I was asked a question in regards to my recent article, “Well Ain’t That Sweet” on what the differences were between sugar and agave nectar. First let me apologize for not going into further detail on that subject. (Note to self: Stop writing at 1:30 in the morning). So let me delve in that department a little further…
First of all, (as I touched before) agave nectar is more natural than our regular sugar. It is processed only for consumption (processed meaning it is heated at a low heat to break down the carbohydrates into sugar), and although slightly processed, it is still less processed than sugar. The more processed it is, the more of the natural benefits are lost. Batta Bing, Batta Boom.
Secondly, unlike sugar, it has a low glycemic index. This means those with Diabetes will not have to deal with a spike in their blood sugar levels. This also means, that unlike sugar, agave nectar does not trigger the body’s ability to store fat. Also meaning that it is good for those trying to maintain their weight and lose weight as well.
Third of all, while the amount of calories doesn’t lower with agave, the amount used does. Agave is about 40 times sweeter than sugar, meaning less is needed to be used.
Another question asked was my opinion on Splenda vs. Sugar. Now as a culinary major, I’m going to say Sugar and as a Nutrition major, I’m still going to say sugar. Surprised? Well you shouldn’t be. Knowing that sugar aids in cooking (i.e caramelization), Splenda only provides the sweetness of the sugar. I haven’t been able to find any information backing up why Splenda is better than sugar, unless you’re diabetic or looking for primarily just the sweet flavor without the added calories. Nor have I found any added nutritional value, which is why sugar is better in my opinion. AGAIN, JUST AN OPINION!
Just remember after reading all of this, the key you need here is moderation. Whether you prefer agave, sugar, or Splenda, whatever you use can be extremely unhealthy if you use too much of it.