I know I know...we all want a sweetener that is Paleo-friendly. Agave nectar is the right choice, right?
Not to be all Erin Brockovich or anything, but I did have to seek up a few tidbits to substantiate my thought process that it's crap, as I was asked this question by someone, and now I wanted more info.
When we were at the Nutrition Cert with Robb Wolf earlier this year, he mentioned that this stuff is worse than plain sugar. Worse than cane sugar, how the heck is that possible!?! This is from the agave plant, and has a low glycemic index!!
First, from Medical News Today: "Agave nectar contains 70%-75% highly chemically refined fructose-more than is present in high fructose corn syrup-and most consumers don't know this," explained Mr. Nagel. Once eaten, refined fructose appears as triglycerides in the bloodstream, or is stored as body fat. Elevated triglyceride levels, caused by consumption of refined fructose, is one of the factors responsible for the hardening of human arteries. Further, metabolic studies have proven the relationship between refined fructose consumption and obesity."
MORE fructose than the satanic High Fructose Corn Syrup?!? Say it ain't so!
Gleaned from a variety of sources:
"While agave nectar is low on the glycemic index scale, it's because it's almost entirely fructose not glucose. Glycemic index can be somewhat misleading on foods since it's about how much a food raises your blood GLUCOSE levels. Since agave is a form of fructose it is very slow to raise blood glucose as it must pass through the liver and be converted to glucose. So while your pancreas does not have to do the work, it fully taxes your liver. This is a slow process but does not account for the large insulin response fructose causes nor the hepatic derangement that can occur."
Here's the thing: I scoured the internet for any kinds of scientific research on agave, specifically for use with diabetics. Not coming up with anything. My take is this: it's still new enough that we don't know of its harmful long-term effects.
Bottom line is that it's still a sugar. Still a sweetener. While it might not cause a diabetic to have the same insulin response, the effect on the liver seems a bit concerning.
"Eat meat and vegetables. Nuts and seeds. Some fruit. Little starch. NO SUGAR."
If you would like to read more, here are a few opinionated/interesting remarks. The Medical News Today one about the FDA is kinda interesting...