Monday, July 6, 2009

Agave Nectar & the FDA

I came across this article regarding agave nectar. The article did not provide directly researched sources, so I'm not entirely sure of its accuracy. Thoughts?

Agave Nectar Does Not Comply With FDA Labeling Laws

Agave nectar is an alternative sweetener used in health food bars and sold as a replacement for sugar, honey and maple syrup. Alternative health writer Ramiel Nagel has announced today that agave nectar does not contain a correct label as required by FDA labeling laws. "Agave nectar contains 70%-75% highly chemically refined fructose-more than is present in high fructose corn syrup-and most consumers don't know this," explained Mr. Nagel.
Once eaten, refined fructose appears as triglycerides in the bloodstream, or is stored as body fat. Elevated triglyceride levels, caused by consumption of refined fructose, is one of the factors responsible for the hardening of human arteries.
Further, metabolic studies have proven the relationship between refined fructose consumption and obesity. Fructose in agave nectar is a man-made synthetic sugar produced through a complex process of enzyme hydrolysis which converts non-sweet starches and sugars into a highly refined sweetener, fructose.

Russ Bianchi, Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc., a globally recognized food and beverage development firm, explains, "By eating high fructose syrups, you are clogging the arteries, creating inflammation, and increasing body fat, while stressing your heart. This is in part because refined fructose is foreign to the body, and is not recognized by it."

A confidential letter from the FDA explains that agave nectar is supposed to be labeled as "hydrolyzed inulin syrup," to reveal its true nature. Yet as of today, no agave manufacturers comply with the FDA's labeling requirement. These manufacturers are not adhering to the law, and as a result, consumers are unaware of the high fructose content of agave nectar.

Nagel's research reveals that due to its high fructose content agave nectar may not be safe for pregnant women, and that when used frequently it may cause body chemistry imbalances that can promote poor health, in the same why high fructose corn syrup would.

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Source Ramiel Nagel


Punk'n Blossom said...

Hey there! There has been lots of debate lately about the use of agave. This is my understanding of it.

If you go to Mudhava Agave Nectar's website they will tell you that agave is high in fructose-because it is from the fruit of a plant (all plants produce fructose sugars) but it is not "refined" like high fructose corn syrup. Agave is low glycemic- unlike high fructose corn syrup that would send your glycemic index sky rocketing. And Agave is much sweeter, meaning you use less of it to get the same effects as corn syrup of sugar.

For more info-

Amy Green said...

I have read about all of the debate, too. I know how my body reacts to sugar and high fructose corn syrup - it gets a little amped up and I start to get lots of food cravings. When I use agave it doesn't happen. I have read that it's low GI and that being unrefined makes a big difference.

It's hard to tell what's true and what's not. I do trust my body. And, I wonder if this is the same type of battle as the butter/margarine that happened years ago.

Debbie said...

After all the debates I still keep using agave nectar. I love it and will continue to use it.