The Sweetener Dr Oz Doesn’t Want In Your Kitchen: Is Agave Bad For You?
Dr Oz has railed against the dangers of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Instead, he usually recommends natural alternatives. In the past, he has spoken about the benefits of Agave, but now he is worried that it could be worse than regular sugar. Is Agave bad for you?
Dr Oz: Agave Glycemic Index
Agave, a super sweet nectar, is 40% sweeter than sugar. Even Dr Oz said he started using agave, but emerging research is starting to change medical opinions about Agave, which comes from the Blue Agave Cactus, which also makes Tequila.
Agave has a low glycemic index, which is supposed to make it a safer choice for Diabetics, according to manufacturers. But there is more to the story that may have you rethinking your approach to sweeteners at home.
Dr Oz: Fructose Vs Glucose
Dr Natalie Azar of NYU Medical Center said that we associate natural foods with being good for us. However, Agave can contain high levels of Fructose, which is one of the ingredients found in table sugar.
Though it was long believed that Glucose was responsible for raising blood sugar and causing Diabetes, it turns out that Glucose could be even more alarming when it comes to your health.
“Fructose is worse than other sugars, because it’s just not handled that well by the body. It’s not a great stimulator of insulin,” she said, making it harder to be converted into energy. Though it has a low glycemic index, researchers are looking into what it is doing in the body.
Dr Oz: Agave Vs High Fructose Corn Syrup
Food labels for products containing Agave as a sweetener may boast labels that indicate they are totally safe for Diabetes, which Dr Oz and Dr Azar said are misleading and inaccurate. “The Fructose content in Agave can actually be as high or higher than the content in regular high fructose corn syrup,” Dr Azar said.
Agave could be a trap for Diabetics, possibly promoting the spread of dangerous insulin resistance in the body. Weight gain can be another side effect, and Dr Azar said that insulin helps to suppress the appetite, and without it you could be eating more.
Dr Oz said that Agave can stress the liver, promoting Omentum fat. It is also believed to raise Triglycerides in the blood, leading to an increased risk of Heart Disease.
Dr Oz: Raw Honey Sweetener
The International Organic Agave Alliance confirmed to Dr Oz that Agave has higher fructose, but they said that would encourage consumers to use less sweetener. Their statement also said:
“As with all sweeteners, agave syrup is best ot be consumed in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet.”
Dr Oz said that less is more in any situation where you use sweetener. He recommended using Raw Honey as a natural sweetener that has its own health benefits. The Oz family makes their own honey from a colony of bees at their home.