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BTD Forums  /  Eat Right 4 Your Type  /  Agave
Posted by: kingarthur, Friday, February 10, 2012, 1:59am
I read today on a website that Agave is processed in an extremely energy-intensive way that is similar to the way corn is processed into high-fructose corn syrup and that most Agave sold in the stores are 70-80% fructose and that we should look for one that is no more than 30-40% fructose.
On THIS website all blood types are listed as NEUTRAL for Agave.
What is your opinion on this information? I am a type O nonsecretor. Is it OK for me? I think you said honey has a lower glycemic index but it's an AVOID for me.
Posted by: Lola, Friday, February 10, 2012, 2:01am; Reply: 1
enough has been said about agave
if pure it is a safe alternative

find out the source before purchase

a swami will give you a personalized rating for all, including agave

find out
Posted by: Possum, Friday, February 10, 2012, 2:33am; Reply: 2
Definitely go for the 30-40% fructose one if you have a problem with fructose ;)
Posted by: Nadizzle, Friday, February 10, 2012, 3:18am; Reply: 3
have read the same thing - I don't know which ones are the good brands  :-/ I try to stick with local honey and BS molasses. But i do LOVE the taste of agave - especially in my green tea and in my oatmeal (very small amounts).
Posted by: Andrea AWsec, Friday, February 10, 2012, 1:50pm; Reply: 4
All sugars need to be used in moderation. My SWAMI gives me a tsp of sweetener per day and as needed. Not much  at all. Using it with too heavy hand is not a good idea.
Posted by: Chloe, Friday, February 10, 2012, 3:08pm; Reply: 5
I totally agree with Andrea.  If you decide to bake with a cup of agave instead of using sugar...
and then sit down to a portion or two...you're likely to be consuming ten days or more worth of your SWAMI's recommendation for sweeteners.  Like fat portions...measuring out what you can have
in a day is the only way not to throw your body out of balance or risk the negative health effects
of foods that should be eaten in moderation. :)
Posted by: Louise, Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 10:40pm; Reply: 6
how do you know if the product is 30-40% fructose?  I've given up on agave because I don't seem to be able to know - not from the label anyway. what brands might fit this?
Posted by: 14442 (Guest), Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 7:22pm; Reply: 7
Just say no to sugar!
Posted by: AKArtlover, Thursday, December 27, 2012, 11:10pm; Reply: 8

Someone posted the following on FB:


The conclusion is clear. Agave nectar is bad for you. It’s not traditional, not natural, highly refined, and contains more concentrated fructose than high fructose corn syrup.

from: http://www.foodrenegade.com/agave-nectar-good-or-bad/



"The process by which agave glucose and inulin are converted into “nectar” is similar to the process by which corn starch is converted into HFCS. The agave starch is subject to an enzymatic and chemical process that converts the starch into a fructose-rich syrup—anywhere from 70 percent fructose and higher according to the agave nectar chemical profiles posted on agave nectar websites.

Compare that to the typical fructose content of high fructose corn syrup (55%)!

... Agave nectar is not traditional, is highly refined, and actually has more concentrated fructose than high-fructose corn syrup. It is not a “natural” sweetener. Thus far, the evidence definitely points toward the conclusion: Agave Nectar = Bad."

from: http://www.spinachman.com/Article-is-Agave-Nectar-Good-or-Bad-for-You-.html



Other reading:
Agave: Nectar of the Gods?
Agave nectar was first introduced to the U.S. market in Anaheim, California, at the 1995 Natural Products Expo West, the nation’s largest natural, organic and healthy products trade show. Marketeers have touted this tempting sweetener from Mexico for...
http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/agave-nectar-of-gods

Agave Nectar: Worse Than We Thought
The Lowdown on High Fructose Corn Syrup and Agave “Nectar” High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) entered the market place in the early 1970s and within twenty years, accounted for over half the refined sweeteners used in the U.S. food supply. Produced...
http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/agave-nectar-worse-than-we-thought


Agave nectar consists primarily of fructose and glucose. One source gives 92% fructose and 8% glucose; another gives 56% fructose and 20% glucose. These differences, it is presumed, reflect variation from one vendor of agave nectar to another.
Agave nectar's glycemic index and glycemic load are comparable to fructose, which in turn has a much lower glycemic index and glycemic load than table sugar (sucrose). However, consumption of large amounts of fructose can be deleterious and can trigger fructose malabsorption, metabolic syndrome, hypertriglyceridemia, decreased glucose tolerance, hyperinsulinemia, and accelerated uric acid formation.

