Peace & Love Everyone!
It’s been a minute since I’ve written. I really just needed some time to catch up on some other things. I’m back now with a lot to say. 😉 Today I would like to blog about Agave…… Yes, that’s what I said. Agave, is it better than sugar?
I’ve always felt that if you have to substitute anything maybe you should do without it. Now I know, in America we’ve built entire industries on giving you a better way to indulge. At least they say it’s better. As time has passed we’ve learned that it really isn’t.
So let’s see. We’ve tried to substitute sugar with Nutra sweet, diet drinks and aspartame. I still don’t know how people can do it. Those diet drinks are gross to me. But I guess people figured they want it but can’t have it, so sub it. That’s where it all started. We wanted to indulge with none of the consequences. Funny how we accepted our substitutes with no questions asked. Come to find out there were consequences, we just didn’t know it. Not to mention the consequences from the substitutes are always worse then the real thing.
Yet and still we are looking for and accepting substitutes. So corn syrup was a big thing. Cheaper than sugar and pretty sweet. Companies put it in EVERYTHING. Even food that didn’t need it had corn syrup. Guess what, we found out it reeked all kinds of havoc with our bodies. Unfortunately, it’s still in almost every food we eat. We want to get rid of it but it’s taken over. Feels like an invasion.
So when they could no longer convince us that the chemicals were great and that corn syrup, natural as it may be, was good, they found a sweetener they could pass off as natural. Agave. 😱
Now you’re probably thinking, ‘Hey that’s a plant. It’s natural.’ Well, I mean, corn is a plant and agave is a plant. All natural right? Sounds good. It’s natural and sweet. Unfortunately, that’s not altogether true. While agave and corn are plants, that’s not the problem. The problem is that in order to get the sugar out of the plant it has to go through a process and that process is what changes the natural into not so natural.
What’s so bad about agave? Well, it’s 1.5 times sweeter than sugar and has 60 calories per tablespoon. That’s more than the same amount of table sugar, which according to most websites are 48 calories for a tablespoon. Now that may not sound so bad. But it’s marketed as better and those who are watching their calories may want to avoid it.
But why would someone recommend it? Well, according to Dr. Axe’s website, most of the sweetness in the agave is mostly fructose and it doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels the same as sugar does. This is starting to sound like not so bad and it’s sweeter. But there is a problem. Even though it contains the same fructose as a piece of fruit, it’s been processed. It has none of the fiber, vitamins or nutrients.
Okay, but sugar has no real value itself, right?
Actually, brown sugar has some nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, niacin, vitamin b6, magnesium, and several other minerals. It has all of this because it doesn’t go through a chemical process to make it white.
Wait that’s not all. A lot of fructose isn’t good for a low carb diet. It essentially has a lot of carbs and sugar. And sugar equals fat.
This is sounding worse by the minute. The process that agave goes through to produce the syrup actually removes the benefits of the nectar. Without processing, agave has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The process ruins all of that.
So that still leaves us with the fact that it’s sweeter than table sugar and doesn’t register in blood levels. Sounds okay, except your body cannot break down the fructose. Actually, only your liver can break down the fructose and this turns it into fat. As if that’s not bad enough it increases your triglyceride levels and increase your risk for fatty liver disease.
Wait, there’s more. Not only can it increase fat in the body but in the long term it can affect your blood sugar and contribute to insulin resistance. So your body won’t be able to move insulin to your bloodstream for energy. And no, I’m not finished. Long term use or increased consumption can lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. As well as an increase in belly fat and weight gain.
So when it’s all said and done, I’ll stick to the real thing. Brown sugar and honey or nothing at all. The substitutes are just not worth the extra problems they cause.
Until next week….Peace and Love.