This information on Agave Nectar was sent to me by a friend and it is from JJ Virgin’s web site http://jjvirgin.com/
If anyone has any supporting or contrary information I’d love to hear from you.
Q: “I have a recipe that calls for agave, which my health food store now promotes as the new healthy all-natural sweetener.”
A: Despite the clever marketing, agave is actually worse for you than high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which deservedly has a bad rep. Agave, certainly sounds healthy, and the word literally means “noble.” What could be so bad? Well, most agave “nectar” or agave “syrup” is simply fructose syrup. In fact, agave can be up to 97% fructose. Worse, heavy processing destroys most of agave’s nutrient value. True, agave has a low glycaemic index, but what it does is far worse than raise insulin levels: it can raise your triglyceride levels, trigger inflammation, and otherwise damage your liver. So don’t fall for the agave hype.
Q: “So what sweeteners can I use?”
A: My favourite is xylitol, a sugar alcohol that’s derived from birch trees that has a low glycaemic index and actually provides some health benefits. You can bake with xylitol, and it doesn’t have the bitter aftertaste some people find with stevia. That’s another option, but skip the ones mixed with sugar alcohols and other additives and look for pure stevia. Xylitol has a few calories per serving, whereas stevia has no calories and can potentially create calorie dysregulation. Both are okay, but xylitol is better.