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Agave Nectar -Myth and Truth

old message Avage Nectar Facts Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Agave is mainly a starch, such as corn or rice. Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Agave Nectar is produced the same way as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Agave Nectar can produce miscarriages. Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Agave Nectar is adulterated or mixed with HFCS. Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Agave Nectar may have adverse side effects such as mineral depletion, liver inflamma Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Agave Nectar is bad for you and should be avoided at all cost! Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Agave is bad for you because it is high in fructose. Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Agave Nectar uses Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) enzymes much the same as High Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Hydrolysis is bad for you. Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Fructose is a harmful sugar that creates obesity. Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Agave Nectar is refined fructose and unrecognized (digested) in the body. Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Fructose can lead to an increase in triglycerides. Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Myth: Industry insiders are currently using less, toxic agave plants due to shortage of Bl Darrell Miller 04/08/10
old message Sweeteners Darrell Miller 04/08/10


TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Avage Nectar Facts

Date: April 08, 2010 04:02 PM
Author:
Subject: Avage Nectar Facts

First of all let me preface by saying thank you very much for contacting Madhava Honey with your concern. Madhava has been in business for over 36 years and one of our four fundamental core values is and always will be to provide the Highest Quality product that exceeds the industry standard. Our other three core values are providing a product with the highest respect to the environment and health of the consumer, supporting community development via living wages and sustainable development of local economies, and finally providing a fair guaranteed price for our suppliers. Thirty six years ago Madhava was founded on "sustainable" practices and we take negative misleading attacks on our products very seriously. Madhava will try to respond to all the issues in question along with providing a little bit of background information on the source of the attacks. Finally at Madhava we believe in full transparency and please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you feel any questions or concerns have not been addressed. Thank you very much.

A. What constitutes Madhava's Agave Nectar?

There are 3 main components of our Agave Nectar. It is naturally composed primarily of the simple sugars fructose, glucose (dextrose), and water. Madhava’s Agave is Certified Organic and is Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Free.

B. How is Madhava's Agave Nectar produced?

The Agave plant is truly a remarkable plant! It grows in the harshest environments with little water and no upkeep is needed. It is naturally found in Western Mexico making it a non-evasive plant to the area regarding its growth and harvest. It requires no pesticides or fertilizers and is actually a cornerstone to its ecosystem. The Agave plant is truly a sustainably grown/harvested crop.

The Agave plant is grown for 6-8 years, then before turning to seed, it is then harvested by hand. Jimadores or Agave harvesters go to the selected fields and remove the "Pina" or heart of the Agave plant, by cutting off the long spiny "leaves" and unearthing it from the soil. It is all done by hand thus reducing the carbon footprint during harvesting. The Pinas are then loaded to a truck which takes them back to the harvesting facility.

There are two methods of making the Agave Nectar from the juice of the plant. One uses a natural non-GMO enzyme and the second uses thermal hydrolysis. Both processes achieve the same goal; which is to separate the naturally occurring Fructans, which are complex sugar molecules into their simple sugar components fructose and glucose.

The actual process of hydrolysis of agave, either thermal or enzymatic, is unlike the process of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which creates fructose out of the glucose made from the milled starch of corn. Agave Nectar simply separates Fructans or Inulin, a complex naturally occurring sugar, into Fructose and Glucose.

C. Moderation vs. Overconsumption

It is certainly true that overconsumption of any one or a combination of sugars can have detrimental effects, but this is not in a vacuum, it involves lifestyles, other food choices and other conditions. Overconsumption of any food or beverage will have ramifications. Sweeteners are ingredients which are added to foods in relatively small quantity to make them more palatable. In others, sugars can make up a large portion of the caloric value. These foods are easy to identify and avoid as necessary. People do not consume sweeteners as a solitary food in mass quantity. They are just part of the choices people make and consumption can be controlled, each of us chooses what we eat and how much. There are no health issues with moderate consumption of sweeteners; every negative circulating is relative to the overall consumption of one's diet.





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TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Agave is mainly a starch, such as corn or rice.

Date: April 08, 2010 04:04 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Agave is mainly a starch, such as corn or rice.

Truth:

Agave contains Fructans or Inulin, not starch. Fructans are a naturally occurring polysaccharide or complex sugar consisting of Fructose and Glucose. Certain plants produce Fructans which is a form of energy storage. Most plants that synthesize/store Fructans do not store other material such as starch.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Agave Nectar is produced the same way as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

Date: April 08, 2010 04:06 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Agave Nectar is produced the same way as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

Truth:

There are two methods of making the Agave Nectar from the juice of the plant. One uses a non-GMO enzyme and the second is via thermal hydrolysis. Both process achieve the same goal which is to separate the naturally occurring Fructans which are complex sugar molecules into their simple sugar components fructose and glucose.

Unlike the process of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which creates fructose out of the glucose from the starch found in milled Corn, Agave Nectar simply separates Fructans or Inulin, a complex naturally occurring sugar into Fructose and Glucose.

Our producers do not use any sort of chemicals in the process and no foreign material is being added such as HFCS. Filtration and evaporation of excess moisture are the rest of the process. The evaporation is done in a vacuum evaporator.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Agave Nectar can produce miscarriages.

