Say No to Agave

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What is Agave nectar anyway?

Agave nectar is an amber-coloured liquid sweetener made from several species of Agave plant. Agave plant is also known in different names such as American aloe, Century plant and Maguey. Agave plant is native in North America and has numerous practical uses in several Native American cultures, where it is used as food, drink, source of fiber and medicine. Agave nectar is a product made from processing of the liquid (or aguamiel, a local term meaning honey water) found in the core of the plant; it does not came from either the nectar or the flowers of the agave plant. To make Agave nectar, the plant sugars and starches are processed via complex hydrolysis of to yield fructose, a simple sugar that is sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). This make Agave nectar sweeter compared to same amount of table sugar. What makes Agave nectar bad for you? The bad news about Agave is that it is highly touted as a natural, raw and unprocessed, and a very healthy sweetener – which is all untrue. Even the word ‘Agave nectar’ is somewhat inaccurate because it does not come from any part of the flower of Agave plant. The processing method and its chemistry are the problems with Agave nectar. To make Agave nectar, the sap is first extracted from the Agave plant by heating it to at least 45 C in a giant pressure cooker. This sap is then hydrolysed to convert inulin polysaccharides and other sugars into fructose, a potent sweetener. If Agave nectar is supposed to be ‘natural’ because it came from a plant, so is table sugar which comes from sugarcane or sugar beets. However Agave nectar is made by extensive processing, heating followed by hydrolisation – a far cry from truly natural sweeteners like honey and coconut nectar. Agave nectar is not considered ‘raw’ or unprocessed when its processing method is carefully scrutinized – therefore labels on Agave nectar products are considered big lies. Furthermore, Agave nectar is not healthy for use. Agave nectar’s sweetness primarily lies on its high fructose content, which ranges from 75%-90%. Regardless of the percentage, the fructose content in Agave nectar is much higher compared to honey and the high-fructose corn syrup. The widespread use of cheap and widely available high-fructose corn syrup is associated with nationwide obesity epidemics in several countries, notably in the United States, as well as rise in cases of metabolic conditions like diabetes. Therefore, Agave nectar is just as unhealthy as corn syrup. Agave nectar is no different from table sugar in terms of damage to health The use of Agave nectar is unhealthy because of its chemistry and method of processing, which removes water, minerals and other beneficial compounds in the plant. The high amount of fructose in Agave nectar is far above healthy levels, and it can cause numerous health problems due to:

  • Fructose can spike up blood sugar levels as table sugar does. Long-term elevation of blood sugar increases risk of diabetes because it overwhelms the balancing act exerted by the blood sugar-lowering hormone insulin
  • The fructose in Agave nectar is technically man-made (remember that it came from hydrolysing polysaccharide), which is very foreign in the human body and can result to unnecessary inflammation
  • Fructose can slow down healthy metabolism and increase fat formation in the body
  • These fructose-caused reactions raise levels of triglycerides, fat formation in the abdomen and deposition of fat in the liver
  • High intake of fructose can increase risk of diabetic disease and heart disease

Fructose actually has lower glycemic index than table sugar. But the high fructose levels in Agave nectar effectively smashes this benefit and can cause health problems. In conclusion, all the good things we hear about Agave nectar is nothing more than effective marketing and deceptive labelling meant to mislead consumers. —





アガベは自然で、生の未加工、そしてかなり健康的な糖分であるということで客引きが行われていますが、実は全て嘘なのです。アガベ植物の花部分から作られたものではないので、  ”アガベネクター”という言葉でさえ誤った表現になります。その加工方法と化学反応がアガベネクターの問題なのです。アガベネクターを作るのに、アガベ植物から樹液が最初に抽出されますが、それは巨大な圧力鍋で最低45度にまで熱しながらの抽出になります。そしてこの樹液は加水分解されて、イヌリン多糖類及び他の糖類を強力な果糖へと変えてしまいます。







  • 果糖は食卓用の砂糖同様に血糖値レベルをうなぎ上りに引き上げます。長期間に及ぶ血糖の増加は血糖を下げるホルモンインシュリンによって用いられたバランス活動を圧倒するので、糖尿病の危機にさらされることになります。

  • アガベネクターの果糖は技術的には人が作ったもので(加水分解している多糖類からきていることを覚えておいてください)人間の体には異質のものであり不必要な炎症を起こすことさえあります

果糖は実は食卓用の砂糖よりも低い血糖指数なのです。しかしアガベネクターの高果糖レベルは事実上この特性を壊してしまうのです、そして健康の問題を引き起こしてしまいます。結果として、アガベネクターに関する全ての良い事柄は消費者を誤解へと陥れる事実上の市場活動及び人々を欺くラベル表示に過ぎないのです。 References Agave, American Aloe, Century plant, Maguey. Retrieved July 12, 2013 from Jonny Bowden. Debunking the Blue Agave Myth. Huffington Post. Retrieved July 12, 2013 from Agave Nectar. Global Goods, Inc. Retrieved July 12, 2013 from Lou Bendrick. The lowdown on agave nectar and other ‘natural’ sweeteners. Retrieved July 12, 2013 from Ramiel Nagel. Agave Nectar Does Not Comply With FDA Labeling Laws. Medical News Today. Retrieved July 12, 2013 from Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes. Retrieved July 12, 2013 from Kathleen Zelman. The Truth About Agave. Retrieved July 12, 2013 from

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4 thoughts

  1. Good to know, Reyna. Thank you!


    1. Hi Jorge, Thank you for taking the time to visit my site!


  2. Katya Mendes da Maia

    March 6, 2014

    Thank you for this article, so useful!


    1. iReyna

      March 7, 2014

      Hi Katya! Thank you for visiting my page. I am glad you like the article. xx