by Natalia

Hey Melissa - Really like the information on your site & would like to learn more. About sugars, I was wondering if you had an opinion on Agave? Hope to hear from you soon!



Hi Natalia,

When you say agave, I assume you are talking about agave syrup (since you mention sugar - as opposed to the plant itself, which is edible).

It is my opinion that agave syrup is not healthy. Although if I had to choose between agave syrup and artificial sweeteners, I would choose the agave.

If I had to choose between agave syrup and unrefined raw sugar, I would choose the sugar.

Here's why...

After all the processing of agave syrup, you are left with an incredibly high percentage of fructose. And, yes, fructose has a minimal impact on blood sugar - but that doesn't outweigh its side effects.

Too much fructose is suspected to cause insulin resistance (making it counter productive for diabetics), weight gain around our middles, and elevated triglycerides and LDL cholestrol.

It also puts a tremendous strain on the liver. Any of our cells can use glucose, but only our liver can break down fructose. It is believed that the liver has to stop everything else that it is doing to metabolize fructose. And those that consume a lot of it have livers that look like they belong to alcoholics. So I do not use it.

Stevia is my choice for those wishing to limit their sugar intake. You just need to be careful not to add too much to whatever you are sweetening. Otherwise you'll get a bitter licorice aftertaste that most people find unappealing.

Wishing you the best of health,

Approach Wellness

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Agave and Jaggery
by: Anonymous

I have recently heard about Jaggery. I live in Canada and I found this ingredient in the Indian or Arabic stores. They look like gold stones placed in heaps. All you need to do is add some water in a boil and place a piece of jaggery in it and leave it overnight. I the morning you will see the jaggery has completely melted in the water. It has an amazing taste.

Stevia, Honey and Jaggery
by: Natalia

Thank you so much Melissa.

I was using honey as a sweetener in my daily cup of tea until I found Agave & thought that may be healthier. I have tried Stevia once before but perhaps did not use it correctly. Can it be used in lieu of sugar in most places EG: tea, baking, etc?

What is your opinion on honey (raw/unheated) & have you heard of jaggery? I am really glad I stumbled upon your website. I find it very informative & helpful. Thank you for putting in all that effort!

Best, Natalia


Hi Natalia,

Stevia can be tricky to use. I gave up baking with it a long time ago and just use raw sugar if I do bake.

I do use it all the time in my beverages though. I use the Sweetleaf brand because it is pretty easy to just dump a packet in - so there's no worry about adding too much.

I don't think it's available outside of the United States though....

I like honey and frequently use it or stevia in my teas. Raw honey is even better. Sometimes I can find the honey with the combs too - you can eat the whole thing and it's quite tasty.

All in moderation of course. Too many sweeteners, no matter where they come from, are not good for us. It lowers our body pH, steals nutrients from the body, and encourages candida albicans to overgrow in our colon.

I haven't heard of jaggery. Doing a quick search shows it to be a good raw sugar. I don't believe it is available here in the U.S. - it looks like our Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved it yet.

Of course, it took them decades to approve stevia too. Even though Japan has been using it for decades. And Central and South American people have been using it for centuries!

But the FDA looks out for the refined sugar and artificial sweetener industries, so progress on these things is always quite slow.

Best regards,

Approach Wellness

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