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Agave Is Bad for You?

I just read this article by Dr. Mercola. Now I don’t know who this person is or what his or her credentials are. For all I know, his first name could be “Doctor.” But as he claims to produce the world’s #1 natural health news letter, his assertions worried me. He claims that “agave is actually WORSE than HFCS.” (That’s High Fructose Corn Syrup)

Dr. Mercola writes that “Agave ‘nectar’ or agave ‘syrup’ is nothing more than a laboratory-generated super-condensed fructose syrup, devoid of virtually all nutrient value, offering you metabolic misfortune.” Then he goes on to claim that “while agave syrup does have a low-glycemic index, so does antifreeze — that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Agave syrup has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener — ranging from 70 to 97 percent, depending on the brand, which is FAR HIGHER than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which averages 55 percent.” Throughout the rest of the article, he provides reasons that agave is no friend to a healthy body. Read the entire piece here.

After my initial doubts about these claims, (let’s face it, I’m biased because I love, love, love raw berries mixed with some agave as a “raw” dessert) I began poking around on the internets for more info.  I found out that when producing “raw” agave, the plants are actually crushed while their sap is collected in tanks.  In order to develop the syrup’s sweet flavor, the tanks are heated to approximately 140 degrees for approx 36 hours.  (www.foodprocessing.com)  This doesn’t sound very raw to me!

Upon further ‘poking’ around, I couldn’t find much in the way of actual research vs. people’s opinions on whether raw agave is actually raw.  In the future, I will continue to use “raw agave” though as a cautionary measure, I’ll probably limit my usage of the product.  I would love to know if anyone has some cold, hard facts on the subject to help me make a final decision.

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One Response

  1. Hi–and thanks for giving space for comments. While we’re not sure about Dr Mercola’s information sources, Wholesome Sweeteners appreciates the opportunity to clear the air about Wholesome’s Organic Blue Agaves and how they’re made.

    http://www.wholesomesweeteners.com/AgaveFactsVSFiction.html

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