Is Agave “nectar” good for you?
The unfortunate truth about agave “nectar”. Agave nectar has been presented to the unsuspecting public as a natural alternative to other sugars that is better for you than regular sugar. The claims are that it is natural, organic, raw, diabetic-friendly, etc… The truth is that it is very similar to the villainous high fructose corn syrup. In fact agave “nectar” and HFCS “are indeed made the same way, using a highly chemical process with genetically modified enzymes. They also use caustic acids, clarifiers, filtration chemicals and so forth in the conversion of agave starches.” The result is a high level of highly refined fructose in the remaining syrup, along with some remaining inulin.” The problem, or real danger with high fructose corn syrup is the highly concentrated fructose in it. The average concentration of fructose in the sugars of high fructose corn syrup is 55%, in agave “nectar” the concentration is upwards of 70%.
Due to the clever marketing agave “nectar” appears to be a natural organic syrup or sap derived from the agave plant, in fact it is a processed food from the fiberous starch of the agave plant. There is often variation in the coloring of the syrup and this is passed off as normal variations due to the nectar being harvested in small artisan batches when in fact “Due to poor quality control in the agave processing plants in Mexico, sometimes the fructose gets burned after being heated above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, thus creating a darker, or amber color.” However, the labels create the impression of an artisan product—like light or amber beer. As consumers are learning about problems with agave syrup, the label “chicory syrup” is beginning to appear as a non-conforming word for the product. Consumer beware!”