Here's info to make an informed decision about agave syrup before you buy this expensive & much hyped sweetener that claims to be diabetes friendly.

Agave syrup is not a raw food, despite some label statements that it is. It's a processed product.

Agave is highly refined fructose & far from an ideal sweetener for diabetics or non-diabetics. Agave is 70%-90% refined fructose (the remainder is glucose), compared to high fructose corn syrup in soda that's around 55% refined fructose. Both are processed in a similar way using genetically modified enzymes & agave is more concentrated.

So, is agave a low glycemic food? Yes, in that it reportedly doesn't cause immediate BG spikes. But, & this is a big but, refined fructose is an unhealthy substance that is associated with many health problems. Fructose in fruit contains naturally occuring enzymes, vitamins, fiber & minerals that facilitate it being assimilated by our bodies.

An aside, as a Type 1 I prefer having carbs hit faster than slower. I don't want surprises hours later. Research conducted to determine GI values used non-diabetic subjects, so the value of GI for Type 1s is questionable.

Refined fructose decreases the sensitivity of insulin receptors, obviously a big problem for diabetics. The prevalence of highly refined corn syrup (fructose) in processed foods & soft drinks has been linked to the increase in T2 diabetes.

Fructose causes an increase in blood levels of lactic acid & also increases uric acid.

Research strongly suggests that refined fructose is more harmful than glucose. Unlike glucose which is metabolized by every cell, refined fructose is processed by the liver.

Fructose interferes with cooper metabolism. Cooper deficiency leads to heart conditions, anemia & prevents collagen formation, among a host of other problems.

Agave being promoted as a health food, or a good alternative to sugar, is pure marketing hype. Smoke & mirrors.

Caveat emptor.

Tags: Food, agave, glycemic, index, low, sweetener

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The Vitamin Shoppe brand is good & uses fiber for the bulking agent so it's zero carbs. NuNaturals pure stevia is very good, I think. I don't like things very sweet, so I don't use a lot.
Thanks, Gerri!
Hope you like one of them. The worst stevia I've had was liquid.
I was looking at a D book, minding my own business, and a woman who said she was a nurse approached me and started promoting agave nectar as an awesome alternative for PWD. I stuttered for a moment and then said, "We'll stick with the fake stuff, thanks." I think she was surprised.
You can get Agave that is almost 100% raw but you won't find it on the grocery shelves - you have to order it online. When I used to do a raw food diet (way before the D), we used agave because most sugars are not raw or natural. I never remembered it being touted as being good for diabetic - in fact, I don't think it was ever consider a low-glyemic food. It is very sweet and tastes like a combo of honey and maple syrup. Since raw vegans don't eat honey they go for the agave. That said, their is another more natural sweetner that is consider to be low-gyemic (well at least in the world of raw food) which is called Yacon syrup - it is very much like molasses but isn't as sweet as agave. I don't know what the index is on it though and whether or not it diabetic same - my guess is no. There is also jerusalem artichoke syrup which is even suppose to be lower than yacon syrup but very expensive - I have ever tasted it but it is supposed to be beneficial for diabetics because it has inulin in it (which I guess is supposed to be good for the pancras). Again another one of those things you have to buy online but I think remember seeing something that had it added to it at the health food store. I would be up for trying it some day.

I have an ethical problem with things like high fructose corn syrup and processed sugars like that. It is just the big companies way to cheapen our food without regards to whether or it is healthy for us and still make money off us. I refused to eat it for many years - even before the D - and I still would not.

Something interesting though- I saw a thing on I think is was Discovery Channel - it is that show called "Life After People" and they had one on what would happen to all the food if humans just vanished - Well, the food that would last the longest, if it was sealed in an air tight glass container and stayed that way, was honey! It would apparently they said still be good to eat after some 100 of thousands of years or some obscene number like that. It even beat out canned foods! I thought that was pretty interesting!
I extensively researched agave & there doesn't appear to be any that's truly raw despite label claims because it's not like honey or maple syrup that can be tapped from a plant (or hive) without a lot of processing. That's why it's sooo sweet. Big furor of how misleading agave marketing has been. It's a scam.

I've been meaning to try Yacon syrup.

White sugar lasts about forever also. Have you ever seen moldy sugar? It doesn't go bad.
I don't use sweeteners, Gerri, but it does sound like you've done lots of research and provided some great info. Interesting because yesterday's episode of DiLife had a recipe for something using agave! I like that show but have been fairly unimpressed by the recipe segment.
Coconut crystals are a great low-glycemic, natural alternative, or so I've found. They're just wicked expensive.
Ooo, that sounds great!
My tummy can't handle Splenda, Stivia, etc. I eat oatmeal, etc, with no sweetener.
Keep a skeptical eye out when claims are made about fructose and high fructose corn syrup. There is little valid scientific evidence of harm - other than that from over eating. Educate yourself at this link:
Yowza. I'm a little skepthical of this skeptoid. Claiming HCFS is just like table sugar and referring to that esteemed authority, Dr. Oz, the guru expert to the Oprah just totally moves me. Excuse me for not being convinced. I would certainly agree, cut back on the sugar. But please don't try to substitute HFCS for sugar.




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