There is now a vegan alternative to honey that’s not sugar. And yes, as the title might suggest, it’s Agave nectar.
But we know what you might be asking yourself? What the hell is Agave, anyway? Great question.
Praised as an all-natural, diabetic-friendly sweetener, Agave syrup is produced from sap of a plant that’s been used medicinally in Mexico for generations and fermented to make — yep, you guessed it — tequila.
Packing 20 calories per teaspoon, Agave is like honey in the sense that it’s sweeter than sugar. This means you need less to achieve the same level of sweetness.
That said, unlike honey, Agave is vegan, making it a great go-to for those who prescribe to the vegan lifestyle but don’t want to jam-pack their bodies with processed sugar.
While it is vegan-friendly, the question remains: Is Agave actually *good* for you? Because as we all know, just because something is vegan, doesn’t necessarily making it healthy.
The good news: Overall, Agave is, generally speaking, healthier for you than regular sugar. And it all boils down the its low glycemic index.
Agave is often touted for its low glycemic index, as it’s about five times lower than table sugar’s, according to research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Let’s break down why this is important when it comes to understanding why Agave is healthier for you than regular sugar overall.
Foods with a higher glycemic index (GI) tend to trigger a greater surge in blood sugar and insulin—the hormone that helps the sugar get into cells just after eating. These spikes can be particularly troublesome for those with diabetes for, well, obvious reasons. Not to mention, they also tend to make you hungry again sooner because they’re digested quickly (leading to weight gain and other health issues).
A syrupy delight that’s sweeter than honey, healthier than sugar, and vegan? Three words: Count. Us. In.