Agave Nectar: Terrible or Terrific?

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

How is Agave Nectar Made?

The agave nectar that is sold in America today has very little in common with the traditional sweetener that the Mexican people make. The process starts out the same: the plant is cut and pressed to extract the sugary sap. In this state, the sap is high in sugar but also contains healthy compounds such as fructans, which are good for the body. Fructans are linked to healthy metabolisms and lower insulin levels.

However, when this sap is heated or when enzymes are added to it, the fructans are broken down into fructose. Heating and altering the original sugary sap destroys almost all of the healthy compounds of the agave syrup. This process of heating and adding enzymes to the sap is almost identical to high fructose corn syrup and other types of unhealthy sweeteners.

This basically boils down to the fact that the sweetener that is most often marketed as agave “nectar,” isn’t really nectar at all, but a refined, processed sweetener that actually starts off its life as agave nectar.

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