Hey hey my loves! So today I’m gonna do another “behind the scenes” look at a particular food: the – in my opinion – heavenly agave syrup. ‘Why are you doing that?’ you ask? Quite simply, because I’ve been using this stuff for about a few weeks in almost every meal I’ve had. I just think it’s SO good. But in the light of the fact that I have to buy this sweetener so often because it’s about to run out after about three days of purchase, the question somehow germinated in me, if this product is good for me at all. Therefore: Sanny does some research. And because I’m doing that anyway, I thought I might share my findings with you guys…my pleasure!
So first – spoiler alert – apparently agave syrup is not healthy at all and apparently everyone has known that except me. As a result of some Google research, my favorite sweetener is even being vilified as “more toxic than sugar”, so thanks for that! “Oh boy”, I thought to myself and then wanted to know the reasons of course. But first to a few
- Agave syrup comes – who would’ve thought it – from the agave (mainly Mexico)
- Yep, agave is the plant from which tequila is made
- That’s probably why I like the taste so much?! (Sorry, no fact, just an assumption)
- The juice is filtered and boiled until a syrup is formed
- Consists almost completely of fructose
Healthy or not?
- Agave syrup contains more minerals than sugar. That’s a start! +
- However, this percentage of minerals still seems so low that you would have to eat gallons of agave syrup to benefit from it –
- But agave syrup has a lower glycemic index (doesn’t cause blood sugar to rise so rapidly) as normal sugar +
- and also has fewer calories +
- Fructose is often not as well tolerated by human bodies –
- vegan! (obviously, but somehow had to smuggle in a plus) +
As it has to be imported mainly from Mexico, the syrup leaves a long distance behind to be bought by me => pretty much the opposite of environmentally friendly –
Yeah, shit, what am I supposed to do now? I recently showed my boyfriend my “new secret ingredient”, my agave syrup, and I’ve also convinced him that (almost) every (not completely hearty) dish just tastes a little better with a dash of agave syrup. The icing on the cake. E.g. I also used it here. How am I supposed to tell him now that we’re doing no good? haha.
As I have noticed when reading through many articles, I am – as already mentioned – apparently the last person on earth who recognizes the “sensationally healthy” agave syrup as just “not healthy”. Well, well, as long as you don’t deal with certain topics, you can’t really know about them, can you?! Also you’re kinda generally fooled by the media world, telling you whatever they want to sell their product. Marketing I guess. It annoys me somehow that I’m still falling for something like that, because I should know better. BUT I’m just a human being and I’m doing my best to inform myself about the food I’m consuming…at some point ;).
So what now?
Of course, when I did my research I came across ‘better alternatives’ for my favorite sweetener. So I had to have a look at them. ‘Normal’ sugar is like we all know not exactly brilliant. Maple syrup is pretty much the same as agave syrup; Although Stevia doesn’t have any calories, it kinda tastes weird to me (a little bitter); Artificial sweeteners are probably the unhealthiest of all and honey is out of the question for me. So what’s left is a.o. coconut blossom sugar or coconut blossom syrup and Xucker / Xylitol.
A suitable alternative to my “secret ingredient” (which really just makes everything better – I can’t emphasize this enough) has to be similar to the taste, the look and the consistency of it.
Coconut blossom sugar appears to have exactly as many calories as table sugar, but also a low glycemic index plus vitamins. In addition, it is obtained in a resource-saving manner and is the most sustainable sweetener in the world. I like that!
Xucker is lower in calories than table sugar and doesn’t release insulin (I think like Stevia if I’m right there…too lazy to google :D). Xucker is mainly produced in Europe, meaning that’s definitely environmental friendlier than buying agave syrup. I also like that! Plus my sisters swear by it and have already worked a lot with it. And what my sisters love, can’t be wrong, right ?!
I always like to put the agave syrup over dishes which normally are hearty. Because of this, the alternative can’t be a powder. So Xucker and coconut blossom sugar are out of question, but coconut blossom syrup apparently is easy to buy in the supermarket. Right next to the agave syrup. I’ve never noticed that. Or I just ignored. It’s like a relationship: when you think you have the right one, you don’t perceive others.
Conclusion: I will try both the coconut blossom syrup (if I need liquid) and Xucker (if I need powder). One should give everything a chance, innit? Probably I’m gonna like the alternatives much better in the end anyway. The relationship example actually comes back to my head: As soon as you notice that the whole thing is not really working, you let go and find something better ;).