Agave Nectar: Healthy or Hype?

Caroltoo
By Caroltoo Latest Reply 2012-03-28 20:29:38 -0500
Started 2012-03-26 17:10:20 -0500

There have been several mentions of Agave Nectar recently. This article offers some insight into how agave compares with high fructose corn syrup and sugar.

http://www.realage.com/food/agave-nectar-heal...


35 replies

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-03-28 19:12:27 -0500 Report

A somewhat unbiased article on Stevia !
http://www.theironyou.com/2012/01/stevia-good...
Another bit of info:
http://www.stevia.net/cspi.htm

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-28 19:21:44 -0500 Report

Thanks, Jigsaw, that is a nicely presented article. Most of it, I am familiar with, but the part about it perhaps increasing insulin production was a new point.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-03-28 19:39:26 -0500 Report

I really don't defend the use of sweetners as it may appear. I do choose to use a sweetner in my coffee in in small amounts. I have found neg reports on practically every sweetner where human consumption and side effects were involved. These reports in some cases appear valid, and in others they don't. The one exception is Stevia. I have not heard anything about human ills resulting as a result of its consumption. For this reason, and for the time being, I'll take my chances with Stevia.

MAYS
MAYS 2012-03-28 12:30:41 -0500 Report

To the human body, it's all sugar, no matter what type, or the name!
You may want to read this news article;

http://www.diabeticconnect.com/news-articles/...

~Mays~

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-28 12:35:51 -0500 Report

Thanks for the additional information. Hopefully those who use the product will review some of these marvelous sources you, Al, JBrown, and I have found.

jbrown51
jbrown51 2012-03-28 07:40:44 -0500 Report

Surgars are sugars no matter the form. Here is some info on sweeteners in general. Good luck.

http://health.yahoo.net/rodale/RH/the-4-best-...

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-28 12:14:09 -0500 Report

Good information. Thanks for sharing it.

That's why I have almost completely stopped using sugar in any form. I have some coconut crystals and stevia, but haven't used either in months. As for sucrose and corn syrup, they hit the trash several years ago.

jbrown51
jbrown51 2012-03-28 15:42:47 -0500 Report

Some studies have shown Stevia to reduce reproductive rates. Concentrations were 2.5% of total diet. Not sure any human would be consuming this amount. Just an FYI.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-03-28 17:57:39 -0500 Report

In all due respect jbrown51, when an excessive quantity of almost any food is consumed, it often causes unhealthy results. If your referring to the rats that were fed large quantities of Steviia, I'm not particularly phased by that test. On the other hand, humans have been consuming steviia for 100s of years with no documented side effects that I've heard about. It's been in use for 30 years in Japan. That impresses me more then a test on rats. I have been following reports on Stevia for many years and so far nothing terrible ha s been reported concerning human consumption. I think the test on rats was funded by a competitor that makes a competing sweetner. If you do have info from a respectable source that shows Stevia is harmful to humans, I would be very interested in seeing it. I mean this to simply be a point of info, since I thought your posted link was excellent.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-28 15:54:08 -0500 Report

True, that does seem to be a really high rate of usage and would be difficult since it is soooooo strong a flavor. I don't see how anyone could use more than a trace, so that makes it pretty risk free from my perspective. I'm pretty much sugar/sweetner/all variations free at this point anyway, but thanks.

I got the coconut crystals to experiment with if I baked, then found I was gluten intolerant and haven't yet made much effort to bake gluten free though I do now always prepare meals that are g-free. I've never eaten dessert regularly, so that's further down on my to do list!

Thanks for the information.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-03-27 15:10:47 -0500 Report

Some more food for thought ! I thought this video was very interesting. It points out a few things about Agave, that are worth looking into if you are considering its use !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAq8wdOR-fs

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-27 20:09:27 -0500 Report

Yes, Al, that is thought provoking. I've never used it as a sugar, but that would surely put me off it if I were using it! Our livers are stressed enough without adding more to their processing load and heart health (triglycerides) are an issue for many. Good sleuthing!!! Thanks.

