Glycemic Index: Low (30-40)
Calories per Teaspoon: 10-20
Also known as: organic blue agave, agave nectar
Agave nectar is a great alternative to traditional sugar and sweeteners due to its low glycemic index making it diabetic friendly. This syrupy plant-based sweetener is pure, sweet, mixes easily into liquids, suitable for baking, and does not crystallize at room temperature. It’s a perfect addition to your afternoon cup of iced tea in place of honey because it dissolves so easily. Agave is also great for baking as it absorbs moisture well.
Agave’s popularity surged at the turn of the 21st century when health claims flourished about its mysterious properties. Agave is made from the juice of the succulent Agave plant, native to Mexico and Central America. This succulent plant can grow up to 20 feet with a giant flowering spike. The harvesting of the flowering spike results in a sweet, transparent sap, which is called agua de miel in Spanish. The English translation is “honey water”.
Is it a Diet Food?
When we compare agave to sucrose it is one and a half times as sweet and contains slightly more calories per serving; thus it is not calorie-free. Being more concentrated, consumers may need less to sweeten their food; thus calories can be saved in it’s minimal use. Additionally, agave contains vitamin C, calcium, sodium and iron making it more healthful than traditional sucrose.
Just like with all foods, balance and moderation is key to a healthful diet.