Understanding Natures Agave
Agave has been in the "media" published by Mercola (check out story) stating that agave is extremely dangerous and is worse than high fructose corn syrup. Although I have the highest respect for Dr. Mercola I can only speculate he does not have enough research to back this up and has not taken the time to get each manufacturers side of the story. As you know Karmic Krunch is made with organic agave and because I am adamant about providing the highest quality ingredient in our mix I did my own investigating. In doing that I want to introduce Natures Agave and provide you information about their processes and their passion to provide the highest quality and un-processed agave available. I have also talked to several "hyper-sensitive" people and like myself they have not had a reaction to agave nectar. To be fair I will say that with anything sweet, including agave nectar it is not something you eat in large amounts. It is meant to be a low glycemic alternative to sugar.
I hope this information has helped ease any concerns you have with agave nectar and keep in mind each manufacturer is unique in their processing and quality standards. If you would like to learn more about Natures Agave please visit their website at www.naturesagave.com.
Founder of Karmic Health
Understanding Premium Nectars
What is Agave Nectar?
Agave Nectar is an all-natural, low glycemic sweetener that tastes great and offers an alternative to sugars, HFCS, and artificial sweeteners. Steeped in a long history of Mexico's native Indians, every part of this amazing plant is utilized for nourishment, medicinal, and ceremonial purposes. Agave nectar is delicious, and possesses several key attributes compared to chemically processed sugars, high fructose corn syrups, and artificial sweeteners. It is an organic low glycemic food that is 1.4 times sweeter than sugar, so less is needed to achieve the desired sweetness, and products containing agave typically have fewer calories. As more consumers look for ways to add healthier foods to their diets, the agave nectar market has begun to gain momentum as one of the fastest growing natural alternatives to sugar in the US.
Where does Nature's Agave Nectar come from?
Nature's Agave Nectar starts with the blue agave plant which grows in Jalisco, Mexico. The blue agave plant, also known as Tequilana Blue Agave, is a perennial and xerophyte plant which belongs to the agavacea family - it is not a cactus, but rather more closely related to the lily family. This amazing plant thrives in volcanic soil in arid climate zones, producing the optimal moisture and carbohydrate content for agave nectar.
Why is Nature's Agave considered Premium?
Not all agave nectar is created equal. Nature's Agave Nectar is made only from the prized Weber Blue Agave plant, bringing you the highest quality and purest form of premium certified organic agave nectar. Some other brands use lower-cost varieties of the agave plant. We prefer the Weber Blue Agave for its unique natural carbohydrate profile and richer agave taste. Grown and nourished for 8 - 10 years in the red volcanic soils of Jalisco, Mexico, our Weber Blue Agave is harvested only at the peak of maturity to ensure sweet perfection. Compare Nature's Agave Nectar to any other brand and you will taste the difference.
What are the benefits of Nature's Agave Nectars vs. other natural sweeteners?
People prefer our 100% organic, low-glycemic, all-natural sweetener as an alternative to processed sugars and artificial sweeteners for its superior quality, color and taste. Really, who needs artificial chemicals or sugar highs and lows anyway? Since Nature's Agave Nectar is sweeter than sugar, and honey, you don't need as much, cutting unnecessary calories from your daily diet.
The key benefits include:
· Low glycemic (Amber & Raw GI Rated at 17)
· 100% organic and Kosher
· 1.4x sweeter than sugar (use less, save calories)
· Dissolves in cold and hot!
· Will not crystallize
· Fantastic Taste!
· Naturally Gluten-free
What type of agave is used in Nature's Agave Premium Nectars?
Nature's Agave Nectar starts only from perfectly aged Weber Blue Agave, considered the highest quality agave variety due to its mineral content and high concentration of fruit sugar derived from inulin-fructooligosaccharides. Nurtured in pesticide-free mineral-rich volcanic soils for 8 to 10 years, the mature agave plant is harvested by hand. The plant's spiky leaves are expertly cut away in the field by a seasoned "jimador". The remaining heart of the plant, known as the "piña", is brought back to our certified-organic production facility.
Are there additives in Nature's Agave Nectar?
Our premium Agave Nectars are produced without the use of enzymes or chemicals. There are no additives in our agave nectar. Nature's Agave tests all of our batches at the production facility in Mexico, then we test it again in a GNP Certified lab in California to ensure purity from production through bottling.
Why is Nature's Agave Nectar different from other brands?
There are other agave nectars on the market, and we support all companies that support agave growers and provide great agave nectar products to consumers. We believe that our agave nectar products are of the highest quality for 3 reasons:
· Lowest Glycemic ratings available: our Amber and Raw products have been independently tested and received a 17 rating on the Glycemic Index. We are testing our Clear product, which lab tests have confirmed a lower glucose ratio than any other agave we've tested, and believe that it will rate as low or possibly lower on the Glycemic Index.
· Best Tasting Agave Nectar: the Nature's Agave founders spent over a year meeting with agave growers in Jalisco, Mexico, touring the farms and production facilities, and sampling the agave nectar before selecting their agave suppliers. The result is 3 unique taste profiles that (yes, admittedly we are biased) are the best-tasting nectars on the market. Taste for yourself, and you will know exactly what we're talking about.
· Widest Color & Flavor Range: color and flavor are understandably important for culinary use. Some recipes require a clear, neutral sweetener that won't interfere with the final look or flavor of the recipe. Others require depth and complexity that can only be found in our Amber or Raw products. From the pure sweetness of our Clear to our deep, richly dark Raw, Nature's Agave Premium Nectars are different from any other brand on the shelf.
Is agave nectar highly processed?
Actually, Nature's Agave Nectars are minimally processed, and never use any additives or enzymes. First each agave plant is individually hand-harvested in the traditional way by a trained "jimador." This is a beautiful art in itself - no tractors or mass harvesting involved. The hard-working jimadors expertly cut away the leaves of the spiky agave, revealing a large pineapple-shaped core, called a piña, which is cut from the field and transported to the production facility. The piña is shredded to express all the natural juice, gently heated and filtered to remove solids. The final process evaporates the excess water, bringing the agave juice to its final syrup consistency. Although the process is quite simple, there are food scientists on-site throughout the production to ensure temperature levels, brix levels (thickness), and sugar levels are consistent with quality agave nectar. This process is both art and science. We believe that the whole process of agave growing, harvesting and production is wonderful. It provides jobs for the local residents, revenue for the community and a sense of pride in this special region of Mexico.
Does Agave Nectar come from starch like corn syrup?
No - there is no starch in the agave plant. Mistakenly, some internet articles continue to inaccurately state that agave is similar to corn syrup as they both start as a starch. By simply adding heat, the agave plant's inulin-fructans (a carbohydrate) converts to natural fruit sugar (similar to heating an apple). In stark contrast to corn, our agave is raised on certified organic farms using sustainable farming practices, without the use of chemicals. The agave growers we have partnered with do not use pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and offer fair wages to their employees.
Natures Agave Nectar - 17, Fructose - 32, Lactose - 65, Honey - 83, High Fructose Corn Syrup - 89, Sucrose - 92, Glucose -137
A few other articles to read:
Agave: Hero or Villain
A Sweetener to Use, or Lose?
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
Why Agave Nectar is Not Worse Than High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Comments from Dr. Weil on Agave