reading the opinions and facts online, now agave is moved to ‘I will not use this product’ section in my cooking dictionary. I don’t feel comfortable putting it into my body therefore I will not use it for my business to serve the customers. For now, I’ve decided to use date syrup which is made from 100% dates.
I understand no food, even the healthiest super food, shouldn’t be consumed in an excessive amount. And I believe a little bit of something that’s considered to be bad, such as white sugar, can’t destroy you taken every now and then. In fact, I’d rather eat those foods occasionally, enjoy it, and be able to eliminate them correctly from my system.
By writing this post I am not saying you should stop using the product. I think it’s very important to do your own research to make your own judgement. Going for or against any products just because others say they are good or bad takes away the opportunity to learn. I believe that the accumulation of this learning leads to a better self care, confidence, healthier body and mind, too.
There are a lot more information about this topic and if you wanted to know what they are, time to do your research!