Agave vs. Honey
Always the debate, which is better. There really is no competition, honey is by far the best choice. Agave has a very low glycemic index score meaning that it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Commercial advertising uses this as their number one selling point and have done so very successfully. However, regardless of this redeeming quality, Agave can contain as much as 90% FRUCTOSE, a much less well-known fact. Fructose makes you fat and elevates your triglycerides. The fructose content contains NO ANTIOXIDANTS and is 1 1/2 times sweeter than sugar which is not a selling point. Yes, this is a natural plant but manufacturing destroys any of the potential health benefits and nutrients, instead rather, focusing only on the low glycemic index score which in my view is just not enough. It has nothing to offer when compared to honey.
Honey has its own problems. It is still a simple sugar and it is not low on the glycemic index but it has miraculous benefits that are naturally antibiotic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory. Honey is a wealth of antioxidants, vitamins B and C, amino acids, minerals, and medicinal qualities. So what’s the problem with honey? The problem with honey, regardless of its tremendous benefits should NEVER be given to a child under 1 year of age because it can harbor botulism which could be fatal to an infant. Honey, even the finest quality there is, still causes tooth decay, maybe even more than sugar because it sticks on and in-between teeth. Honey, do to its ever-growing popularity, has now become highly commercialized.
As with everything, once a product becomes popular, the value and benefits will be sacrificed in commercial mass production. Even so, the facts about honey remain so the public needs to be aware of what they are. The public will simply focus on what is amazing about honey and many will be ignorant about how it is being produced and rely on advertising which touts it as “natural”. Let’s take an example of the store that has the word “Dollar” in it; Here, they sell a product called “Honey Syrup”. It comes in an actual honey bear and for a majority of customers, they assume they are buying cheap honey, right? Great for low income people to capture the health benefits of honey. No, it is corn syrup in a cleaver misleading package. It is important to know how to read a label because at every turn, advertising is there to out-smart us; so buyer, beware. What farmer’s feed the bees is critical. Many bee keepers rely on antibiotics to keep their hives alive and “healthy”. These have rapidly become ethical concerns so even though honey really is a miracle sweetener, it is imperative how the honey is produced. Once honey is heated through the manufacturing process, it is just sugar and the medicinal benefits are lost. When it is filtered it loses its allergy-reducing properties.
To sum it up, all sweeteners should be moderate. When choosing between honey or agave, honey is still the winner within these two perimeters;
1. Buy local– this is where the benefits for allergies comes in. If you have allergies, you also need to use the pollen for .results
2. It must be; Raw, Organic and Unfiltered
What are the best sweeteners?
If you like it sweet, always choose from this list and still maintain a moderate intake. Just because it doesn’t spike your blood sugar, such as stevia for example, that doesn’t mean you should use it in excess. If you do, somewhere down the road something else will show up that is a problem like with anything. Moderation in all things- just a good idea. Here is the list—
1. Honey (as described)– raw, unfiltered, organic
2. Real Maple Syrup (again look at the label, shocking but all commercial syrup is just flavored corn syrup in the grocery stores). This is available in organic form
3. Stevia– white is processed, the green crude plant material can be organic. Won’t cause tooth decay and won’t raise blood sugar. This can easily be added to loose tea leaf and looks like an herb, which it is
4. Xylitol– tastes more like sugar than stevia, Won’t cause cavities and won’t raise blood sugar. This mixes well with white processed stevia powder and improves the taste over just plain stevia
5. Real Molasses, blackstrap being the number one but it just doesn’t taste as good as standard molasses (more like tar). This can be found organic
6. Yucon Syrup (plant from the Andes). This can be found organic
7. Fresh Fruit (not cooked or juiced) This can be found organic
8. Date Sugar– This can be found organic
9. Coconut Sugar- This can be found organic
10. Chinese Blackberry Leaf- actually tastes like sugar without the aftertaste many complain about when using stevia. This can be found organic and can easily be mixed into loose teas and herbals. This sweetener looks like an herb– because it is
Every sweetener has its drawbacks but any of these are better than high fructose corn syrup, fructose, corn syrup, GMO cane sugar, and phony synthetic sugar substitutes which actually act like neuro-toxins and cause a multitude of illnesses and diseases. Enjoy sweeteners like stevia and Chinese blackberry leaf, both will not raise your blood sugar or decay your teeth which also makes them great for children.