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Sorry To Be The Bearer of Bad News…But Lemme Share The Real Deal on Agave Nectar

The Skinny Confidential shares the real deal on agave nectar.

Mmmmm…how healthy & delish does the agave nectar sound?

I mean…right?

Doesn’t it sound like a healthy thing to eat? Agave ( from a plant ) and nectar ( sounding like a supple kind of delicious fruit ) sound like some super nutritious condiment. Agave nectar reminds me of something out of a fairy tale that’s magical & delicious.

But wait, wait, wait— that’s how the marketers get ya. Nothing magical about agave.

Agave syrup is now sold in stores everywhere & it’s processed, nasty-ass shit.

Don’t believe me?

Whelp, here’s the unfortunate, oh-so-real, boo hoo facts:

According to Food Renegade, “agave ‘nectar’ is not made from the sap of the yucca or agave plant but from the starch of the giant pineapple-like, root bulb. The principal constituent of the agave root is starch, similar to the starch in corn or rice, and a complex carbohydrate called inulin, which is made up of chains of fructose molecules.Technically a highly indigestible fiber, inulin, which does not taste sweet, comprises about half of the carbohydrate content of agave.

The process by which agave glucose and inulin are converted into ‘nectar’ is similar to the process by which corn starch is converted into HFCS. The agave starch is subject to an enzymatic and chemical process that converts the starch into a fructose-rich syrup—anywhere from 70 percent fructose and higher according to the agave nectar chemical profiles posted on agave nectar websites. They are indeed made the same way, using a highly chemical process with genetically modified enzymes. They are also using caustic acids, clarifiers, filtration chemicals and so forth in the conversion of agave starches into highly refined fructose inulin that is even higher in fructose content than high fructose corn syrup.

So there you have it. Agave nectar is not traditional, highly refined, and actually has more concentrated fructose than high-fructose corn syrup. It is not a ‘natural’ sweetener. Thus far, the evidence definitely points toward the conclusion: agave nectar is bad.”

FYI: concentrated fructose ( AKA what’s in agave nectar ) is also nasty…it’s digesting in the liver & it turns into stored body fat. It doesn’t convert like other sugars, that’s why people claim it’s safe for diabetics. Don’t let these marketers trick you! Do your own research.

& next time you’re shaking your margie-poo with agave nectar, thinking “look at me being all healthy & shit”, stop. & then remind yourself to skip the agave & sub a little real ( like, real real ) 100% maple syrup. Or skip it all together & add extra herbs, citrus, or even spices!!

Side: I’m OBSESSED with cinnamon as a sweetener in my AM coffee because it evens out blood sugar & it cuts the bitterness. Basically using spices for sweetener is a win/win.

Keep it simple, stupid with sweeteners. So laters, agave— it’s been real!

x L

  1. I learned about this while reading the book “I Quit Sugar” by Sarah Wilson. I’ve never tried agave nectar, since I tend to avoid “trendy” sweetener alternatives because of this very thing. One minute it’s the next cure-all, the next we find out it’s just the same as the last fad. 🙂

    I’ll have to try the cinnamon in my coffee trick, though – that’s one place I have had a hell of a time giving up on sweeteners!

    1. Stevia is a plant, so if you use the leaves of the plant, it wouldn’t be processed at all. If you buy it out of a package, it’s obviously been processed to some degree.

  2. Whoa- glad I never got into agave! I figured it would be healthy but just didn’t want to spend the money to try it! I tried cinnamon in coffee a few times- makes it taste like a pumpkin spice latte, kind of! I liked it. I try to stick to tea instead of coffee because I can drink that without sugar. Yum!

    1. Lauryn is spot on- there’s no such thing as “agave nectar” from an actual agave 🙁 Just like corn doesn’t make a syrup, neither do agaves. But they DO make yummy tequila!! Stevia is actually totally natural, just go for a liquid brand that is 100% pure stevia extract. TruVia & a few other big stevia brands add it weirdo fillers and sometimes even other sweeteners. Like Lauryn said earlier- 100% maple syrup is bomb in moderation + has lots of minerals, or raw honey; both are still super sugary, but at least are real food!

  3. I have definitely heard this about Agave Nectar. Such a scam and so many people are falling for it. I say, if you want to go for a sweetener, always go for the real deal: honey or a small amount of raw sugar. My motto is that if it comes straight from the Earth, then I can eat/drink it.


  4. Love this post! I was always curious about agave nectar when it was at the peak of its health food craze, but I have always gravitated towards, like you said, cinnamon for sweetening and also raw honey. Raw honey has soo many health benefits and is way better than that commercialized, pasteurized shtuffffffff sold in grocery stores!

  5. I stopped using agave after reading Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox book — it’s crazy how the media and marketing can twist something to make it seem healthy when it’s just processed crap!

  6. Sad news! I guess it’s good that I know that now and haven’t purchased any more, I guess I’m sticking with rock sugar….or is there secrets behind that?!

    1. Clarification: I’m talking about concentrated fructose…not natural fructose ( found in fruit ). More here: xx.

  7. SOOO glad you did this post!! I was just going on a healthy marg rant with some friends the other day when they added loads of “healthy” agave syrup. Tastes delish (um, because it’s pure sugar haha) but like you said…super processed and not something you should be putting in your bod. Thanks for spreading the word!

  8. Raw honey is a better option. Obviously sugary, but it isn’t processed and has b vitamins and various nutrients. If using honey to make cocktails, make a 50/50 blend of water + honey. LIGHTLY warm the honey + water to get them to mix (don’t heat too much or it will deplete the nutrients in the honey). Store in the fridge. You’ll have a much easier time getting the honey to mix in with your favorite libation!

  9. Good post…I’m still seeing a lot of “healthy” recipes that call for loads of agave. I use maple syrup mostly. I also use stevia. I do still use white sugar in lot of my cooking, but I figure I’m still getting way less of it than in commercial products, so whatevs.

  10. I had a feeling wayyy before, when I first tried agave. That shit is SOOO sweet. Like crazy, insanely, rot all your teeth sweet. I knew something didn’t add up.

  11. Yes! It’s a little scary how easy it is to make people think something is healthy. I love using cinnamon as well! It’s perfect for smoothies, sweet potatoes, plain kefir, etc.

  12. I’m glad you mentioned this topic in your blog. It’s really disturbing how the Agave Nectar is being promoted to be healthy, which turned out to be a lie. Do you have any other alternatives you could recommend instead of Agave?

  13. I love, love cinnamon in my coffee. I know most people sprinkle it into their coffee after the brewing process, but I just do a few shakes right into the filter as it brews. I think it is a lot smoother. It also feels a little bit like Christmas even in July.

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  15. Alton Brown lives and breathes food and he’s not exactly pinching He does this because he can, he’s on the road a lot more often than normal people, and because he likes to be fiddling with Unless you are that obsessed, don’t feel like you have to keep If you are trying to save money on the trip, you’ll have to work out the Vacation destinations would have a different threshold than the more ordinary places AB visits on

  16. Actng like agave/fructose is going to harm you (main componenet in fruit is fructose which only absolute loons think is bad for you-it is what the human body is designed to thrive off of-the only food in nature that appeals to humans in it’s pure and natural unaltered state) while you’re drowning in a known nuerotoxin; caffeine. Ok then..

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