The sweet truth

erol-ahmed-80094Unless you have been living in a cave or deliberately avoiding the topic of health in modern society, I am sure you have heard about the destructive qualities sugar, foods containing added sugar and how they affect our physiology. But this journey down the hole of sweet deceit is possibly one of the most challenging to navigate. There are so many claims today about which alternative is the best and even some companies are claiming health benefits from their revolutionary sweet products and this where misinformation and insufficient testing are hidden behind the power of marketing.

Natural, Low glycemic, Zero Calorie and Sugar Free are just a few of the endless label markers found on many of these products, so to stay somewhat focused through this smoke filled topic I am highlighting just one of the many “healthy” sweeteners, Agave Taquilana. This is the succulent traditionally used to make tequila and mezcal which yields a very sweet sap and juice.

The less than ideal fructose content of these agave products, some of which can be highly processed in very degrading ways, is what makes it something to avoid. Agave syrup can range from %55- %95 fructose where as the demonized High Fructose Corn Syrup averages at %55. Agave may not spike blood sugar like other sweeteners do but thats due to the way the liver processes the fructose, which is very similar to the metabolic process of alcohol and where its destructive qualities come to light such as creating and storing excess fat around the liver and the belly along with raising unhealthy cholesterol.

Yes fruit does contain fructose and is recommended as part of a healthy diet, however certain fruits contain far less than others and unlike the high fructose containing syrups, these fruits are found with other healthy micronutrients and antioxidants. Of course this does come down to the quantity of sugar and sugar containing food we eat but basically the less we consume, the better.

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