Agave Syrup – Healthy Sugar Substitute?

If you want to avoid household sugar when sweetening pastries and other dishes, you can use agave syrup. But what does the sweet syrup consist of and is it healthier than sugar? PraxisVITA took a close look at the natural sweetener.

What is agave nectar?

Agave syrup or agave syrup is a sweetener made from the juice of the Mexican agave fruit. The sap of the plant is thickened by heating – the longer this process, the darker and sweeter the agave syrup. The consistency of the plant sap is similar to that of honey but is slightly more liquid.

What is the sweetener made of?

Agave syrup consists mainly of glucose and fructose, with fructose predominating. This fructose has a much lower glycemic index than glucose. This means that agave syrup does not raise blood sugar levels as much as foods with a high glucose content such as dextrose. This means that unlike this type of sugar, it does not cause cravings.

How does agave syrup taste?

Agave nectar has a mild caramel-like flavor and tastes about as sweet as honey.

Where can you buy the juice?

Here you can buy agave syrup:

  • Health food store
  • supermarkets
  • Health food stores
  • Online trade

What is agave syrup used for?

The sweetener is mainly used by people who are striving for a sugar-free diet and/or are vegan. Agave syrup is suitable as a means of sweetening drinks and dishes such as:

  • yogurt
  • cocoa
  • Coffee
  • Cake butter cereal
  • fruit salad
  • pancakes and waffles
  • sauces and salad dressings

How Much Agave Syrup Should I Use Instead of Sugar?

Agave syrup has a slightly stronger sweetening power than sugar. Therefore, it is best to use slightly less syrup than the sugar in the recipe: For example, use 75 grams of agave syrup instead of 100 grams of sugar. Also, use about a quarter less of each liquid ingredient in the rest of the recipe—agave nectar is liquid and can affect the consistency of the batter.

Agave syrup – there are advantages and disadvantages

Pros: Agave syrup is slightly lower in calories than sugar (100 grams of the juice has 310 calories, compared to 100 grams of table sugar 387 calories). It goes into the blood more slowly than sugar. This means that it only allows the blood sugar level to rise slowly and does not cause cravings.

Disadvantages: It consists largely of fructose (fruit sugar). Therefore, you should not exceed the recommended amount, otherwise, flatulence and diarrhea may occur. Fructose is also suspected of causing obesity and diabetes. Another negative aspect: agave syrup has a long transport route (Mexico) and therefore a bad ecological balance.

Conclusion: Is agave syrup healthier than table sugar?

Agave nectar cannot be considered healthier than table sugar as it consists of the same components – fructose and glucose. The increased fructose content can cause flatulence and diarrhea in sensitive people. Another point of criticism: the opinion that sweet juice is healthy can lead to using more of it with a clear conscience. There is a risk of absorbing more sugar than when using table sugar. Nevertheless, like table sugar or honey, it can be used in moderation to sweeten. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends a maximum intake of six teaspoons of sugar per day.

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Written by Ashley Wright

I am a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian. Shortly after taking and passing the licensure examination for Nutritionist-Dietitians, I pursued a Diploma in Culinary Arts, so I am also a certified chef. I decided to supplement my license with a study in the culinary arts because I believe that it will help me harness the best of my knowledge with real-world applications that can help people. These two passions form part and parcel of my professional life, and I am excited to work with any project that involves food, nutrition, fitness, and health.

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