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agave_syrup


"Agave syrup (nectar) is basically high-fructose corn syrup masquerading as a health food.... Agave nectar has a low-glycemic index for one reason only: it's largely made of fructose, which although it has a low-glycemic index, is probably the single most damaging form of sugar when used as a sweetener. With the exception of pure liquid fructose, agave nectar has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener."
-- Dr. Jonny Bowden

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-jonny-bowden/debunking-the-blue-agave_b_450144.html
Posted by: gulfcoastguy, Thursday, December 27, 2012, 11:20pm; Reply: 9
I use it infrequently and prefer vegetable glycerine for baking. I try to go with what the GTD says and ignore what is in the mass media. They allready call the GTD and BTD quackery then go on to talk about the "flavor of the day diet".
Posted by: Mrs T O+, Friday, December 28, 2012, 12:17am; Reply: 10
I think it is worse when cooked.
I think the UniBars have it, but have had no bad effects from them.
Posted by: aussielady582, Friday, December 28, 2012, 12:21am; Reply: 11
Interesting topic, I must admit, agave nectar is one of my favourites (best to buy raw agave, darker one); I like the darker sweeteners like this and maple syrup, molasses; more minerals and more yang quality, I am GT 'hunter'.
I still think sweeteners must be in moderation, I will look into where I can buy veg glycerine.
I used to use lots of rice syrup, but don't buy it as my health declined over last few years.
Our ancestors did not eat much of sweeteners, I think we just need a little fresh fruit every day for our sweetness, some variety and eat locally produced if possible, organic.  Sweeteners are more a real treat.  There is also carbon foot print as some sweeteners are imported.  Just use btd fruit, even a date or two, or prune!  Let's keep up with our protein/fats, veggies and our cravings or desire for cookies, sweets etc will be less too, just a thought!  I know what's it's like, I have a sweet tooth!!
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, December 28, 2012, 12:35am; Reply: 12
I trust Dr D over "random information from the internet" when it comes to dietary advice. As an O nonnie, most sweeteners are "avoid" for me, including the "all natural" ones such as maple syrup and honey. I have a very short list of compliant sweeteners, and agave is on that list. Molasses and  blackstrap molasses work in some things, but the strong flavor just doesn't work everywhere, so I always keep agave in the house.

I don't eat large quantities of sweeteners, period. I only eat 1-3 teaspoons a day, and not every single day.
Posted by: ABJoe, Friday, December 28, 2012, 1:59am; Reply: 13
Quoted from AKArtlover
The conclusion is clear. Agave nectar is bad for you. It’s not traditional, not natural, highly refined, and contains more concentrated fructose than high fructose corn syrup.

At least it doesn't have the corn lectin in it...
Posted by: Spring, Friday, December 28, 2012, 2:38am; Reply: 14
The "conclusion" is clear all right! It is clear that they don't know what they are talking about! I was thinking about this screed the other day and wondered when it would appear on the forum again...... Those people do have a way with their "pronouncements." Agave is no less than a DIAMOND superfood for me!!!!! But that doesn't mean that I indulge to my heart's content. A teaspoon here or there....... I just had a small piece of Rice/Almond bread with sugar-beet syrup on it with a spoonful of almond butter. A small majestical snack!
Posted by: Christopher1, Friday, December 28, 2012, 3:13am; Reply: 15
Quoted from ABJoe

At least it doesn't have the corn lectin in it...


It's also a prebiotic. It doesn't sit well with me though.
Posted by: Seraffa, Friday, December 28, 2012, 4:04am; Reply: 16
Quoted from Christopher1


It's also a prebiotic. It doesn't sit well with me though.


