Honey vs. Agave: The Benefits Of Natural Sweetener

If you like to eat honey, you’ll also like Agave nectar, which is a healthier vegan alternative. While honey and health seem to go together because honey is a natural sweetener (that is healthier than most other sweeteners), agave is even healthier.

About Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a pure, unrefined, natural sweetener that is harvested from plants in the high desert region of Central Mexico. Agave nectar comes from the same agave plants from which we get tequila. The nectar from the agave plant is often referred to as aguamiel, which is Spanish for “honey water.”

How Agave Nectar is Made

To make agave nectar, sap is extracted from the plant. Then it is filtered and heated slowly at a low temperature of less than 118 degrees-which makes it qualify as a raw food by raw food enthusiasts. There are several varieties of agave nectar. Lightly-colored and dark colored varieties can be made from nectar from the same plants. Lighter varieties usually have a milder flavor than darker varieties.

Health Benefits of Agave Nectar

As a sweetener, agave is very versatile and healthy. It is sweeter than honey and sugar, yet it has a subtle, sweet flavor that enhances a variety of foods and beverages, such as coffee and tea. Agave dissolves smoothly in cold beverages, as well as hot beverages.

It is gluten and allergen free, and has a low glycemic index-which makes it one of the safest blood sugar foods because it will not over stimulate the production of insulin or cause sudden blood sugar spikes (like honey and refined sugars do).

Agave also has earned both organic and kosher certification. It is healthy for everyone to eat in moderation, from childhood to old age.

Agave Nectar Flavor

While agave makes a healthy substitute for honey, it does have a different taste-which some people like even better than honey. Its flavor is more similar to caramel or toffee than honey. Because its flavor is very consistent and its texture is moist and smooth, agave nectar is very good to use with baking.

Honey and Agave Nectar

While honey adds a distinct flavor to foods, agave is a milder sweetener. Both honey and agave nectar offer health benefits, and they are each better in certain recipes. While honey provides vitamins and minerals, and helps with digestion, agave delivers even more health benefits than honey.  Agave is a tasty natural sweetener that can be used safely in moderation to replace high glycemic and refined sugars and artificial sweeteners by dieters and some diabetics, as well as everyone who strives for good health.

You don’t have to give up your honey to enjoy agave nectar. A little of both honey and agave nectar will help most people enjoy healthier, sweeter lives.


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  • Tina

    Great article and very informative. I’ve been looking for a sweetener substitute and I think the agave honey will do the trick. Thanks so much!

  • Rose

    You didn’t mention that honey has natural antibacterial agents and healing agents. You can purchase RAW honey from your local area and helps hold local allergies at bay. The fact that you can get Raw honey vs. processed agave makes honey a much more nutritious food. I like agave and use it sometimes. However I totally believe Raw honey is far better for a person!

  • Amy

    This article is riddled with inaccurate information. First, agave is not natural, it is highly processed; boiled and chemically treated to increase the fructose content, which is higher than High Fructose Corn Syrup. This is not the same fructose found in fruit, this is man made. Secondly, it’s “low glycemic” because of the ultra high fructose content. Fructose can only be broken down by the liver, as opposed to sugar which is digested in the intestines. Since fructose is digested in the liver, which takes longer to process, the excess is converted into triglycerides and is likely to be stored as fat. Most importantly, whether or not it is low calorie or low glycemic is irrelevant, it tastes very sweet, so the body releases insulin in anticipation of ingesting sugar. Insulin is a storage hormone, so you are priming yourself for fat storage. Fructose also blunts the hormone response of leptin, which signals your brain that you are full.

    Bottom line: avoid it at all costs.

  • Dana Marie

    I fail to see where you support your mention that agave is healthier than honey?

  • Kelly

    Okay, that being said I agree with the above comments: agave is *not* natural. It is highly processed, and actually when it is in its natural form, it’s not even very sweet!

  • Casey

    Funny how people are so quickly duped into the newest hype. It never fails. Honey has and will always be a healthy sweetener choice. Has been for decades. But at the end of the day, it all boils downs to what tingles your tastebuds the most and how your body responds to it.

  • Joyce

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