100 lb. Club - Any Agave Nectar Users?

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10-12-2007, 03:10 PM
Does anybody here use Agave nectar as a sweetner? I use a lot of Splenda and I've been thinking a lot about whether I should be using so much. I wonder sometimes if my body is seeing it as sugar and slowing down my weight loss. I do have to really watch my insulin levels and avoid any spikes. Plus, I am a bit concerned about the chemicals I'm putting in my body. It seems kind of ridiculous to be eating a wholesome diet, then adding a processed sugar. I thought about switching to the agave nectar. Can it be added to coffee? Does it have to be refrigerated?

10-12-2007, 03:18 PM
I've been using agave nectar for the last year or so, and really like it because it dissolves well in iced coffee. It doesn't have a heavy flavor like honey sometimes can. Doesn't need refrigeration, either.

I do occasionally use sugar, and can't really tell a difference, flavor-wise. In my opinion, it certainly tastes better than Splenda! Might be worth trying.

Suzanne 3FC
10-12-2007, 03:32 PM
I've given up artificial sweeteners along with other chemicals, so I understand your concern. I retrained my taste buds so that I no longer drink sweetened coffee or tea, which cut out my dependence on Splenda. I will use real sugar, but limit it because of the empty calories which are of more concern to me personally than insulin spikes. I'm also concerned about sugar production, as it is harmful to the environment. Agave nectar is planet friendly, and it does an excellent job sweetening. Amazon has fantastic deals on agave nectar in their grocery section, too :)

Mrs Quadcrew
10-12-2007, 04:30 PM
Rhonda that is the only sweetner I use now. I drink my coffee black, but I use agave nectar in my steel cut oats every morning. (and in my winter squash if I want it to be a "dessert" kind of thing). I love it.

I am one who is sensitive to the chemicals so I try to avoid them. I can't tell you how much better I feel (and look) since cutting the junk out - which was sugars, and processed foods for the most part.

Try it - I am sure you'll like it!

10-12-2007, 04:59 PM
I am quoting Marlene Koch, author of a Splenda Cookbook:
"The body does not recognize sucralose(Splenda is the brand name)as sugar, it is not metabolized ..there are no calories. This also means it has no effect on blood sugar or the secretion of insulin. Studies focusing on persons with diabetes have confirmed this. Sucralose has been demonstrated to be safe for everyone (pregnant women and children with special dietary needs should be considered before adding sucralose to the diet). One hundred scientific studies have been conducted over a twenty year period confirming its safety. pg 9 of "Unbelievable Desserts with Splenda".

Marlene Koch, R.D. and culinary nutritionist for the American Culinary Federation, Diabetes Association and Williams-Sonoma.

10-12-2007, 05:17 PM
I have never been one for using artificial sweeteners, but since starting SBD I've also been concerned about using Splenda too much. Ideally I'd like to wean myself off of it. I've started using the agave nectar and it doesn't seem to affect my weight loss or cravings adversely. I don't use much though, usually I just squeeze some over greek yogurt in the evening and that's my dessert/evening snack.

10-12-2007, 05:18 PM
I banned splenda today, and I will be switching over and trying agave nectar myself soon. Anybody know how many calories the agave has per serving ?

Cuter w Curves
10-12-2007, 05:25 PM
Not sure about Agave Nectar... As I haven't looked into it yet. I was turned onto something else by the wife of a Diabetic. She's actually the woman I buy my honey, and honey products from.

The thing I use is Stevia.

I posted this elsewhere but it might be useful to those looking here as well.

It has a 0 GI, 0 GL, 0 Cal rating.

Repeat after me:

Stevia is my friend. Stevia is sweet without the nasty weight issues associated with sugar. Stevia is sweet without the chemicals of artificial sweeteners. Stevia is wonderful as only a drop or three in a cup of tea is like having 3-4 spoons of sugar (careful to not use too much... bitter after taste if you do). Stevia comes in regular or in funky flavours like Chocolate Raspberry, Vanilla Cream, Lemon Drop, English Toffee, etc. etc. Stevia can be used in baking, water to flavour/sweeten, tea, coffee, etc.

Now... I have gotten my silly little mantra out of the way and here is the "skinny" on Stevia (hard to resist that one):

Stevia is a sweet natural herb extract from the leaf of Stevia rebaudiana that does not contain calories.

Stevia extract is sold in main forms:

Powder - White
Powder - Green (has more after taste than either of the other versions)

Stevia is recommended to diabetics who love sweet but can't have sweet. It allows you to have your sweet fixes without the calorie intake that you have with other products.

It's extremely sweet. In fact, this remarkable herb, native to Paraguay, has been used as a sweetener and flavor enhancer for centuries. It is often grown by people living in North America who regularly who use it. In fact they grow it up here in Canada so anyone in a warmer climate is good to go as well.

Some places will tell you 4-6 drops for the liquid version. My advice is to add one drop... stir... taste. And repeat until you have figured out what works for YOU.