(dizzy)(eek) OH NO!!! * head spinning*...the fructose...the prebiotic bacteria...this must have combined the past week or so to help give me the beginnings of the ulcer I had the other day, eating casssava and white beans! In fact, ever since I've used agave, I am NOT digesting things the way I did LAST MONTH!  *RUNNING SHRIEKING INTO THE HILLS*..................>>>>>>>>>  !!!!!!!!
Posted by: Seraffa, Friday, December 28, 2012, 4:05am; Reply: 17
Agave:  JUST SAY "NO"! (eek)(eek)(eek)
Posted by: deblynn3, Friday, December 28, 2012, 4:34am; Reply: 18
http://thymewisper.com/medicinal-foods/155-is-agave-nectar-another-hfcs


Someone with a different opinion and who has done some research.  I believe there is another thread on this topic for a couple years ago.
Posted by: Jane, Friday, December 28, 2012, 5:38pm; Reply: 19
Dr. D has addressed this several times and says it OK.  I believe whatever he says.  
Posted by: Spring, Friday, December 28, 2012, 5:59pm; Reply: 20
If this is a prebiotic, maybe the symptoms from eating it are a STRONG message that the stomach is needing a major overhaul!!!!! It doesn't bother me at all. But I have been taking probiotics since I was young. I use Blue Agave.
Posted by: 815 (Guest), Friday, December 28, 2012, 6:31pm; Reply: 21
I intensely dislike agave..  :X   True. Sugar is bad. A's however can tolerate it better than any other BT.
:D :)   Sugar is sugar. I've replace sugar with other forms like dates, maple syrup,  honey etc. but it comes down to the same effect on the body IMO, which I go by weight loss. I bet you can go diabetic eating too many dates..   Only not using suagar at all makes a difference.
I do like using maple syrup as a sweetner.. I try to limit the 1 tsp a day.  You could probably work off extra sugar through exercise. People don't realize that.
Posted by: Dianne, Friday, December 28, 2012, 7:14pm; Reply: 22
Friendly reminder. The amounts for the sweeteners in the SWAMI reports are : 0 - 1 tsp. daily.
And so, 0 is not a bad thing! Also, if a baked good has 4 Tbs. of any sweetener, and it is divided into 12 portions, each portion has 1 tsp. of sweetener. That would mean a dozen cookies would have to last 12 days. I can easily eat 3 cookies in one sitting and this is why I very rarely have desserts! Glycerin is used differently by the body according to Dr. D'Adamo and so if I do bake, I either add glycerin or my compliant fruit as sweetener.

The other day my son who I believe is a hunter said that he notices now that if he indulges a little here and there in only a three day span, his shirts seem to mysteriously shrink. And then when he put the reins on, his shirts fit again!  I call this accordion body and told him it gets worse as we age if we are not careful! ;D
Posted by: 815 (Guest), Friday, December 28, 2012, 7:17pm; Reply: 23
Quoted from Dianne
The other day my son who I believe is a hunter said that he notices now that if he indulges a little here and there in only a three day span, his shirts seem to mysteriously shrink. And then when he put the reins on, his shirts fit again!  I call this accordion body and told him it gets worse as we age if we are not careful! ;D


My O son I believe is a Hunter. He's thin and his muscles are very pronounced. He has to work hard to keep his weight up. He's always on the hunt too.  ::)
Posted by: Spring, Friday, December 28, 2012, 9:54pm; Reply: 24
My SWAMI does not have a daily limit on agave. Not that it matters to me. Too much sugar in any form is not my friend.
Posted by: Possum, Saturday, December 29, 2012, 3:23am; Reply: 25
Quoted from Dianne
...if a baked good has 4 Tbs. of any sweetener, and it is divided into 12 portions, each portion has 1 tsp. of sweetener. That would mean a dozen cookies would have to last 12 days. I can easily eat 3 cookies in one sitting and this is why I very rarely have desserts! Glycerin is used differently by the body according to Dr. D'Adamo and so if I do bake, I either add glycerin or my compliant fruit as sweetener.
Good point there & great reminder!!

