Agave Nectar – The Latest Health Food Scam
As a Health Coach, I tell folks all the time that just because something is promoted by the healthfood industry and can be purchased in a healthfood store does not, in fact, make it healthy. Recall the major scam about soy and how it was promoted (and still is) as healthy back in the early 90′s. Consumption of soy is linked to all manner of ill health, in particular, hypothyroidism. Menopausal women who buy into the ploy of soy typically end up overweight, losing their hair, and depressed (are you listening, Oprah?). The effects on younger folks are no better, and for those unfortunate infants who were fed soy infant formula – well, they have a lifetime of hormonal issues to deal with once puberty hits (if it hits at all for the boys). Israel and New Zealand have banned the use of soy infant formula, by the way. Still think it’s the best thing for your baby?
Another healthfood scam that is only now coming unwound is canola oil. Proponents of canola oil generally have no idea that the name itself is short for “Canadian Oil” after the country where it was developed. It is a genetically modified version of rapeseed oil and is about as far from healthy as you can get where vegetable oil is concerned. Rapeseed oil, from which canola is made, is poisonous and serves as a very effective insect repellent. Truth be told, canola oil is nothing more than an industrial oil, produced by very violent and toxic methods. It cannot be classified as a traditional oil in any way, although clever and misleading marketing puts it in the class of olive oil. Beware of those labels where some canola oil is classified as “cold pressed and organic”. What the heck does that mean? I don’t actually know how companies get away with misleading labels like this, but don’t let them fool you. Canola oil is no good and should be avoided in all products and in all circumstances.
The latest healthfood scam is agave nectar. The alarming obesity epidemic in this country and the millions of prediabetic people have caused the term “low glycemic” to suddenly become a very appealing and marketable term. When a food is “low glycemic”, this means that it does not spike the blood sugar as rapidly as a food that has a higher glycemic index. As a result, folks with blood sugar issues (about 80% of folks over 25) who are avoiding sugar have been scammed into thinking agave is a healthy sweetener for them. While it is true that agave is low in sugar, agave is very very high in fructose. The concentration of fructose in agave is actually higher than in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)! And, though it is true that agave won’t spike your blood sugar like white sugar will, this fact does not make it healthy. Using a concentrated fructose product like agave may spare your pancreas, but it does a number on your liver. Metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, fatty liver, very dangerous belly fat .. all these are attributed to consumption of agave nectar and other similar products like HFCS.
Here are a couple of links to give you more information on how dangerous agave nectar can be to your body. One final word of warning: skip those free magazines that are given out at the healthfood store. Those things are nothing more than marketing pieces disguised as “objective science” about health. These magazines are a big tool for promoting the healthfood scams that are perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.