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What are some of the health benefits of agave?

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Quick Answer

Agave has no proven health benefits, although it is sweeter than sugar so it is possible to use less and get the same result, says WebMD. Agave contains approximately 20 more calories per tablespoon than table sugar.

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Full Answer

Agave sweetener is a product of the blue agave plant of the southwestern United States and South America, according to WebMD. Agave is also used to produce tequila. As a sweetener, agave is nearly two times as sweet as sugar; smaller amounts of agave sweetener produce the same effect as a larger amount of sugar. Health experts recommend limiting the amount of agave sweetener in a diet since it actually contains more calories than table sugar.

Agave also goes through extensive processing before reaching the market as a sweetener, similar to high-fructose corn syrup. Current research on agave sweetener and diabetes is mostly inconclusive. Agave has a high fructose content but a relatively low glycemic index meaning that, in theory, it does not cause blood glucose levels to rise rapidly. However, the American Diabetes Association suggests limiting the intake of agave sweetener along with any other sugar, and it is recommended to choose fruit and other naturally sweet products rather than any form of added sweetener, explains WebMD.

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