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Benefits and properties of Agave syrup

If you are looking for a sugar substitute and do not know which to decant you have to keep in mind that agave syrup can be a very good alternative.

In this article we will tell you what exactly this syrup or agave syrup is, what it is for, what benefits it has and how it is used.

Agave syrup is usually advised to all those people who want to continue sweetening their days but without jeopardizing their figure. Currently in supermarkets we find many alternatives to sugar and are ideal for all those who want to lose weight.

On the same shelf as sugar or honey, we find many sweeteners of different types, such as stevia or in this case, agave syrup, a product that can be used both in prepared foods and beverages.

What exactly is agave syrup?

Agave syrup or syrup is also known as agave nectar, and is produced from the plant of the same name. It is a plant that is native to Mexico, and from its leaves sap is extracted, a liquid that after boiling for hours,acquires a much more solid consistency andsimilar to a brown syrup and sweet taste.

From this plant, which is Agave, it is also possible to make fermented drinks such as tequila. The sap of agaves is rich in inulin, a soluble fiber formed by both fructose that they are bound to a glucose.

When the syrup becomes darker, sweeter and stronger is its taste, which is also reminiscent of caramel. Almost all the sugar it contains is known as fructose, this syrup has a greater sweetening capacity than sugar.

How is agave syrup used?

Agave syrup has a honey-like consistency, but a little more liquid, it dissolves faster and its neutral taste, also allows it to be used in many recipes as a normal sugar substitute, both for sweetening hot, cold drinks, pastries or your recipes for a lifetime.

We have to keep in mind that given the peculiarity of agave syrup we have to be aware that we will not always be able to replace sugar from a recipe with agave syrup, but we can try it.

Sugar levels agave syrup

Agave syrup does increase sugar levels, although not as much as refined white sugar. This happens because it does not contain as much glucose, agave syrup contains mainly fructose, which is metabolized differently than sugar.

Although it is healthier than sugar, we need to stress that an excess of this agave syrup can increase our uric acid, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

Properties of agave syrup

Agave syrup can be found in the large number of supermarkets today, and it is a product containing 99.5% sugar, which has lost all fiber, minerals and vitamins.

As for the composition, we found that it is 92% fructose and 8% glucose. Being rich in fructose, it does not stimulate insulin production as much as sugar, making it a more suitable food for diabetics.

Agave has a sugar-like content, but what we come to say is that fructose is sweeter, so with a smaller amount you can sweeten enough saving calories.

These are the properties that we highlight the most:

  • It is sweeter than sugar, so less amount is needed to sweeten a recipe or other food.
  • It has a lower glycemic index than sugar, which allows you to lose weight faster.
  • It has fewer calories than white sugar.

What is the equivalence to use agave syrup as sugar?

As we have been advancing, this delicious syrup sweetens more than sugar, so equivalence could be replaced in that when using 100 grams of sugar, 75 grams of agave syrup would be needed.

So for any type of recipe in which we want to use agave syrup, we would have to multiply by 0.75. That is, the amount of sugar x 0.75 = required amount of agave syrup in grams.

Agave syrup as a healthy alternative.

It is usually recommended as a healthy alternative to sugar for different reasons:

  • The glycemic index of agave syrup is only 20, while the table index is 70.
  • It is very useful for all people looking to lose weight.
  • Fructose does not stimulate insulin productionand agave syrup is a food especially suitable for diabetics.
  • Its biggest disadvantage is the high level of fructose.

Is fructose a health problem?

We could say that the biggest problem of agave syrup is that despite having a low glycemic index, if it has a high level of fructose, since it is around 90%. It is true that all fruit contains fructose and this is healthy as it is accompanied by fiber, however, this syrup has lost a lot of fiber and is no longer so healthy.

Fructose is slowly absorbed before reaching the liver, and transformed into fat by the liver, leading to weight gain if consumed in an uncontrolled manner. It can also cause some resistance to leptin, the hormone responsible for sending signs of satiety to stop eating.

Excess fructose is associated with a development of obesity, hypertension, increased insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. It is also unsuitable for people with fructose intolerance.

Calories from agave syrup Agave

syrup is not a light product, although it is healthy does not mean that it does not fattening us, for 100 grams of product we would get around 305 calories, while sugar would provide us about 390 calories.

The difference, as we advanced, is that agave syrup sweetens more than sugar, so we would need less for our recipes, thus reducing the amount of calories.

Finally, we need to keep in mind that agave syrup provides us with sodium, potassium, iron and vitamins C and E, but to enjoy all these micronutrients it is necessary to ingest a lot.

In addition, sap when exposed to high temperatures, its enzymes and fruits are converted into fructose, and agave loses much of its properties.

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