Sugar is readily available in American culture and seems to be in every food that you eat. If you’re eating something out of a package chances are there is sugar inside. I’m often asked about natural sugar substitutes and one that is mentioned is agave. This is a sweetener produced from the agave plant
that is commercially processed so that the syrup can be used in foods. Agave syrup is actually sweeter than honey or table sugar and the thought is you can use less for the same amount of sweetness.
Let’s do a comparison of nutritional facts:
Serving Size: 1 teaspoon (Agave Syrup), 1 teaspoon (Table Sugar)
Calories: 21 (Agave Syrup), 16 (Table Sugar)
Total Carbohydrate: 5 g (Agave Syrup), 4.2 g (Table Sugar)
Sugar: 4.7 g (Agave Syrup), 4.2 g (Table Sugar)
As you can see from above, agave and sugar have relatively the same nutrition composition. If you look at other common natural sweeteners the verdict will remain the same: sugar is sugar.
Common names on ingredient lists for sugar include:
brown sugar, molasses, honey, cane sugar, turbinado, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, sucrose, fructose or levulose, lactose, glucose or dextrose, maltose
*good rule of thumb— sugar’s chemical names end in (-ose)
When using any sweetener be conscious of the serving size and the grams of sugar present in that product per serving. Use all sugars in moderation and remember that sugar is sugar and your body will respond the same way regardless of the source.