18 March

Agave is a great alternative to regular sugar? Think again

admin | Blog, Menu Development, restaurant trends

The health-conscious are always on the lookout for healthy alternatives, and so too are nutritionists and dieticians. Instead of drinking milk, you should opt for almond or soy milk. Whole grain wheat bread is more nutritious than white bread. And up until now, many were led to believe that agave nectar was a great, healthier sweetener alternative to white/refined sugar.

Flavored Agave NectarLet’s take a closer look. The major factor that differentiates agave nectar from refined sugar is that it has a low glycemic index (GI) rating. In other words, unlike white sugar, agave nectar won’t cause high sugar spikes. Further, another “healthy” benefit is that agave nectar tends to leave you feeling “fuller” which may mean you might eat less.

Then why has there been some debate on whether or not agave nectar is a healthy sweetener? In fact, some are labeling it as one of the worst sweeteners!  It appears that many brands of agave nectar contain high levels of fructose – sometimes more than even high fructose corn syrup! The high fructose content can go directly to the liver, which can increase heart disease from the resulting increased production of triglycerides and it can also lead to insulin resistance.

Check out this list of the five best sweeteners that has the stevia plant rounded out the group at number one.

As with any sweetener, be it honey, white sugar or agave nectar, the key thing to note is too much of it will always be unhealthy – everything in moderation. If you own a restaurant, it is prudent to have available various sweeteners for your guest should they have specific dietary needs or preferences.

Blog, Menu Development, restaurant trends