Posted by: Spring, Saturday, December 29, 2012, 5:03am; Reply: 26
Quoted from Possum
Good point there & great reminder!!


I can't remember the last time I ate a cookie. I keep stuff like that buried in my freezer in the laundry so I'm not tempted. But I did eat a banana muffin tonight that had .25 of a cup of an equal mix of maple syrup and glycerin in the whole recipe of 12 muffins. I don't know how that translates from plain old sugar to how much I had in a muffin. The muffins are now in the freezer...... But they are gluten free and made of ingredients that are at least a neutral for me. A small amount of sorghum flour being the neutral.
Posted by: narnia, Sunday, May 4, 2014, 6:50pm; Reply: 27
I think my SWAMI has me typed incorrectly, because Agave is listed as a superfood and I did not test well with it at all.  When I did used it in some baked goods, I got became nauseous.

If Os do not do well with carbs in general, I don't understand how 8 different sweeteners can be listed as superfoods.  I find this very confusing!   :-/
Posted by: Lloyd, Sunday, May 4, 2014, 7:02pm; Reply: 28
Quoted from narnia
I think my SWAMI has me typed incorrectly, because Agave is listed as a superfood and I did not test well with it at all.  When I did used it in some baked goods, I got became nauseous.

If Os do not do well with carbs in general, I don't understand how 8 different sweeteners can be listed as superfoods.  I find this very confusing!   :-/


If you as an individual don't do well on one or many sweeteners then by all means don't use them.

SWAMI is not meant to be a diagnostic tool. It doesn't know if you have specific food allergies. It does the best it can with the information you give it and most people are able to use that effectively.

As an aside, sweeteners are listed as superfoods only in the context of the limited use (portions) suggested. The values are based on a variety of factors of which specific nutrition plays a large role.
Posted by: battle dwarf, Sunday, May 4, 2014, 9:32pm; Reply: 29
i'm supposed to be able to have stevia and can't handle much of it at all. I have used the darker agave with no problems but as an explorer my swami gives me a wide variety of sweeteners to pick from including blackstrap which for some reason dose not sit well with my blood sugar. my favorite has become turbando cane sugar. the process is very simple, the crush and juice raw sugar can and then spin it in a turbine (hence the name) to dry it out. the result is similar to brown sugar but is only raw cane sugar (no molasses or anything else added) and the taste is wonderful. not to mention it cooks like sugar because it is sugar. it is a little coarse (raw unrefined sugar  ;) ) but it works well in everything to far.
Posted by: Seraffa, Monday, May 5, 2014, 6:10am; Reply: 30
I do well now with agave since my last posts on it, because my gut has healed more.
I put it in my morning tea. I don't feel like adding a lot because on the whole, it's just not that sweet anyway.
It made great baked bread for Easter too.  :)
Posted by: SquarePeg, Monday, May 5, 2014, 6:20pm; Reply: 31
Quoted from narnia
If Os do not do well with carbs in general, I don't understand how 8 different sweeteners can be listed as superfoods.  I find this very confusing!   :-/
Same here.  I agree.  I need to ignore the recommendation.

Posted by: ruthiegirl, Monday, May 5, 2014, 6:44pm; Reply: 32
It doesn't matter whether you have 8 sweeteners listed as "superfoods" or if all your sweeteners are only "neutral." Take a look at the portions. If you're only supposed to have half a teaspoon per day, you're simply not going to do well eating a muffin with a tablespoon of agave per portion! And remember that your portion size of sweeteners is total for the day- you can't have a teaspoon EACH of 8 different sweeteners.

You also may not do well on the sweetener when it's baked into a muffin or cake with additional carbs. The same sweetener may react very differently in your body if you had it in a cup of tea or hot cocoa, not consumed with grains.

