Is Agave the Perfect Alternative Sweetener for Diabetics?


That's no cactus. The agave plant, where many people get their tequila and agave syrup from, may also be the secret to a healthier diabetic.

Normally, putting tequila in your morning coffee would be frowned upon as a socially-unacceptable habit. The American Chemical Society; however, has announced that a Mexican research group has found that natural sweeteners found in agave, one of tequila’s main ingredients, may actually be a healthy and safe alternative for diabetics and people trying to lose weight. Usage of the plant is reported to possibly lower the blood glucose level of 26 million Americans affected by diabetes.

How is this possible?

According to Mercedes G. López, a researcher at Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry in Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, agavins found in the agave plant are actually non-digestible and act as dietary fiber without raising glucose levels or causing side effects like artificial sweeteners are known to.

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“We have found that since agavins reduce glucose levels and increase GLP-1, they also increase the amount of insulin,” said Dr. Mercedes G. Lopez in a statement. “They are not expensive and have no known side effects.”


Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi.