Agave Nectar, the High Fructose Health Food Fraud
Agave nectar is advertised as a "diabetic friendly," raw, and a "100% natural sweetener." Yet it is none of these. The purpose of this article is to show you that agave nectar is in reality not a natural sweetener but a highly refined form of fructose, more concentrated than the high fructose corn syrup used in sodas. Refined fructose is not a 'natural' sugar, and countless studies implicate it as a sweetener that will contribute to disease. Therefore, agave nectar is not a health building product, but rather a deceptively marketed form of a highly processed and refined sweetener.
Some statements and thoughts from the above referenced article. I have just highlighted some parts of the article, but please read the entire article because it has some very good information stated in a way that is very simple and easy to understand.
1) Found primarily in health food stores under the labels of Agave Nectar 100% Sweetener and Organic Raw Blue Agave Nectar.
2) The implication of its name, the pictures and descriptions on the product labels, is that agave is an unrefined sweetener that has been used for thousands of years by native people in central Mexico. But, as one agave seller explains, the agave nectar purchased in stores is neither of these traditional foods: "Agave nectar is a newly created sweetener,
3) The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice. The process in which the agave starch is converted into refined fructose and then sold as the sweetener agave nectar is through an enzymatic and chemical conversion that refines, clarifies, heats, chemically alters, centrifuges, and filters the non-sweet starch into a highly refined sweetener, fructose.
4) Fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as 'levulose'. There are some chemical similarities between fructose (man made) and levulose (made by nature), and so the synthetically refined sugar fructose was labeled in a way to make one believe it comes from fruit.
5) Saying fructose is levulose is like saying that margarine is the same as butter. Refined fructose lacks amino acids, vitamins, minerals, pectin, and fiber. As a result, the body doesn't recognize refined fructose. Levulose, on the other hand, is naturally occurring in fruits, and is not isolated but bound to other naturally occurring sugars. Unlike man-made fructose, levulose contains enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fruit pectin.
6) Refined fructose is processed in the body through the liver, rather than digested in the intestine. Levulose is digested in the intestine. Refined fructose robs the body of many micronutrient treasures in order to assimilate itself for physiological use. While naturally occurring fruit sugars contain levulose bound to other sugars, high fructose corn syrup contains "free" (unbound), chemically refined fructose.
7) The reason why refined fructose is used so commonly as a sweetener is simple: it's extremely cheap in cost.
As you can see, there is some mighty good information in this article. While I've quoted a few of the spots in it, again, I urge you to take a moment and read the entire article.
I find it disturbing that high fructose corn syrup or the healthy touted agave nectar are so prevalent in our society. They are ingredients in food products that have no business including them. When I try to prepare meals from all natural foods and substances, I am always amazed at just how much better they taste, how much more vibrant the colors and overall, just how I feel from them.
Granted, we live in a fast paced society and it isn't always easy to grow all your own food, create everything from scratch and select the most healthiest ingredients. Yet, you can help yourself drastically by reading labels on food ingredients and getting to know more of what is in the stuff that you buy. And of course, the more you can grow in your garden and the more you can get away from processed foods, the better your life will be. We all know that of course but in our society where we live in an abundant supply of stores, we have gotten lazy and forgotten what really matters.
If we don't take care of our body, no one else will. We're only given one body and what we do with it is all up to us. It is our choices, our decisions and our awareness.
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