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Agave Nectar has the following characteristics:

  1. Because Agave Nectar is high in fructose, it enjoys all the benefits which continue to make fructose a preferred sweetening agent. It is sweeter than refined sugar (approximately 1.4 times sweeter); in fact, fructose offers an equivalent sweetness for nearly half the amount of carbohydrate calories. Fructose does not stimulate digestive insulin secretion as do other sugars. It is less disturbing to the glycemic index. In common parlance, it does not create a "sugar rush."

  2. Agave Nectar is produced in different grades varying in flavor and color.

    • The lighter grades of Agave Nectar are flavor neutral, enhancing the natural flavors of coffee, tea, fruit beverages, baked goods, fresh fruits, fruit smoothies, salad dressings, jams and jellies, ice cream, yoghurts, and various prepared foods, without altering their flavor. This is in marked contrast with bee honey, malt barley syrup, and certain other natural sugar substitutes that do alter the flavor of the products which they sweeten.

    • The amber and dark grades offer the delicate flavor of Agave with increasing intensity. The amber grade is much like honey and delicious in tea, suitable to sweeten a wide variety of foods, dry and hot cereals, pancakes, waffles, baked goods, protein drinks, and sauces. Heavier sauces such as BBQ, spaghetti, stews and meat glazes may be enhanced by the darker grades of this sweetener which deliver the rich and complex flavors distinctive to Agave.

  3. Agave Nectar will not crystallize. It is high in purity and stable in composition. It is easy to store as it has a very long shelf life, approximately three years.

  4. Agave Nectar is easy to handle. Because of its light viscosity, Agave Nectar is easy to handle in an industrial setting and pours easily as a table-top sweetener. It will never harden in the bottle. Agave Nectar is highly soluble and dissolves readily even in cold beverages such as lemonade or iced teas. Its light viscosity and solubility also make it ideal to sweeten cold cereals.

  5. Agave Nectar is a moisture retainer. It increases the water retention properties of food. In bread and baked goods, Agave Nectar enhances product freshness due to its hygroscopic properties which act as humidifying agents, thereby increasing the shelf life of such products.

  6. Agave Nectar is certified organic. The manufacturers have obtained organic certification from BCS Oeko Garantie Gmbh, a German firm accredited by the USDA. The Agave crops used in producing Agave Nectar are herbicide and pesticide free. Growers that supply the raw material will use only natural fertilizers and employ agricultural practices that meet organic certification standards. The manufacturers will also obtain organic certification on their manufacturing process.

  7. Agave Nectar is KOSHER. The manufacturers have obtained KOSHER PAREVE certification: Special Kosher – Lepesach production certification for their plant.

  8. Total Carbohydrate Grams: Serving Size: This product falls into the "honey" category, and thus its serving size is 1 tablespoon (note: tablespoon and not teaspoon). In turn, 1 tablespoon of Agave Nectar weighs 21 grams. Based on the fact that it contains on the average 77% solids, one serving (1 tablespoon) contains 16 grams total carbohydrates (21 grams x 77% = 16 grams).

  9. Calories per Serving: A serving (1 tablespoon) contains 60 calories.

    • (One serving contains 16 grams of total carbohydrates. One gram of carbohydrate provides 4 calories. Therefore, 16 grams of total carbohydrate contains 64 calories, but a few of these calories are not digestible.)

  10. Glycemic Index: This is a relatively new concept which can be important from a metabolic standpoint, especially to diabetics, along with athletes and grossly overweight individuals. The index is an indicator as to how much your blood sugar increases in 2-3 hours after specific food consumption. Most if not all carbohydrates are normally metabolized into the simple carbohydrate glucose, which in the glycemic index concept is arbitrarily assigned a value of 100. As a result, the higher a glycemic index food number is, the faster it raises your blood sugar level. Foods or ingredients with glycemic index numbers close to or above 100 present some significant health issues to diabetics, and in general, sweeteners of all kinds should be avoided by diabetics. Nonetheless, for those diabetics who choose to consume certain amounts of carbohydrates, Agave Nectar, it should be noted has a lower glycemic index than honey. Agave Nectar was found to have a glycemic index of 32. In contrast, honey has a reported glycemic index of 58, due to its higher ratio of glucose to fructose, as compared to the ratio of glucose to fructose in Agave Nectar. Please note: these values are based on using glucose as the reference point, which is the currently accepted approach relative to reporting glycemic index. Earlier, white bread was the reference point, but white bread composition can vary widely, and thus glucose is now the preferred base product.





Sugars & Substitutes with their Glycemic Index

Artificial Sweeteners (N/A)
Never a Healthy Sugar Alternative
All artificial chemical sweeteners are toxic and can indirectly lead to weight gain, the very reason many people consume them. They should be avoided. In fact, given a choice between high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, we recommend high fructose corn syrup by far (though it's essentially asking if you should consume poison or worse poison).

Stevia (0)
Best Healthy Sugar Alternative
Though it is 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, stevia is not a sugar. Unlike other popular sweeteners, it has a glycemic index rating of less than 1 and therefore does not feed candida (yeast) or cause any of the numerous other problems associated with sugar consumption. Read more about stevia at Organic Lifestyle Magazine (OLM). Please note that Stevia and Truvia are not the same thing.

Xylitol (7)
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol sweetener found in the fibers of fruits and vegetables which can cause bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence with initial consumption. It's said to be safe for pregnant women, and is said to possibly treat ear infections, osteoposis, respiratory infections, candida, and is it even helps fight cavities. In fact, in Finland, virtually all chewing gum is sweetened with xylitol.

