Agave nectar (often called Agave syrup) is a very popular sweetener in the natural health community.
This sweetener is touted as a healthy alternative to sugar because it has a low glycemic index.
The glycemic index (GI) is the potential of foods to lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar. Some studies show that eating a lot of high GI foods is unhealthy (10, 11).
But the harmful effects of sugar have very little to do with the glycemic index and everything to do with the large amount of fructose… and Agave is high in fructose.
Fructose doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin in the short term, but when consumed in high amounts it leads to insulin resistance… a long-term effect that will chronically elevate blood sugar and insulin levels (12, 13).
Having blood sugars go up for a short time isn’t that bad, but having them chronically elevated (high all the time) is a recipe for disaster.
For this reason… the fructose content of sugar is a much bigger problem than its glycemic index. Regular sugar is about 50% fructose, while Agave is about 70-90% fructose.
Gram for gram, agave nectar is actually much, much worse than regular sugar.