Agave nectar is a low-glycemic food (foods with a glycemic index lower than 55 are considered low glycemic), and as such – is less likely to trigger the body’s mechanism to store fat.
There is often a great deal of confusion with regard to what sweetener to use. In particular when we compare agave nectar and agave syrup, which are not the same. Don’t feel bad. Most medical doctors and even chiropractors don’t know the difference.
The creation of agave nectar is very similar to maple syrup. It’s made by extracting sap (in this case, from the center of the agave plant), filtering it, and then heating it at low temperature. This breaks down the carbohydrates into sugar. Lighter and darker varieties of agave nectar are made from the same plants. Low temperatures are used in processing many varieties of agave nectar (under 118 degrees F) – which is why agave nectar is typically regarded as a “raw food”. No chemicals or enzymes are added in the production of agave nectar.
The processing necessary to create Agave syrup is the same utilized to make high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Both of which are not what I would consider “food” but rather a high-calorie chemical sweetener.
Unfortunately, manufacturers often use the terms agave nectar and agave syrup interchangeably. This was likely not an accident but an attempt, as is often the case, to confuse the consumer and lump in a poor cheap product (agave syrup) with a better less processed and more expensive product (agave nectar). It wasn’t until recently that the food industry took notice of agave nectar. Realizing that, with a little bit of modification, it could be sold as a commercial food sweetener similar to HFCS. Better yet they could make agave syrup for cheaper and label it as nectar. Because the terms were previously used interchangeably for hundreds of years by those just making the nectar, it was easy to confuse people and make more money.
These people never thought it necessary to make a distinction between syrup and nectar because it wasn’t until recently that food chemist had a different plan for creating a cheaper more processed product. The food industry doesn’t concern itself with the low glycemic health benefits of competitors making agave nectar and has been suggesting that agave nectar and syrup are the same. Despite the fact that this is not true that doesn’t stop them from making their erroneous claims.
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