Why I Never Eat Agave
In honor of my new Post-Detox Recipe E-Book coming out soon, I want to address a question I am frequently asked, which is why I use honey instead of agave in otherwise vegan recipes. The only way for me to answer this is to explain why I never eat agave.
While honey is an animal product, and thus is not part of a vegan diet, I strongly believe in using honey as your only source of sweetener in a healthy diet. Agave has been marketed for many years as the healthier, plant-based and animal-friendly alternative to honey or other chemical sweeteners, but these marketing claims have since been proven wrong (shocker). Below are a few of the main reasons why I personally do not eat agave.
Agave is highly processed. In order to create a syrup from the plant’s carbohydrate-based leaves, the liquid from the leaves must be highly processed, filtered, clarified and refined. To put it simply, agave is neither raw, nor natural, despite what the advertising wants you to believe.
It has no added health benefits. It is a processed sweetener that only serves one purpose: to add sweetness. So if you’re going to add a sweetener, I would always rather choose honey because honey is full of antioxidants, and antibacterial, anti inflammatory and antifungal properties.
Agave is a high-fructose syrup. It is widely known that high-fructose corn syrup is bad for you, so why does nobody talk about the fact that agave has a higher fructose content than HFCS? Fructose is a problem because there is no dietary need for fructose, and is actually very difficult for your body to digest. Whereas glucose is used by every cell in the body, fructose can only be metabolized by the liver. Agave is often advertised as healthy because the lack of glucose means it does not spike the blood sugar, but the high amounts of fructose overload the liver and get turned into fat.
Fructose raises blood triglycerides and is associated with insulin resistance. When the liver metabolizes fructose, it converts it to fat shipped out of the body in VLDL’s, which you can think of as triglyceride boats circulating in the blood and, in high amounts, depositing fat on the walls of your arteries. Research has shown that consuming fructose through syrups and sweeteners also leads to greater resistance to insulin, which increases your risk of obesity and diabetes.
These are a few of the major reasons why I not only stay away from agave, but I also limit my intake of processed foods in general. Processed foods are loaded with HFCS and agave-like sweeteners that are high in fructose and wreak havoc on your body. For a vegan diet, I would recommend either using maple syrup or finding a local, ethical honey producer.
I hope this clears up any questions about my use of honey throughout the new Post-Detox Recipe E-book! You’ll be able to download my new recipe E-book soon, so please let me know what you think and if you have any more questions about honey vs. agave! I hope you all love it, I’ve been working so hard on this recipe book so that you all can have an easier transition into a healthier, happier lifestyle.