March 18, 2014

Agave, Not As Diabetic Safe As Advertised

You have read something about agave and diabetes, and it was found safe. What was safe years ago isn't the product we have now. The people that have been promoting agave and agave syrup drew the attention of people that want to make a fortune selling sugar to people with diabetes.

The tropical sweetener has long been used in Mexico and most of Central America as part of a traditional diet. It is a recent introduction to the American market and closely related to a rising interest in natural and diabetic friendly foods.  Don't be misled as agave syrup is still processed and no longer a natural sugar.

Dr. Andrew Weil states that, “Fructose is a major culprit in the rising incidence of type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It may also increase risks of heart disease and cancer.”

WebMD states that agave syrup contains 55% to 90% fructose and this source lists agave as being low glycemic index, but with the fact it is sold as a natural food product, it is still unregulated in the United States. We all know that high fructose corn syrup is low glycemic index, but has a devastating effect on blood glucose levels for people with diabetes.

Fructose in agave syrup is concentrated and the elevated intake is associated with clogged arteries, elevated levels of uric acid, and increased body fat. These are dangerous to the health of people with diabetes.

Different groups are promoting agave syrup as natural and good for us. It is neither raw nor good for people with diabetes. From one product to another, even if the labels are almost identical, blood glucose levels can vary dramatically because of the processing method used.

Please do not allow yourself to be sucked in by those promoting it a natural and good for people with diabetes. Just remember that the Latino community has a very high rate of diabetes.

NOTE: Now there is more news and it all claims how great agave is for people with diabetes. What they don't tell you until well into the article or press release is that the trial was done with mice. It was done in Mexico and used their processes which are not the same processes used in the manufacture of agave in the United States. In addition, I may have a bias - why was this released by the American Chemical Society (ACS) instead of researchers for diabetes - if it is safe for people with diabetes.

This tells me that if they can market this carefully without the FDA becoming suspicious and they don't overstate what it does, there is money to be made. All press releases today, March 17, 2014 do stated that the trials involved mice, but the one TV announcement said nothing about this. Of course the news media will use the story since they can make the connection that agave is from the same plant that is used to produce Tequila.

2 comments:

Jane said...

Thanks for this post. I just started looking at a cookbook that uses agave syrup for a sweetener, but I thought I remembered reading that it was ugh fructose. Your post made it easy to check.

DragonMommie said...

What if a person can find a true raw source of agave? Is this article talking about agave in general or just the manufacturing of it in America? Sorry, I did start to use agave nectar very sparingly, 1 tsp total a day in my coffee. I'm hoping this is not very harmful to me. As sweeteners go, this is the only one I find palatable so I guess I'm back to square one.

Thank you so much for your site. I've been following it for quite some time now and grateful for your efforts.