3

votes

Agave? Better than sugar or hype?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 09, 2010 at 6:54 PM

If agave is fructose and fructose is uber bad is not agave worse for you than sugar even though it has a low glycemic value?

Ecb90bbbd5a15868b2592d517a4a5e82

(280)

on April 25, 2012
at 07:29 PM

Scoby don't eat fructose. Agave "nectar" is in fact even worse than HFCS. Ignore the hype, which is basically false advertising.

Da397846a2cfad231a1122126bb6eda7

(227)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:42 AM

Be Careful! Don't just assume that the fructose in the sucrose will be metabolized by the scoby. I'm not sure about Kombucha specifically, but I know that water kefir grains/tibicos only eat the glucose half of sucrose, leaving the fructose behind in the fermented beverage. Check out http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html#alternativekefir for a description of this (and note that the author doesn't realize that fructose is a bad thing). If kombucha scoby is similar, there may be a booby trap in that fermented tea.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 09, 2010
at 09:01 PM

alt="temp_alt"

Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:43 PM

I know! It's added to a lot of foods as a supposedly healthy alternative to sugar. Go figure. Re kombuchu, there are probably others who know more, but from what I've read, I think you're good with sugar since it's 1) necessary and 2) will be mostly gone after the fermentation process.

3d7ede9d05c2730ead7e0876f90aad11

(319)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:33 PM

Thanks for this answer. I have read about this before but forgot the source. I can't believe that they would add it to kombuchu and tout it as a healthy drink. I was about to make my own kombuchu and bought some agave because I thought it would be healthier than using sugar. I don't know if stevia and erythririol will work in the fermentation process, though, so I might have to resort to plain old sugar.

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4 Answers

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16
Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:16 PM

I think agave is bad news. Here's what the Weston Price folks have to say:

In spite of manufacturers??? claims, agave ???nectar??? is not made from the sap of the yucca or agave plant but from the starch of the giant pineapple-like, root bulb. The principal constituent of the agave root is starch, similar to the starch in corn or rice, and a complex carbohydrate called inulin, which is made up of chains of fructose molecules.Technically a highly indigestible fiber, inulin, which does not taste sweet, comprises about half of the carbohydrate content of agave.

The process by which agave glucose and inulin are converted into ???nectar??? is similar to the process by which corn starch is converted into HFCS. The agave starch is subject to an enzymatic and chemical process that converts the starch into a fructose-rich syrup???anywhere from 70 percent fructose and higher according to the agave nectar chemical profiles posted on agave nectar websites. (One agave manufacturer claims that his product is made with ???natural??? enzymes.) That???s right, the refined fructose in agave nectar is much more concentrated than the fructose in HFCS. For comparison, the high fructose corn syrup used in sodas is 55 percent refined fructose. (A natural agave product does exist in Mexico, a molasses type of syrup from concentrated plant nectar, but availability is limited and it is expensive to produce.)

According to Bianchi, agave ???nectar??? and HFCS ???are indeed made the same way, using a highly chemical process with genetically modified enzymes. They are also using caustic acids, clarifiers, filtration chemicals and so forth in the conversion of agave starches.??? The result is a high level of highly refined fructose in the remaining syrup, along with some remaining inulin.

So essentially, agave nectar is HFCS on steriods: just as processed, and with even more fructose. And definitely not paleo!

Follow the link above for the rest of the article and their citations.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 09, 2010
at 09:01 PM

alt="temp_alt"

Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:43 PM

I know! It's added to a lot of foods as a supposedly healthy alternative to sugar. Go figure. Re kombuchu, there are probably others who know more, but from what I've read, I think you're good with sugar since it's 1) necessary and 2) will be mostly gone after the fermentation process.

3d7ede9d05c2730ead7e0876f90aad11

(319)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:33 PM

Thanks for this answer. I have read about this before but forgot the source. I can't believe that they would add it to kombuchu and tout it as a healthy drink. I was about to make my own kombuchu and bought some agave because I thought it would be healthier than using sugar. I don't know if stevia and erythririol will work in the fermentation process, though, so I might have to resort to plain old sugar.

Da397846a2cfad231a1122126bb6eda7

(227)

on June 04, 2010
at 02:42 AM

Be Careful! Don't just assume that the fructose in the sucrose will be metabolized by the scoby. I'm not sure about Kombucha specifically, but I know that water kefir grains/tibicos only eat the glucose half of sucrose, leaving the fructose behind in the fermented beverage. Check out http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html#alternativekefir for a description of this (and note that the author doesn't realize that fructose is a bad thing). If kombucha scoby is similar, there may be a booby trap in that fermented tea.

Ecb90bbbd5a15868b2592d517a4a5e82

(280)

on April 25, 2012
at 07:29 PM

Scoby don't eat fructose. Agave "nectar" is in fact even worse than HFCS. Ignore the hype, which is basically false advertising.

2
95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on March 09, 2010
at 10:07 PM

Agave syrup's high fructose content means it has a low "glycemic index" rating, hence the "healthy" tag applied to it by certain clueless parties. As anyone who has paid attention to recent research around the way fructose is metabolized knows (google "Robert Lustig" if this doesn't sound familiar), lots of fructose is not exactly a recipe for good health.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 09, 2010
at 09:54 PM

Not better -Hype.

0
E3547711f28491d551eefa967ea928d4

on April 25, 2012
at 11:57 AM

"NO STARCH in agave so it is not harmful for diabetes sufferers."

FALSE.

'Starchy agave root' is also mention in this book "The Californian Deserts: An Ecological Rediscovery" http://books.google.com.sg/books?id=3hqJ1KJmY30C&pg=PA146&lpg=PA146&dq=starchy+agave&source=bl&ots=A8x45G6QDu&sig=9r7NlU0ZlIRiBRBHGBQ8jeqHsNc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BOKXT_mrDMbyrQfKlZTIAQ&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=starchy%20agave&f=false

Another good post to read is http://www.myqute.com/blog/why-your-most-organic-agave-may-be-more-dangerous-than-previously-shown-or-thought One part shows how fructans in agave affects blood viscosity. Almost standing up to Dr. Joseph Mercola's claim that agave causes obesity.

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