Agave nectar was (and still is) thought to be the perfect sweetener for tea, coffee, and even an addition to a fruit salad. This plant in its natural form is known to be a healthier alternative than most sweeteners because it ranks relatively low on the glycemic index but is it really a healthy alternative?
I pulled agave from my shelf at home, and at the tea shop. Here’s why:
Agave nectar has a higher fructose content than most common sweeteners, even higher than high fructose corn syrup. It has the reputation of being a healthier alternative to most sweeteners but since the content of fructose is very high, most people that consume agave nectar on a regular basis are at risk for type 2 diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. According to Dr Andrew Weil, the high fructose level in agave nectar may also increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Studies have shown that the process in which agave nectar is extracted from the plant is a rather lengthy and grueling process, leaving very little health benefits for the consumer.
Ditch the sweeteners. Try adding grade A local maple syrup (as local as it can be for some that live in south Florida, of course), or organic raw honey to your beverages or snacks.