And remember that SWAMI isn't perfect. It's an incredibly complex computer program, but it's nowhere near as complex as the human body. Sometimes it gets foods "wrong." That may be the case with you and agave.
Posted by: Dianne, Monday, May 5, 2014, 7:05pm; Reply: 33
Quoted from ruthiegirl
It doesn't matter whether you have 8 sweeteners listed as "superfoods" or if all your sweeteners are only "neutral." Take a look at the portions. If you're only supposed to have half a teaspoon per day, you're simply not going to do well eating a muffin with a tablespoon of agave per portion! And remember that your portion size of sweeteners is total for the day- you can't have a teaspoon EACH of 8 different sweeteners.

You also may not do well on the sweetener when it's baked into a muffin or cake with additional carbs. The same sweetener may react very differently in your body if you had it in a cup of tea or hot cocoa, not consumed with grains.

And remember that SWAMI isn't perfect. It's an incredibly complex computer program, but it's nowhere near as complex as the human body. Sometimes it gets foods "wrong." That may be the case with you and agave.


Well said Ruthie!  :)
Posted by: Seraffa, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 4:22pm; Reply: 34
Quoted from ruthiegirl

You also may not do well on the sweetener when it's baked into a muffin or cake with additional carbs. The same sweetener may react very differently in your body if you had it in a cup of tea or hot cocoa, not consumed with grains.


Hmmm....come to think of it, it did make me eat 3/4 of the loaf of bread all in one day.  ::) :X
Posted by: Possum, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 11:39pm; Reply: 35
Quoted from Seraffa
Agave:  JUST SAY "NO"! (eek)(eek)(eek)


Posted by: Naturegyrll, Saturday, August 2, 2014, 4:11am; Reply: 36
Sorry to resurrect this thread but I had to do a search to see if had been discussed before.

I have to admit I was a bit dismayed to discover that the Dr. D. Cherry Uni bar has Agave listed as the FIRST ingredient.  It has a higher glycemic rating that HFC Syrup.  

What gives?  Thoughts?
Posted by: Averno, Saturday, August 2, 2014, 11:29am; Reply: 37

It's a very tired subject. Lot's of misinformation.
Quoted from Dr. D
Fructose cannot cause any significant insulin spikes since fructose does not require insulin for its absorption and metabolism. Agave is a source of fructose (as are blueberries) but the main reason it is generally considered a 'neutral' as compared to other sweeteners is that it seems to produce almost no bacteria overgrowth (as opposed to hfcs, which does) and does not provoke major immune/ gut related reactions, which hfcs also does (probably because it is corn derived; I've seen this same thing with 'ascorbic acid' vitamin C versus rose hip and acerola derived vitamin C -- most commercial ascorbic acid is derived from corn syrup).

Beware of the 'fructose is bad' mantra. If you took that to it's logical extreme, you'd never eat a fruit. It's the hfcs we are being deluged with that is the problem.


Be aware that a lot of opinion is simply curated information from unreliable sources and incomplete research. Often driven by industrial sabotage (the sugar and corn lobbies are hugely protectionist and influential). Better to stick with Dr. D's objective research.
Posted by: Spring, Saturday, August 2, 2014, 12:58pm; Reply: 38
Agave is listed as a super food for me, but at zero to 1 teaspoon per serving I don't think I am going to have any huge issues with it at all!! The sugar industry has been throwing its monster weight around for decades. It has been many years since I bought any of their poison!

As for the Unibars, I cut them up into five slices so that gives me more or less that teaspoon I'm allowed per serving. One of those slices with a few nuts make a delicious snack!
Posted by: Naturegyrll, Saturday, August 2, 2014, 3:05pm; Reply: 39
Agave is good for me on the SWAMI so I don’t have a problem that it is part of the UNI Bar.  I do however have concern that it is the first ingredient.  I wanted to keep it around in case I had to miss a meal.  But it is way too much servings of fructose for a single meal so I was hoping that there was another alternative besides cutting it up.

