What’s up with Agave?

Agave is a natural sweetener that comes from the succulent plant traditionally used to make tequila. I used to recommend that my diabetic patients use agave as an alternative to white sugar or high fructose corn syrup because it has been marketed as a low-glycemic product, meaning it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels to the high levels that white sugar does.

However, although agave is ranked low on the glycemic index, it shouldn’t be used liberally because it is actually higher in calories per tablespoon than white sugar. Also, agave hasn’t traditionally been used as a sweetener. It is condensed syrup man-made from the natural sugars found in the succulent plant from which it has been derived. Because it is condensed, it is 1 ½ times sweeter than white sugar per tablespoon, so you don’t have to use much of it as you would with white sugar to sweeten your morning coffee or tea, or when baking or cooking. However, though agave is a natural product, just like all sugars, your daily consumption should be limited to small quantities.

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The truth about agave

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