It is not currently approved in the US as a "sweetening agent" but it is sold as a dietary supplement in most health food stores I have been to (US and Canada).

If you go looking for the flavoured ones then the company you want is: http://www.sweetleaf.com/ and I can vouch for them as this is one of the two brands I prefer. They also have travel packs that are sort of like little sweet'n low packs for the powdered version... hehe

Good luck!

*Oh and no refrigeration needed!*

So I am going to try to get my hands on Agave Nectar to test if I can use that for things I normally use Honey for... Just for something different... But for most things I stick to my Stevia.

10-12-2007, 05:29 PM
The longer I'm on this journey, the more my focus seems to shift. Yes, I want to look good, but I really want to do what is best for my body. I want to be healthy and feel great. My diet is full of wholesome natural foods, however, I do consume a lot of foods that are sweetened with Splenda...ice cream, coffee creamer, yogurt, diet soda, etc...plus, I have about 4 cups of coffee a day with Splenda and I eat my steel cut oatmeal each day with Splenda. Splenda is a processed sugar and, quite frankly, I think I'm addicted. It is probably a mental addiction as opposed to a physical one, but its still an addiction. I've merely replaced sugar and HFCS with Spenda. I know what the studies show, however, I'm a bit cynical about test results and our food industry. And, who knows what research will reveal about Splenda in the coming years. It just makes more sense to me to use something that occurs naturally in our world.....agave nectar. This weekend, I will buy some and start using this in my steel cut oatmeal and coffee. I will be very interested to see how my body responds. I'll be sure to come back and let everyone know.

Cuter w Curves
10-12-2007, 05:31 PM
I banned splenda today, and I will be switching over and trying agave nectar myself soon. Anybody know how many calories the agave has per serving ?

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.)

Source: http://www.madhavahoney.com/agave.htm

Low glycemic index-32GI
Source: http://www.amazon.com/Madhava-Natural-Sweetener-11-75-Ounce-Squeeze/dp/B000FMTJJQ

10-12-2007, 05:31 PM
Cuter - thanks for the information about Stevia. I'll have to look into that one, too.

Cuter w Curves
10-12-2007, 05:35 PM
Cuter - thanks for the information about Stevia. I'll have to look into that one, too.

It is really good as an alternative with the flavoured ones over using the bottles of flavoured water. Too much plastic packaging, and aspartame with those. *wink*

I am going to try it in yoghurt next time I pick up some Liberty Bio plain (the only one I can have).

I am a bit of a research diva... can you tell... *snicker*

10-12-2007, 06:37 PM
Rhonda, I'm glad you are thinking about changing your sweetner. Since I cut out splenda, I drank diet mountain dew and put splenda in my tea, my headaches are gone. I used to have one every couple of days. I don't care what the studies say, I feel much better eating whole foods with as little processed as possible.

Mrs Quadcrew
10-15-2007, 10:10 AM
Ronda - another thing about the Agave is that it is VERY sweet! I use maybe 1 teaspoon of it to sweeten 3/4 cup of steel oats and 1/2 cup of berries. You won't use a lot of it. An 8 ounce bottle of it lasts me about 6 months here.

10-15-2007, 10:30 AM
An 8 ounce bottle of it lasts me about 6 months here.

That is great to know...this stuff is a bit pricey.

10-15-2007, 12:40 PM
Stevia is VERY pricey. I know the specialty grocery store I go to for health foods has it in bulk bins. But still pricey. Agave is something my girlfriend who is diabetic uses. Apparently it doesn't affect blood sugar levels as much as sugar.

10-15-2007, 03:14 PM
I like agave myself. It is relatively mild (in comparison to honey). It is higher in price, but then what will we pay for health care by adverse effects of sugar, chemicals, etc. once our bodies react to years of ingestion?

Also, I don't care for Stevia. It leaves a bitter taste. However, I have heard a lot of people use it and like it. You may want to try to get a small container before buying too much to make sure you like it.

Mrs Quadcrew
10-16-2007, 09:03 AM
I agree with you 110% on that Ritzy. I still am amazed at how I look now, and I really believe it is because I don't ingest chemicals (for the most part!) anymore. People tell me all the time how "healthy" I look now.....and in my heart I know it is because I eat GOOD food! I know I feel so much better these days, that is for sure. Why eat chemicals if there is a healthy/natural alternative?

Cuter w Curves
10-16-2007, 11:47 AM
Stevia is VERY pricey. I know the specialty grocery store I go to for health foods has it in bulk bins. But still pricey. Agave is something my girlfriend who is diabetic uses. Apparently it doesn't affect blood sugar levels as much as sugar.

The SweetLeaf brand has the least aftertaste I have found.

My liquid Stevia cost me 16.81$ for the 2 oz. bottle in a health food store... 2 months ago. There is still 80% of the bottle left. Different places sell it for different prices but many of those who use it have a few different flavours as well so buying them and using them takes a long time to go through them. It is only 13.98 for the same bottle to buy it by click through off the SweetLeaf site.

Because you are using it in the quantity of drops it lasts a long time.