ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Agave Syrup, Agave Nectar Good or Bad

Updated on January 12, 2016

Agave Tequiliana


What is Agave Nectar

Agave nectar, like HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) is not a natural sweetener, Agave syrup was developed in the 1990s and HFCS was developed in the 1960s. Agave syrup, being up to 90% Fructose, may have even more fructose than HFCS!

Agave does have a low glycemic index because of all that fructose but fructose presents another set of problems.

Many brands of Agave nectar sold in supermarkets are little more than man made fructose. Most brands are made not from the sap of the Agave but from the fructans in the giant root bulb. The fructans are either cooked or treated with enzymes that separate the fructans into fructose and glucose the same ingredients in HFCS.

Fructans are non-digestible carbohydrates. They consist of molecules of fructose -- the sugar found in honey, grapes, and ripe fruits -- linked together into chains.


The best brands are made by collecting the sap from the Agave plant similar to collecting maple sap for syrup. These good brands may offer some slight nutritional benefits over table sugar; some enzymes and minerals are still present. When shopping, look for nectar that is labeled as “Raw” or uncooked. "Raw" means that they used lower temperatures in the production process so the enzymes retain some vitality. There are no laws that regulate what “Raw” means and even the good brands are cooked at 140 to 160 degrees so, is that raw?
Agave won’t be sweet without this cooking process! Whatever process is being used, be it concentration by cooking or conversion with enzymes, what the consumer receives is concentrated fructose. Any benefit is derived from the small amount of nutrients in the brands that are labeled “Raw”, but you are still eating pure fructose, something that doesn't even exist in nature. All brands should be “Organic” but check the labels.

The problem remains with Fructose, Studies have connected Fructose with increased blood triglyceride levels, heart disease, problems with copper metabolism, insulin resistance and liver disease.

Fructose has to be digested in the liver where it is separated into glucose molecules for the body to use as energy, because of this fact fructose doesn’t raise blood sugar the way glucose will. That may seem like good news to diabetics but it is just changing problems. The liver converts fructose to glucose to use as energy, BUT! When you consume too much Fructose for your daily energy needs that excess fructose will be stored in the liver and muscles as Glycogen and triglycerides.

Agave and ancient tequila drinkers



Glycogen is a molecule that stores glucose in our bodies and is made up of a long chain of glucose molecules. Glycogen is the animal equivalent of starch in plants, it’s our way of storing carbohydrates.

Triglycerides are the main component of fat in our blood and an excess of triglycerides is a predictor of cardiovascular problems.

When you are fasting, even just fasting overnight the liver does its job of transforming glycogen back into glucose. This is why a diabetic can waken to a high blood glucose level even after fasting, that high level is a measure of glucose that the liver was releasing overnight.

Conclusions, there is no free lunch, while there are some “good” agave syrups the only way to avoid problems is to limit the amount of sugars in your diet and control your weight.

The best advice is to treat Agave syrup or nectar like High Fructose Corn Syrup or any other sweetener and use it in moderation, or take your Agave in a shot of Tequila and accept the consequences! For more info see my article on HFCS


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • chefsref profile imageAUTHOR

      Lee Raynor 

      8 years ago from Citra Florida

      Thanx Anna

      I changed this hub to read fructans instead of starch. Fructans are another form of carbohydrate that plants use to store energy.

      As to the difference in processing, I'm not sure that is important, the goal remains increasing the amount of fructose in the end product.

      I agree moderation is key but with the government subsidy of corn, HFCS is everywhere and agave nectar is not a suitable replacement, reducing the total amount of sugar in the diet should be the goal not switching to a so called good sugar.

      What I haven't been able to determine is the amount of fructans (if any) are still present in agave nectar/syrup.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      There is no starch in agave, fyi. It's scientifically impossible for a plant that contains fructans to contain starch and agave contains fructans, so let's all stop putting that info out there. Also, the processing differences between these two sugars is VERY different.

      Moderation is key and the real difference between HFCS and agave is that HFCS can be found in a vast majority of what most Americans are eating. Agave is simply not present in products the same way HFCS is. The key here is not about making any sugar the bad one, but teaching people about sugar in general for their health.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)