The Agave Syrup


Agave Syrup is recommended as part of diets in patients with obesity and cardiovascular problems, due to its low caloric value. Agave syrup has only 4 calories per gram and is three times sweeter than other natural sweeteners. Amongst its properties, Agave syrup stimulates the intestinal flora, especially the bifidus, which generates a prebiotic effect.

This effect promotes better absorption of minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. In addition, Agave syrup is highly beneficial to children because unlike other sweeteners it does not cause cavities.

Another great advantage is that Agave syrup does not need preservatives and has a shelf life of more than 24 months without creating a crystallization effect common in other syrups. Agave syrup is a versatile product that can be used to make jams, syrups, pastries, cakes, nectars, sweets, ice cream, glazed fruit and yogurt among an infinite range of recipes.
Standard Light: from 70 a 77% of fructose, light amber colour.

Everyday Superfoods: Agave Nectar
Mexican Cactus Provides a Healthy,
Low-Glycemic Sweetener
Feb 4, 2009 Victoria Anisman-Reiner

Agave syrup or nectar is a natural, low-glycemic sweetener produced from the same cactus plant as tequila and used in many raw-food and health food recipes. Since the 1990s, the natural sweetener agave has made a huge impact on the North American health food market. Called "aguamiel" or "honey water" in Mexico, agave nectar is touted as a low-glycemic natural sweetener that is safe for diabetics, raw foodists, and anyone seeking a more natural lifestyle.

What is Agave?
Agave is a member of the lilly family and not a cactus which is native to Mexico and parts of the Southern United States. There are several species of agave; the most commonly known is blue agave or Agave tequilana, the species used to make tequila. Wild agave is common in the high altitudes of Jalisco, Mexico, but the plant is widely cultivated as a decorative cactus as well as for food use.

Agave Nectar
Agave nectar or syrup is an increasingly common ingredient in health food store snack bars, cakes, cereal, beverages, and even sauces. The syrup is produced from the sap of the agave plant. In its naturally occurring form, the sap is high in inulin, a long-chain carbohydrate that is only slightly sweet. The sap must be boiled to remove water (similar to the processing of maple syrup) and then either heated or catalyzed with an enzyme to break the long-chain sugars down to fructose – the sweet taste expected of agave syrup.

Agave is Low-Glycemic
Because the naturally occurring sugars in agave are stored as inulin, not starch, these sugars break down to mainly fructose and relatively little glucose. As a result, the agave syrup is low-glycemic: it has less impact on blood sugar than white sugar or most other sweeteners. Sources cite agave as being anywhere from 92% fructose and 8% glucose to 56% fructose and 20% glucose.

Pros and Cons of Agave Nectar as Sweetener

Agave nectar is considered a healthy natural sweetener because:
It is low-glycemic, having little impact on blood sugar, and is therefore ideal for diabetics and those on a limited carbohydrate diet.
Agave is natural, and has no chemical additives
It has a mild, honey-like flavor with no aftertaste
Agave is completely vegan (unlike honey)
It is possible to use much less agave than sugar to make food just as sweet
Raw agave nectar is available from many brands and can be used in raw recipes and by raw foodists
Agave syrup naturally contains calcium, magnesium, potassium and/or iron

Agave should be carefully selected and used in moderation because:
It is still a sweetener and can be just as addictive as sugar and other normal sweets
In large quantities, fructose can be harmful to the liver
Some agave brands have historically used corn syrup to cut costs, so look into contents carefully.
Raw varieties may be labelled inaccurately: Agave is always processed to break it down (or "hydrolyze" it) to its component sugars, so know that either heat or an enzyme catalyst has been applied

Agave is a mild-tasting natural sweetener that has made inroads into health foods in the past decade and a half. Used in moderation, it is considered one of the healthiest natural sugars available today.


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Spacer arrow bullet BUYING TEQUILA

How do I know which agave
syrup to buy?

'AquaRiva' agave syrup brands are 100% agave and organic. The highest quality agave syrup in the market place. This product is available through The Tequila Society contact, Soho Wine Supply, Harvey Nichols and Gerrys in Soho