I have been wanting to write this post for a while, however, I had to be fully prepared. As I sit here typing away I begin to feel my body warm with the disappointment and anger fuelled by the sugar craze that is agave. I won't get started on the other 'healthy sugar alternatives' because that is a whole other blog post. But for now, my main focus is agave.
We all know sugar is bad for our health, many of us wouldn't dare put it in our tea let alone our porridge or morning smoothie. Yet we seem to have replaced this sugar with agave which has taken over the 'health industry'; with some of the biggest bloggers and foodies jumping on the wagon and drowning their porridge in agave. However, I want to let you into the dark secrets behind the plant sweetened syrup.
At first glance agave seems like the sweetest option. It's quite simply fruit sugar and we all know that fruit contributes to our 5-a-day (something that the government and food industry bang on about). However, when we begin to look into the effects agave has on our liver and our overall health we realise it isn't quite so sweet after all.
Let me explain: agave is particularly high in fructose (fruit sugar) which to be fair does not spike the blood sugar as much as glucose, therefore agave has a lower glycaemic index than sucrose (table sugar). However, the only organ which can metabolise fructose is the liver. The liver requires the presence of glucose to help metabolise fructose. Agave contains significantly more fructose than it does glucose and as a result the liver struggles to metabolise the fructose. Consequently, the fructose storage builds up around the liver and contributes to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Finally, research has identified that there were no significant differences in weight reduction, glucose tolerance or inflammation between agave, high-fructose corn syrup or fructose.
Maybe agave isn't the sweetest option after all.
I rest my case.