May’s health tip of the month is brought to you from Dan and Talitha Butterfield. Both have been involved in health and wellness for more than 35 years. I have had the honor of knowing and trusting their insights and knowledge for almost 20 of those years. For more information on them, please visit their website.
Here is what they have to say:
Agave syrup, a refined fructose product is being cleverly marketed in the health food industry as a wholesome, natural, low glycemic sweetener. Even the word “nectar” is deceiving, as if it is dripping fresh from flowers or fruit.
Agave nectar, or more accurately refined fructose agave syrup was created in the 1990’s using technology devised by corn refiners to chemically convert corn starch to corn syrup, known as high fructose corn syrup, the sweetener that has done much to increase obesity, insulin resistance and increased heart disease and diabetes. The main carbohydrate in agave is starch, which, like corn starch, is chemically converted to highly refined fructose.
The sugar that comes from fruit is levulose. The word “fructose” is cleverly used by corn refiners to make you think it is a natural fruit sugar.
Fructose is not absorbed like other sugars. It does not go directly into the bloodstream, but instead it goes to the liver where it is converted to triglycerides and fat. “Low glycemic” makes it sound safe. It is anything but safe. High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose. Agave “nectar” is about 70% fructose.
While refined fructose agave syrup won’t spike your blood sugar levels, it will deplete minerals, inflame the liver, harden the arteries, cause insulin resistance leading to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, and may be toxic for use during pregnancy.
So don’t use this unnatural sweetener or “health foods” that contain it. As always, read labels so that you can make informed choices about what you put into your body.
Hope this is helpful. Talitha & Dan Butterfield