In my Toni Braxton voice,” I love me some sweet, I’ll never love this way again…” I’m so serious. My sweet tooth used to tell me what to do. She was the boss of me, had me clocking in, doing overtime and everything. When I started my clean eating journey I quickly learned that sugar was a no-no, but me being
manipulative resourceful, figured out ways to get my fix without the granulated white waistline killer or molasses heavy brown stuff: Agave.
I went agave crazy. I was putting it in everything, smoothies, sweet potatoes, a little in the homemade spaghetti sauce to bring out the tomato flavor, vinaigrettes, I HAD THIS SUGAR AND CLEAN EATING THING SOLVED.Where’s my prize?
Started the 21 Day Fix by Beachbody. Up to 15 lbs. in 21 days? I GOT this. Reads program book…wait…what…no agave…no honey! STEVIA?! WHAT’S THAT?! I grabbed my chest, and instead of calling Lizbeth, I called on my grandmother Dorothy and said in my Fred Sandford voice, “Dorothy, I’m coming home.” I can be a bit dramatic at times.
Fast forward 21 days. I lost 10 pounds. In 21 days! Now this is not an endorsement of the 21DF, although, this is a great program for people in the beginning of their fat loss journey, this is an endorsement of how my body rewarded me for laying off the sweet stuff, be it processed or natural. At that moment I learned that just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean you can have as much as you want.
Currently, I’m a Stevia groupie, but we will get to the details about that in another post. I am not saying honey and agave are bad. These are both healthy and natural ways to sweeten your food, but you actually can have too much of a good thing.
|128 Calories||85 Calories|
|35g Carbs||21g Carbs|
|34.5g Sugar||18.6g Sugar|
|Animal Based||Plant Based. Great for Vegans|
A 2-tablespoon serving of agave syrup contains 85 calories and 21 grams of carbohydrates. The same amount of honey has 128 calories and about 35 grams of carbohydrates. If weight loss or weight maintenance is your goal, agave nectar is the healthier choice because it’s lower in calories and carbs than honey. Agave syrup also contains less sugar per serving. A 2-tablespoon serving of agave syrup has 18.6 grams of sugar, while the same amount of honey contains 34.5 grams.
Consider Vitamins and Minerals
Agave syrup supplies small amounts of several key nutrients that honey doesn’t have. For example, a 2-tablespoon serving of agave syrup supplies 6.2 micrograms of vitamin K, a nutrient that aids in blood clotting. Agave syrup contains trace amounts of vitamins C and E as well. Honey doesn’t contain anything in the way of vitamins E or K, but it does contain traces of vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. Agave syrup contains the same amount of calcium as honey, but a negligible amount of iron, potassium, and zinc.
Analyze Health Benefits
Agave syrup is low on the glycemic index, which means that it breaks down more slowly in your bloodstream. It also has a sweeter flavor than regular sugar, which can help cut the calorie content of certain foods because you need to use less of it. Agave syrup is primarily fructose so it has a small effect on blood sugar, according to Margaret M. Wittenberg, authority on natural foods and author of “New Good Food: Essential Ingredients for Cooking and Eating Well.” Honey is also primarily fructose and is sweeter than table sugar. In addition, honey contains antioxidants that can protect you from a range of health problems such as heart disease and cancer. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Agave syrup contains much less antioxidant activity than honey, according to a 2009 article published in the “Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.”
Make Your Choice
Agave nectar is a better choice than honey for vegans because it comes from a plant instead of from animals. It might not be a healthy choice if you’re diabetic, however, because fructose converts to fat more quickly than other types of sugar, and agave is primarily made up of fructose. This excess fat can cause insulin resistance, according to Raymond Francis, a chemist, nutritionist and author of “Never Feel Old Again,” which is potentially dangerous to diabetic patients. Honey is lower in fructose and so might be a better choice for diabetics. In fact, honey could actually be used as part of an effective diabetes treatment, according to a 2014 article published in the “Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders.” The two sweeteners can usually be used interchangeably in recipes, so experiment to see which achieves the taste results you desire.