Healthy agave syrup? Two disadvantages of the sweetener

Photo: Sven Christian Schulz / Utopia

Agave syrup is considered a healthy alternative to white sugar. However, the impression that the syrup is a problem-free sugar substitute is misleading. Because agave syrup has two disadvantages.

Agave syrup is a popular one Sugar substitute and has been available in many supermarkets for a long time. The juice is obtained from agaves, mainly in Mexico, boiled into a syrup and then bottled. The agave syrup is considered healthier than normal white sugar. But is that also true? At least one thing is clear: with its caramel-like taste, it is particularly suitable for sweetening desserts. You also don’t need as much agave syrup as sugar when cooking: 70 grams of agave syrup is equivalent to about 100 grams of sugar in the recipe.

However, you should use the sweetener sparingly. Because agave syrup has two disadvantages.

Agave syrup is really that healthy

Is agave syrup healthy?
Is agave syrup healthy?
(Photo: Sven Christian Schulz / Utopia)

Anyone who bakes and cooks with agave syrup must know: Agave syrup is not healthy. Depending on the provider, the sugar content is 75 to 80 percent (see picture). It is a mixture of fructose (“fruit sugar”) and glucose (“grape sugar”).

The proportion of is particularly high Fructose, and that’s a problem. Because fructose ensures that fats are stored in the body and can become a Fatty liver to lead. Too much fructose also promotes obesity and high cholesterol – and with it the risk of diabetes, a heart attack or a stroke, they say Pharmacy magazine. In addition, not all people can tolerate fructose (fructose intolerance).

Agave syrup is no healthier than simple table sugar: “However, these sugar alternatives do not offer any health benefits compared to refined sugar, as they are metabolized in the same way,” explains Prof. Dr. Hans Hauner at the German Nutrition Society (DGE).

Also the Minerals and Trace elements The sweetener in agave syrup does not make you healthier. The Consumer advice center explains: “The slightly higher content of vitamins or minerals compared to sugar is not relevant”.

How sustainable is agave syrup?

Agave syrup is not healthy and it is also harmful to the environment.
Agave syrup is not healthy and it is also harmful to the environment.
(Photo: Sven Christian Schulz / Utopia)

The second disadvantage is: Agave syrup is very bad for the environment. There are several reasons for this:

  • Agaves for agave syrup to grow in monocultures on large plantations. As a result, biodiversity and the soil suffer. In our article too Monocultures learn more about this problem.
  • The agave syrup has to be brought from Mexico to us in Germany. This long transport route causes many CO2Emissions.

Agave syrup is therefore not recommended from an ecological point of view either.

Isn’t there anything positive about agave syrup?

But there is still something positive about agave syrup: it has a low glycemic index. This means that the syrup will not make blood sugar levels rise as much. That is why it makes you full longer and you don’t get hungry again as quickly. However, this effect also depends on the other ingredients that you use in addition to agave syrup.

Conclusion: Overall, agave syrup is no healthier or better than regular sugar. If you really want to use it, watch out Organic quality. Because in organic agriculture are chemical-synthetic Pesticides not allowed. A good The regional alternative is sugar beet syrup. It’s not healthier either, but it comes from the region and is also available in organic quality. But you can too Make apple syrup yourself – also a regional sugar alternative. Basically, you should try to eat as little added sugar as possible. Because there is already plenty in it Sugar in many foods.

More on the topic at Utopia:

  • Birch sugar: Interesting facts about the sugar substitute xylitol
  • Life without sugar: this is how a sugar-free diet works
  • Baking without sugar: recipes for healthy cakes


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