More than 300 species of agave plants grow in the southern United States, northern South America, and the hilly regions of Mexico. Agave nectar has been used for centuries as a folk remedy for its medicinal properties. The Aztecs mixed it with salt and used it for skin infections and wounds. Most agave sweeteners are produced from the blue agave plant. The core of the plant contains the aguamiel or “honey water,” the substance used for syrup production (and, when fermented, tequila). Although agave starts out as this natural elixir from Mother Nature, the form you can buy has been processed to form a syrup or nectar.
Natural Health News A sweetener created from substances found in the agave the plant could lower blood glucose levels for the millions worldwide who have type-2 diabetes and help them and the obese lose weight, researchers have claimed.
The substances, agavins, are a natural form of sugar found in the agave plant, are non-digestible and can act as a dietary fibre, so they would not raise blood glucose. The Mexican scientists presented their report at the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), in Dallas the worlds largest scientific society.
We have found that since agavins reduce glucose levels and increase GLP-1, they also increase the amount of insulin, said lead author Mercedes G. López, Ph.D.
GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) is a hormone that slows the stomach from emptying, thereby stimulating production of insulin.
López added, Agavins are not expensive and they have no known side effects, except for those few people …
One of the simplest ways to improve the healthfulness of your diet is to reduce the amount of all simple sugars — agave, sucrose, honey, maple syrup, raw sugar, molasses, brown sugar, corn syrup, turbinado sugar, and more. When it comes to sweeteners, the choice is yours — but keep in mind that all caloric sugars are virtually the same. It's better to satisfy your sweet tooth with whole fruit than with any kind of concentrated sugar. Not only is it unprocessed, and fiber- and nutrient-rich, it has an even lower glycemic index than agave.
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