Thanks for the feedback.
Posted by: Spring, Sunday, August 3, 2014, 2:55am; Reply: 40
Naturegyrll, there are so many different ways to make a nice "candy" that is compliant. It is so easy too! Just get some cocoa and/or carob, a little molasses, honey, agave or whatever you like, some nut butter, a little dried fruit, a few chopped nuts and soon you will have a delicious candy! BTW, I think the Unibars could be at least half as sweet as they are, but so many people love sweeteners I suppose they would be hard to sell.
Posted by: Seraffa, Sunday, August 3, 2014, 5:34am; Reply: 41
I have agave every other day now. Only in the morning. In my cocoa almond milk. Somehow when it combines with the cocoa and the unsweetened milk it is intensified, therefore, it doesn't take much.  :)
Posted by: Naturegyrll, Monday, August 4, 2014, 4:43am; Reply: 42
Yeah, I guess I’m going to be forced to make my own in order to control the ingredients better.  So much for grab and go LOL.  
Posted by: Spring, Monday, August 4, 2014, 1:01pm; Reply: 43
Quoted from Naturegyrll
Yeah, I guess I’m going to be forced to make my own in order to control the ingredients better.  So much for grab and go LOL.  

You could make up a batch, cut it up into whatever size squares you like and refrigerate or freeze it! I have some in my refrigerator right now!(smile) Really, it is just sooo easy!
Posted by: Averno, Monday, August 4, 2014, 1:26pm; Reply: 44
Quoted from Naturegyrll
Yeah, I guess I’m going to be forced to make my own in order to control the ingredients better.  So much for grab and go LOL.  


Why not use the Unibar as a base for mix-ins, like compliant nuts? Stretches the sweetener per serving more to your liking.  Keep them in the freezer, I'll bet they'll thaw in just few minutes in your pocket.
Posted by: Spring, Monday, August 4, 2014, 1:27pm; Reply: 45
Much less expensive and easier to just make her own.
Posted by: SquarePeg, Thursday, August 7, 2014, 6:47pm; Reply: 46
I eat Unibars, but I'd prefer it if they were half as sweet and contained more fat.  Lately I've been buying jerky or pemmican bars.
Posted by: Chloe, Thursday, August 7, 2014, 7:30pm; Reply: 47
If you can eat dates, here's my date fudge.

Medjool dates, soaked in hot water until soft. (I use 4-6 large ones depending on the batch size I'm making)

Put dates into mini food processor.  Add a tsp of instant coffee powder.  This is optional if you can't
have coffee.  I also use a pinch of sea salt and a few drops of vanilla extract. (could just as well
be almond extract or any other flavor).

I add as much raw carob powder as it takes to blend with the dates and become a thick paste.  Pretty
much like a stiff cookie dough...  But you could just as well use cocoa powder (just happens to be a black dot for me and carob is a diamond).

Last time I made this, I also added a tsp of coconut oil....which gave it a super rich flavor and added
just enough fat to stiffen the mixture a bit more when I refrigerated it.

Chill the mixture.....  Then form into balls and roll in crushed almonds or any crushed nuts.  I keep
my date balls in the freezer. (so I won't eat the whole batch at once).

It's super delicious....reminds me of fudge.

Sorry for hijacking the thread....this has nothing to do with agave.....but just sharing a way to make a sweet
tasting "candy" without using any refined sweetener at all.
Posted by: Averno, Friday, August 8, 2014, 11:48am; Reply: 48

Thanks Chloe, I'll have to try this using figs and ghee  ;)

I miss medjool dates  :-/
Posted by: Naturegyrll, Friday, August 8, 2014, 4:36pm; Reply: 49
Thanks Chloe, that sounds wonderful!  Dates are a Superfood for me.  I'll have to leave out the coffee, however.  

I found some bars at the market called RISE which has a very short list of ingredients.  My current favorite lists:

INGREDIENTS: ALMONDS* DATES* COCONUT* RAISINS* BROWN RICE SYRUP* TAPIOCA SYRUP* AMARANTH* ACAI* SEA SALT
* ORGANIC INGREDIENT

All work with my SWAMI.  So it's a convenience factor for me.  I also am looking at a site called True Nutrition which will make bars for me based on my specs.
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