Agave syrup is a delicious, versatile sweetener made from the core of agave plants native to Mexico. It can be used in various culinary dishes or to make natural syrups for drinks. It’s believed to have been used as a sweetener in the Americas for a long time before being replaced by sugarcane by western settlers. Its revival as a choice of sweetener is in part owing to the many health benefits it possesses compared to other sweeteners.
Agave Versus Traditional Table Sugar
One of the principal health concerns affecting the world today is excessive sugar consumption. Agave has entered the spotlight in the search for how we can minimize our tendency towards using sugar as our go-to choice of sweetener. There are many reasons why agave is considered a suitable replacement for sugar.
What is agave syrup? The USDA states that one teaspoon (6.9 grams) of agave syrup contains the following ingredients.
Fat: zero grams
Sodium: 0.3 grams
Carbohydrates: 5.3 grams
Fiber: zero grams
Sugars: 4.7 grams
Protein: zero grams
The caloric and carbohydrate contents of agave and sugar are fairly similar, but several key reasons make agave a more favorable option for health. Firstly, its intensity of flavor is stronger than that of processed table sugar, so less is needed, meaning a reduction in caloric intake. By incorporating agave and stevia, our Skinny Mix alternative sauces boast a mere thirty calories per 32 fl. oz bottle—the equivalent of fewer than four calories per serving!
Low Glycaemic Index
Secondly, the extraction and processing methods used to source and make agave syrup mean it is free from artificial additives. Moreover, it can be used as part of a diet that aims to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, owing to its low glycaemic index (GI), which refers to the amount of glucose present in its composition. Unlike processed sugar, agave syrup has a very low GI—less than half of that of sugar. Products high in glucose content can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, which in turn can lead to cholesterol and heart problems. If you need to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels, agave can be a great choice of sweetener. Mexican government officials in charge of food standards have been strict in ensuring that glucose levels in agave sugar don’t exceed 20%.
Suitable for Vegans
One notable advantage for a growing percentage of today’s society is that agave is a plant-based product, which is suitable for vegans who cannot use other mainstream sugar alternatives like honey.
Further advantages of agave are the plethora of healthy vitamins found in the plant, some of which are associated with increased physical health and positive mood. It also possesses properties similar to aloe vera and is believed to improve skin health by reducing common problems like acne and inflammation.Wondering if agave syrup is the same as agave nectar? Check out our latest post!