Agave sweeteners, known as agave nectar or agave syrup, are produced from the agave plants mainly grown in Mexico. The sap is filtered and heated to break the long-chain sugars down to fructose. In order to preserve the natural enzymes, the temperatures are kept below 118 degrees F. Because of this, these sweeteners are great for weight loss when substituted for sugar.
Use Less with Agave Sweeteners
Agave sweeteners contain about 16 calories per tsp., which is the same amount as in sugar. But, because they are almost twice as sweet as sugar, you only need about half as much and thereby you can cut your sugar calorie intake by almost half.
The taste of agave goes well with just about any food or drink that needs to be sweetened, and you can easily add it in your coffee, tea, smoothies, meat sauces and even in your baked goods.
Control Your Appetite with Agave Sweeteners
Agave sweeteners contain anywhere between 70 to 90 percent of fructose sugar. Fructose does not go into your bloodstream immediately, which means you will not experience a rush of energy immediately after. You will find your energy levels are more stabilized, and as a result, your food cravings will also be under more control.
Sugar will fill you up fast, give you a spike in your energy, but in an hour or so, you can literally feel your energy fading, leaving you hungry and craving for more and more sugar.
Agave sweeteners on the other hand, will not fill up you as fast and you may find yourself eating more at each meal. But because the energy levels are balanced out over a period of time, it helps to control your appetite and you will not be craving for more in an hour. So even though you are eating more at meal times, you are actually eating less in the long run.
Inulin Helps Weight Loss
The sweeteness in agave mainly comes from a fructose known as inulin. It is an essential soluble fiber which helps you to digest your food, as well as regulates bowel movements and decreases constipation. Being able to digest and get rid of what goes into your body is very important if you want to lose weight, and agave helps you to do so.
Inulin also helps to lower cholesterol levels and the triglycerides in the blood. Some of the fructose in agave sweeteners actually raise the triglycerides, but the inulin will help to balance it so that it is safer to consume.
Cholesterol is naturally produced by your body, but when you eat too many animal proteins or other unhealthy fats, your body will produce more than what is healthy. This is mainly what causes you to gain weight, but inulin helps to reduce this cholesterol from building up, making it great for weight loss.
Even though agave sweeteners can help you to lose weight, they are still a sugar and you should consume them in moderation.