Irish1951
Irish1951 2012-03-26 19:58:25 -0500 Report

I use Agave at times. I find it has no "aftertaste" that you can often get with most other types of sweetness. I use it almost exclusively in tea- specifically green tea. Tea's flavor can be so subtle that artificial sweetness or even honey can overpower the flavor of the tea.

I have also read about the cutting of Agave with HFC and look for those that list their ingredients as only agave. According to the articles I have read , Agave has a low GL which I have noticed in my testing before and after using it. It does not spike my numbers. Good for me but of course each of us react differently.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-03-26 18:22:39 -0500 Report

These links echo most of what I have read and heard from a few experts concerning Agave Nectar. From the info I have gathered over the years, all three are basically unhealthy foods, especially if you are a diabetic. Here are the links:
http://www.diabeticseniors.com/agave-syrup/

http://www.3fatchicks.com/agave-nectar-safe-f...

locarbarbie
locarbarbie 2012-03-27 14:27:33 -0500 Report

I checked out the diabeticseniors link…looks like a good site to visit, thanks. I had heard that it is due to the processing process that agave should be avoided. I had been tempted to try it but did not because of this.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-26 19:47:51 -0500 Report

Thanks, Jigsaw. More input and information is always welcome when we are trying to evaluate a product.

Personally, for the little bitty use I have, I'm still leaning towards coconut crystals, but someone else may be interested in the Agave since it keeps getting brought back up as new people come onsite.

locarbarbie
locarbarbie 2012-03-27 14:32:14 -0500 Report

I use organic coconut crystals and stevia in my coffee…just a little bit is all I need. I love it. I am also finding that you really need to read the labels on Stevia products. Even though I am a label reader for the most part, I have bought Stevia products that contain other stuff such as erithrynol (sp??). These manufacturers are really becoming tricky.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-03-27 15:35:32 -0500 Report

I started using coconut crystals also. I've used Stevia for years, and you are absolutely right about checking the labels carefully.

camerashy
camerashy 2012-03-26 17:29:12 -0500 Report

The Agave plant is what is used to make tequila, and I think that stuff really sucks. If the nectar tastes anything like the drink, you can keep it!

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-26 17:37:29 -0500 Report

Don't know, Camerashy. Never tried a straight shot of tequila and I haven't tried agave nectar either. Just offering a little information to add to a longstanding topic of discussion.

camerashy
camerashy 2012-03-26 17:51:52 -0500 Report

I've been hearing about Agave nectar, too. Some people think it's the bomb, and some think its A bomb. How are we ever going to get good, straight information?

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-26 17:55:57 -0500 Report

Have you viewed the link? It does share some information about agave. Among other things, it's says Agave has higher calories, so that even though you use less because it is stronger, the calorie count is about the same. This is from the Real Age sight, so it's not just about diabetes … probably why there is not carb counting information attached.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2012-03-26 17:21:37 -0500 Report

From what I read on that article it is MOSTLY hype.

And I have read somewhere that since HFCS is less expensive than Agave Nectar, often companies adulterate their AN with HFCS while charging the premium price for AN..

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-26 17:35:57 -0500 Report

Interesting, James, I hadn't heard about the use of HFCS to dilute it, but it is definitely how the industry thinks. I was not convinced that I saw anything that recommended use of it.

I think many people just jump on the "it's not sugar bandwagon" without thinking about the fact that it is still fructose which processes into sugar in our bodies.

Nick1962
Nick1962 2012-03-26 18:52:40 -0500 Report

Yup, it's still sugar, so I still stick to the real thing for as little as I consume. That and I'm too lazy to hunt it down.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-26 19:50:34 -0500 Report

I'm with you and don't use much … when I do it's now coconut crystals which I like better than most, but still use only a trace cause it's still sugar, just not cane or beet sugar.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-03-26 19:07:24 -0500 Report

Probably much worse and more unhealthy for PWD. Check out the links on my reply. It confirms what James has heard and much more !

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