Sugar substitute may offer sweet reliefIt's claimed to cut sugar cravings

21 September 2006

 

A spoon of sugar

A sugar substitute goes on sale today which is claimed to be sweeter and healthier than real thing.

Agave nectar, which originates from Mexico and is made from the same plant as tequila, is said to reduce sugar cravings and burn rather than store fat.

Although the honey-like liquid is 25 per cent sweeter than regular sugar, it has a lower glycaemic index (GI) value than sugar, honey or maple syrup.

Agave nectar

Experts say consumers won't experience the extreme energy highs and lows associated with sugar rushes because agave nectar has a high fructose (fruit sugar) level which is absorbed more slowly into the body and doesn't need insulin to break it down.

Nutrition expert Dr Barbara Wilson said: ‘As agave nectar is a natural product, using less will help people manage their calorie intake.

‘It's versatile and so doesn't have the problems of unpleasant aftertaste associated with artificial sweeteners.’

Balance

Tesco is now selling the sugar substitute. The supermarket’s Wholefoods Buyer David Cooke says:'What makes it so special is that unlike other sweeteners it helps keep the body's blood sugar levels balanced which can help our moods remain constant.

‘Unfortunately with sugar and other sweeteners we get an initial short energy rush which is quickly followed by a crashing low when the effect wears off.

‘Agave nectar is an incredibly versatile sugar substitute which can be used to sweeten food and drinks. Unlike honey it dissolves almost instantly so it is perfect to use in tea and coffee, on cereals and in baking in general.’