Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Agave Sugar

Dear Dr. Walt,

Is Agave syrup a good substitute for sugar?

—Sugar Lover from Wisconsin

Dear Sweet Tooth,

I would agree with the popular TV host, Dr. Oz, who recently said this: “Over the past few months, I’ve become increasingly concerned about a sweetener that I’ve recommended on my show in the past … After careful consideration of the available research, today I’m asking you to eliminate agave from your kitchen and your diet.”

In his retraction of his endorsement of agave syrup, Dr. Oz offered this explanation, “It turns out that although agave doesn’t contain a lot of glucose, it contains more fructose than any other common sweetener, including high-fructose corn syrup.” Fructose is the sweetest naturally occurring carbohydrate, so that’s why agave syrup is sweeter-per-volume than competitors.”

Other health-media giants have also withdrawn from agave lauding. For example, natural physician, Dr. Andrew Weil, wrote in a 2012 blog post. “I’ve stopped using agave myself and no longer recommend it as a healthy sweetener.” His explanation was strikingly similar to Oz’s: “As it turns out, agave has a higher fructose content than any other common sweetener, more even than high fructose corn syrup.”

So, for this reason, I don’t recommend agave syrup as a sweetener. Consider using a small amount of honey. But, be sure your honey comes from a local honey farmer—not from supermarket honey, which may contain no honey at all; only high amounts of high fructose corn syrup.

This Q&A was originally published in the March 2015 edition of Today’s Christian Living.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2016. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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