You’ve seen agave syrup in your grocery store or in products sweetened with its nectar. It’s about 1.5 times sweeter than sugar and comes from the same plant that’s used to make tequila. Should you reach for it instead of sugar, honey, or maple syrup? What if you’re working on losing weight or have diabetes?
The answer may be more about your personal taste than about health. If you were hoping that you could use as much agave as you like, that’s unfortunately not the case.
What Is Agave?
The agave plant grows from the southwestern U.S. through the northern part of South America. It’s the same plant used to make tequila.
Most agave sweeteners come from the blue agave plant. You don’t get its raw nectar. Much like high-fructose corn syrup, it’s highly processed before you can add it to your tea, top your pancakes with it, or get it in an energy drink, bar, or other product.
Agave has about 60 calories per tablespoon, compared to 40 calories for the same amount of table sugar. So to save on calories, you’d need to use less, which should be possible, since agave is sweeter.