Monday, April 29, 2013

Agave Nectar: Healthy Alternative or Poisonous Additive?

Good morning!

About 2 years ago I was convinced that Agave was the IT replacement for sugar and honey.  But after using different "organic" brands of Agave I just wasn't convinced that this ultra-sugary alternative was all that healthy for us.  Off to do my own research!  

After what I found we quit using agave.  Surprisingly enough, I lost 3 pounds in a little over a week and I didn't do anything differently.  Not only that, my joints became less achy (I'm only 30 so I shouldn't have achy joints at all).

I'm here to share a little bit of both sides and let YOU decide!

Here's what I found:
Negatives of Agave:

"Agave syrup (nectar) is basically high-fructose corn syrup masquerading as a health food" by Dr. Jonny Bowden

“organic and all-natural,” the label does not explain that the syrup has gone through an extensive process of chemical refining which changes the enzymatic structure of the syrup, converting it into a man-made chemical fructose. Global Healing Center 

Positives of Agave: 

"beyond being a natural sweetener -- from weight loss to wound healing." from SheKnows 

"the dietary benefits of using Agave Nectar are related to how injesting it affects one’s blood sugar and insulin levels." SnackleMouth

As always, I suggest you do your own research.  I've gone back to using honey in my coffee and quite a few of my recipes.  When a recipe calls for sugar I use organic and cut down on the amount.  If it's a baking recipe that calls for oil and sugar I replace the oil with unsweetened apple sauce and cut the sugar in half.  These are just some of the "tweaks" I make to regular everyday recipes.  Enjoy!

Stop by tomorrow for another Tuesdays with a Twist AND a Giveaway!

Linking up another healthy post HERE.
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The Self Sufficient HomeAcre


Walking on Sunshine said...

Very interesting. I watch my sugar also and have been using this on top of waffles or pancakes, etc. BUT I hardly make them as they're not the best for me anymore and my family prefers eggs most mornings. I will look into this product again!

litlsis said...

With all the controversy, I don't see the point of using it. There are many natural sweeteners. I tend toward maple syrup when I need liquid and when I need dry for baking, I usually cut in half and then use the cleanest sugar I have (raw turbinado or coconut).

Becca Acker said...

Crazy that they can hide, basically high fructose corn syrup, under the label like that!

Gail @ said...

I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and I keep reading conflicting things about agave. Some articles recommend it if you have IBS and some recommend against it. I initially bought some thinking it was healthy, but I've quit using it because there are other alternatives. But I didn't realize it was so highly processed. Thanks for the info. said...

my SIL had a big jar of it for her tea and coffee. She made me put it in my tea and I hated the taste...I rather load up on sweet and low (which I hate) than this.

But thanks for sharing all the facts, most of which I didn't know.

Stopping by from the All My Bloggy Friends Blog Hop, have a nice day

Lisa Ehrman said...

Thanks for the info. I've been cooking with it. I have Fibromyalgia and arthritis and looks like I may have chosen the wrong sweetner. :)

Joyce said...

I bought some, tasted it, and that was that. I tried some different organic sugars, but didn't like any of them until I found Turbinado.

Mamal Diane said...

I have never tried it. I use honey or sucanat now instead of white sugar. I try to limit my sugar intake. Great information. Thanks for sharing at The Gathering Spot. Have a wonderful week :)

D Stepp said...

You always have something interesting to read and think about! Thanks so much for joining the Rock N Share party! Hope to see you again soon! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

Amy said...

I learned this recently too - thanks for sharing this important information - so many people go around thinking it's a health food because it's a natural sweetener - but it really is chemically almost identical to HFCS. Thanks again for sharing this!

Essentials Chic said...

I have been wondering this myself recently! Thanks for sharing.

Lisette said...

I didn't realize that agave is so processed that it resembles high fructose corn syrup! It has an excellent marketing program!

Here's an article about HFCS possibly being to blame for collapse of bee colonies:

When the bees' honey is taken away, they are given HFCS as a substitute, and protective genes aren't activated and their immunity suffers (otherwise, they could withstand some of the pesticides and parasites that have been implicated in the bee die-offs).

What I take from this is stick with honey or nothing!

Linda Nortje said...

I am trying to watch my weight, but these days every second sugar replacement is "dangerous" ! Thank you for sharing this interesting post at our ALL MY BLOGGY FRIENDS party :-)

With A Blast said...

These things bum me out. I just go ahead and eat regular sugar (maybe the raw stuff if we have it) if I want something sweet. Occasionally I'll use honey, but there are lots of other options out there. And they don't quite taste the same to me. But it sucks that everybody's out there trying to make a dollar, making products that are bad for us and whatnot - I have a feeling they know it's not great, but they market it anyway just to get ahead.

Stopping by from the Bouquet of Talent :)

Carol J. Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing what you found out. I've never tried agave nectar, but now I know to do extra research. Thanks for coming to the HomeAcre Hop. Come back and see us this week: