Several friends recently mentioned to me they use Agave Nectar as a natural sweetener. It comes from the Blue Agave plant. It is very sweet and delicious. I use it sometimes too, but very sparingly. I did some more digging on Agave and here's what I uncovered: Although Agave is lower on the glycemic index scale, many brands of Agave Nectar are highly refined, containing almost 100 percent fructose, which is a higher percentage than that found in high fructose corn syrup! Ugh! Fructose is a sweetener known to raise triglycerides, promote belly fat, and contribute to fatty liver, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Another thing to note is that some distributors of Agave Nectar have been labeling HFCS as Agave Nectar. What!? Is that legal? The FDA recommends looking for labels that say "hydrolyzed insulin syrup," which means it's real Agave. I try to stick with Organic Brown Rice Syrup or Pure Maple Syrup as much as possible.
A kind and heartfelt reminder on HFCS:
*Though the commercial said “It’s OK in moderation,” (what a joke) most Americans do NOT ingest a moderate amount of High Fructose Corn Syrup. This sweetener is used in so many refined products, it’s actually difficult to find processed foods that don’t contain it. High Fructose Corn Syrup has a negative, dramatic affect on blood-sugar levels and is linked to diabetes and obesity (muffin top, beer belly, you know...). If you eat processed foods, you definitely consume more than a moderate amount of high fructose corn syrup. Please, oh please, read your labels and don't consume too much of this evil crap.