Facts about agave.

There are about as many natural sweeteners on the market today as there are cell phone plans. High public relations fear marketing about white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are responsible for fueling some of this pessimism.

Are you aware that tequila and agave have something in common?

They both come from the agave plants.

Although it’s fast becoming the preferred sweetener for health-conscious consumers and natural

Agave plant

Agave plant

cooks, the truth is that agave is processed just like other sugars — and is no better for you than other sugars. And don’t be dazzled by the word “natural”; U.S. food regulators do not legally define the term, so it’s left up to manufacturers.

What Is Agave?

Now agave is a sweetener which is processed just like other sugars but is also no different than them. The agave plant is contiguous to the southern US, northern South America, and hill regions of Mexico. It has been used for health related issues, skin care issues including infections as well as cut and wound care. When mixed with salt, ancient Aztecs used it to sterilize wounds.

What is agave nectar? The product that can be bought retail is a processed form coming from a syrup or agave nectar. Aquamiel or honey water is core of the blue agave plant from which most sweeteners come.

Agaves have become popular in energy drinks, teas, nutrition bars, and other health and nutrition products. Processed aguamiel results in a dark amber or light colored by- product with the texture similar to that of a syrup for pancakes. The nectar produces a caramel like taste from the processing.

You’re able to use less agave than sugar because it has less calories per tablespoon. But is agave healthier than sugar?

The answer to this question opens up significant debate.

But what about agave’s supposed health benefits? From a nutrition viewpoint, agave and sugar are on par as far as health benefits. From a nutritional value agave contains small amounts of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Whether they provide significant nutritional benefit is still up for debate. The agave that is retailed at the stores contains from 55% to 90% fructose that is all dependent on the processing.