Agave became immensely popular around 2010. Everyone said that agave is the perfect natural sweetener and a great sugar alternative. But, some studies might have something more to say about this sugar.
As a result, we decided to delve deeper into the positive and negative effects of agave nectar. And whether it is good or bad for our blood glucose levels.
Keep reading to find out if agave can spike blood sugar levels.
Does Agave Spike the Blood Sugar?
Agave nectar is made from many different types of agave plants native to southern Mexico. Some people compare the taste and consistency of this nectar to honey.
But, this plant is mostly used for making high-quality tequila. Other than that, manufacturers use it to make sweet syrup also known as agave nectar.
According to a Certified Diabetes Educator, Angela Ginn, agave contains minerals, carbohydrates, and vitamins such as potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium. However, it also contains calories.
Moreover, this nectar can come in different colors due to the filtration of minerals and salts during production.
Is Agave Nectar Healthy?
For a very long time, many healthy food advocates strongly believed that this nectar might be a perfect replacement for regular sugar for those with unstable blood sugar.
Because it is 90% fructose and not sucrose, its glycemic index is much lower than regular table sugar.
Therefore, it doesn’t have the same immediate punch to the blood sugar levels as regular sugar does.
However, according to various studies, this could be immensely misleading.
Even though it is true that the GI index is lower, basing healthfulness simply on the GI index can be immensely misleading.
In addition, agave contains a lot more fructose than any other sweeteners, including table sugar. As a result, the body releases far less insulin in response to fructose.
In other words, after eating agave nectar, blood glucose may remain higher than after eating any other sugars.
According to an animal study from 2014, agave nectar could be a healthier alternative to table sugar.
The mice who consumed the nectar had decreased their blood sugar levels a lot more than the other mice who consumed only table sugar.
Also, they gained less weight. However, the results may not be the same for humans. Moreover, the study also only compared table sugar to agave. Both of them are known to be harmful and dangerous for people with unstable blood sugar.
Even though agave may be slightly better than table sugar, it is not a healthier alternative.
Should People Consume Agave?
Agave is still sugar. Therefore, like high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar, we should avoid consuming agave if we have diabetes.
Moreover, people who have to stick to a healthy diet to properly manage their metabolic condition, should stay away from any form of sugar, rather than replace it with a different type of sugar.
Agave contains a lot more calories than table sugar. In one teaspoon of agave, there are 21 calories, while in a teaspoon of table sugar, there are 16 calories.
Agave may taste better and sweeter than sugar, but it may cause some very harmful health problems.
The Risks of Consuming Agave
Due to the high levels of fructose, agave can be extremely harmful to our blood glucose levels. Numerous studies have tried to prove this claim with plenty of research.
As researchers say, fructose can cause far worse effects than any other type of sugar.
According to a recent study from 2017, consuming an excessive amount of fructose can damage the liver. Since having diabetes increases the risk of developing liver disease, agave is a high-risk sweetener.
Therefore, it is best to avoid it. Moreover, too much fructose can cause inflammation and other illnesses.
Furthermore, different research from 2017 linked the fatty liver disease to the consumption of fructose. In addition, the research claims that alcohol consumption is not linked to fatty liver disease.
In fact, another SF Gate from 2013 claims that consuming too much fructose can cause plenty of metabolic problems.
As a result, It can cause oxidative stress, weight gain, and unhealthy high levels of fat around the waist.
Moreover, other studies also show that an excessive amount of fructose in the body can cause insulin resistance. According to the researchers who participated in the study, excessive fructose consumption can trigger dyslipidemia.
Therefore, eating agave or any other high-fructose sweetener can cause heart problems.
So, can we consume agave if we have diabetes? The answer is no – we should avoid consuming this sweetener.
Agave can affect our metabolic condition and cause a lot of health problems. If we still want to consume this sweetener, we can.
But, we should pay attention to caloric intake and consume agave in moderation.