Agave Nectar (15-30)
A sweet syrup made from the Blue Agave plant, Agave Nectar is obtained by the extraction and purification of "sap" from the agave plant, which is broken down by natural enzymes into the monosaccharides (simple sugars): mainly fructose (70-75%) and dextrose (20-26%). Read more about agave nectar at OLM.

Fructose (17)
Though fructose has a low glycemic index rating, fructose consumption should be limited. Fructose is linked to heart disease as it raises triglycerides and cholesterol. It is devoid of nutrition.

Brown Rice Syrup (85)
It is not recommended for diabetics, since its sweetness comes from maltose, which is known to cause spikes in blood sugar.

Raw Honey (30)
A Healthy Sugar Alternative in moderation
With antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and phytonutrients, raw, unprocessed honey is considered a superfood by many alternative health care practitioners and a remedy for many health ailments. Choose your honey wisely. There is nothing beneficial about processed honey. Read more about honey at OLM.

Coconut Nectar Syrup (35)

Looking at Coconut Nectar's Health Benefits:

  • The Coconut nectar's Glycemic index quite low at 35 and is treated as low Glycemic index food. Thus it is considered as healthier food preferred over traditionally used white sugar and brown sugar. It is used as sugar substitute in the ratio of 1:1 sugar for drinks like coffee, tea or while baking and cooking.
  • Coconut Nectar Syrup is having high mineral content and is rich source for getting minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc; besides iron. Besides the source for minerals it also contains Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6. In comparison to brown sugar the coconut nectar is having twice more than the iron and four times high magnesium diet and more than 10 times the Zinc quantity.
  • Coconut sap which is having Coconut Nectar is containing 16 times more amino acids. Glutamine is very rich in coconut sap. It is useful in treatment of serious illness like injury, burn trauma and side effects acquired through some form of treatment often like cancer and postoperative difficulty in wound healing. It is a rich source for vitamins and inositol known to cause reduction in the necessity of analgesic medication. It reduces edema due to burns and relieves the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.
  • Coconut nectar produces beneficial effects on the central nervous system. It is helpful in healthy cells development.
  • Incidentally the Coconut nectar is having nearly same consistency as the syrup is having. There is no coconut taste but it is certainly having rich, very specific flavor which is not overpowering.

Apple Juice (40)
Fresh apple juice is good for you, though we recommend eating fresh raw whole apples. Concentrated apple juice (sometimes used as a sweetener) is closer to refined sugar than fresh apple juice.

Barley Malt Syrup (42)
Barley malt syrup is considered to be one of the healthiest sweeteners in the natural food industry. Barley malt is made by soaking and sprouting barley to make malt, then combining it with more barley and cooking this mixture until the starch is converted to sugar. The mash is then strained and cooked down to syrup or dried into powder.

Amasake (43)
This is an ancient, Oriental whole grain sweetener made from cultured brown rice. It has a thick, pudding-like consistency. It's not easy to find in the U.S., but it is a great alternative to refined table sugar.

Sugar Cane Juice (43)
Healthy Sugar Alternative in moderation
Sugar cane juice has many nutrients and other beneficial properties and is said by some health practitioners to be almost as medicinal as raw honey.

Organic Sugar (47)
Organic sugar comes from sugar cane grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. It is usually darker than traditional white sugar because it contains some molasses. (It has not been processed to the degree white sugar is processed).

Maple Syrup (54)
Maple syrup is made by boiling sap collected from natural growth maple trees during March & April. It is refined sap and is therefore processed. It has a high glycemic index, and though it is much more nutritious then refined table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, there are better choices.

Evaporated Cane Juice (55)
Evaporated cane juice is often considered unrefined sugar, but juicing is a refining process, and evaporating refines further. Though better than turbinado, cane juice (unevaporated) is a better choice as a sweetener.

Black Strap Molasses (55)
White refined table sugar is sugar cane with all the nutrition taken out. Black strap molasses is all of that nutrition that was taken away. A quality organic (must be organic!) molasses provides iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, and is alkalizing to the body.

Turbinado (65)
Turbinado sugar is partially processed sugar, also called raw sugar.

Raw sugar (65)
Raw sugar is not actually raw sugar. It is processed, though not as refined as common white table sugar. Therefore, given a choice between raw and white, choose raw. There are many different variations of raw sugar with many different names depending on how refined it is.

Cola (and most other sodas) (70)
Though cola has a lower GI ranking then some might expect, there are many other reasons to avoid cola, or any type of soda. There is nothing beneficial to the human body inside a can of soda (not to mention we should avoid drinking out of aluminum cans!).

Corn Syrup (75)
Corn syrup has very little nutrition and should be avoided.

Refined, Pasteurized Honey (75)
The nutrition is gone, and there is often high fructose corn syrup added to processed honey. Refined pasteurized honey is no better than white table sugar.

Refined Table Sugar (80)
Conventionally grown, chemically processed, and striped of all beneficial properties, many health advocates believe that refined sugar is one of the two leading causes (high fructose corn syrup is the other) of nearly every health ailment known to man (or woman or child). Not only does it have a high GI ranking, but it also is extremely acidic to the body causing calcium and other mineral depletion from bones and organs (sugar is alkaline but has a very acidic effect on the body).

High Fructose Corn Syrup (87)
Many health advocates believe that high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar are the two biggest contributors to health ailments in our society. High fructose corn syrup is a combination of sucrose and fructose.

Glucose (AKA Dextrose) (100)
White bread was the benchmark, but for consistency glucose now holds the rating at 100.

Maltodextrin (150)
Foods that have maltodextrin often say "Low Sugar" or "Complex Carbohydrate", but this sweetener should be avoided!

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