Here at Snackle Mouth, we talk a lot about how you can have fun and feel good about enjoying Snackle Mouth granola nut clusters at the same time. One of the all-natural ingredients we use that has proven health benefits, particularly over refined forms of sugar is Agave Nectar. Here are some non-dietary benefits of using Agave Nectar that we think are really interesting.
- The Aztecs used a mixture of agave nectar and salt as a dressing for wounds and a balm for skin infections, and agave’s use as a folk remedy persists today.
- Agave nectar applied to the skin has been found effective against pyogenic (pus producing) bacteria such as Staph aureus.
- Agave nectar has also been proven effective against enteric (intestinal) bacteria.
Of course, the dietary benefits of using Agave Nectar are related to how injesting it affects one’s blood sugar and insulin levels. The problem with man refined sugars is their high glycemic index and glycemic load – both measures of the relative impact that foods have on our blood sugar. Foods that raise blood sugar quickly trigger the release of the hormone insulin. Excessive releases of insulin and, more specifically, chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels are linked to Metabolic Syndrome (also called Syndrome X), which is a complex of health disorders. Associated ailments include insulin resistance and type II diabetes, abdominal weight gain and obesity, problems with blood lipids (raised triglycerides and cholesterol) and high blood pressure.
Agave derives its sweetness from a complex form of fructose called inulin which has a more favorable glycemic index. The carbohydrate in agave nectar has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant “sugar rush” and unhealthful blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars. Agave nectar is a delicious natural sweetener that can be used moderately – by dieters, some diabetics, and health conscious cooks – to replace high-glycemic and refined sugars.