Date: April 08, 2010 04:07 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Agave Nectar can produce miscarriages.

Truth:

There are two methods of making the Agave Nectar from the juice of the plant. One uses a non-GMO enzyme and the second is via thermal hydrolysis. Both process achieve the same goal which is to separate the naturally occurring Fructans which are complex sugar molecules into their simple sugar components fructose and glucose.

Unlike the process of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which creates fructose out of the glucose from the starch found in milled Corn, Agave Nectar simply separates Fructans or Inulin, a complex naturally occurring sugar into Fructose and Glucose.

Our producers do not use any sort of chemicals in the process and no foreign material is being added such as HFCS. Filtration and evaporation of excess moisture are the rest of the process. The evaporation is done in a vacuum evaporator.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Agave Nectar is adulterated or mixed with HFCS.

Date: April 08, 2010 04:08 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Agave Nectar is adulterated or mixed with HFCS.

Truth:

There are two methods of making the Agave Nectar from the juice of the plant. One uses a non-GMO enzyme and the second is via thermal hydrolysis. Both process achieve the same goal which is to separate the naturally occurring Fructans which are complex sugar molecules into their simple sugar components fructose and glucose.

Unlike the process of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which creates fructose out of the glucose from the starch found in milled Corn, Agave Nectar simply separates Fructans or Inulin, a complex naturally occurring sugar into Fructose and Glucose.

Our producers do not use any sort of chemicals in the process and no foreign material is being added such as HFCS. Filtration and evaporation of excess moisture are the rest of the process. The evaporation is done in a vacuum evaporator.

No research has pointed that Blue Agave contains Anodin and Dinordin, the steroid derivatives with contraceptive effects that could lead to a miscarriage. This is clearly a cruel scare tactic. The truth is that there are many types of saponins and they are in a lot of foods we eat. Most beans and legumes, soya beans, onions, paprika, alfalfa - these all contain various saponins. Saponins are phytosterol compounds that occur naturally in some plants. Saponins have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, along with anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating properties.

From the prehispanic times, the only sweet treat available to Indians in Mexico was the cooked leaves of the agave plant. They are still in markets all over Mexico. If there would be any kind of dangerous substance, this would be the absolute extreme case of exposure to it; not a single case of any problem has ever been reported, this goes back over 700 years.

Agave Nectar in its present form has been sold for over 12 years all over the world, including western Europe, Japan and the U.S.. The product has a proven record of safety and is deemed safe by the FDA and all regulatory bodies all over the world and there has never been a report of agave nectar linked to a miscarriage.

Madhava's Agave Nectar does not contain corn syrup, corn products, or any adulteration of any sort. Guaranteed. Our Agave Nectar is 100% pure from the agave plant with no additives whatsoever.

We package our agave nectar at our facility in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Madhava's Quality Control representatives routinely visit and inspect all our suppliers’ facilities in Mexico. The suppliers are Organically Certified and 3rd party audited or currently in the process. In addition our facility in Colorado is USDA Organic Certified and we are routinely audited.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Agave Nectar may have adverse side effects such as mineral depletion, liver inflamma

Date: April 08, 2010 04:09 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Agave Nectar may have adverse side effects such as mineral depletion, liver inflamma

Myth: Agave Nectar may have adverse side effects such as mineral depletion, liver inflammation, hardening of the arteries, insulin resistance leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity and more.

Truth:

This is an unfounded scare tactic. Moderate use of Agave Nectar will not directly lead to the above mentioned consequences. The issue is overconsumption and poor dietary choices.

“Inaccurate information from ostensibly reliable sources and selective presentation of research under extreme experimental conditions, representing neither the human diet nor HFCS have misled the uninformed and created an atmosphere of distrust and avoidance for what, by all rights, should be considered a safe and innocuous sweetener.” – White, John S. The Journal of Nutrition. We believe this applies to agave as well.

Supporting data has been misused. The studies that have been conducted have measured metabolic upsets under extreme conditions. They have used pure 100% fructose versus pure glucose at very high concentrations. These conditions do not reflect the American diet or the composition of fructose containing sweeteners. The methods have been inappropriate for assessing the safety of these dietary macronutrients. Even pure water triggers adverse health effects at these high repeat doses. The Journal of Nutrition (2009). Supplement: The State of Science on Dietary Sweeteners Containing Fructose.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Agave Nectar is bad for you and should be avoided at all cost!

Date: April 08, 2010 04:14 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Agave Nectar is bad for you and should be avoided at all cost!

Truth:

Agave Nectar attacks have increased recently; this is at a result of its popularity. More and more shoppers are finding Agave Nectar to be an amazing sugar substitute. With this the popularity of blogs and pop up articles have caught on as "Agave" has become a new buzz word such as "Green." The main source of the unfounded attacks on Agave are directly linked to one article written and posted on the web by a "Spiritual Psychologist" with no medical, science, or industry background.

Furthermore, the authors sole "sweetener” expert has direct links to artificial sweeteners discrediting both the author’s creditability and the "experts" motives. Not only does the "expert" have direct links to a potential competing sweetener, but has a history of questionable business practices. The complete disregard for medical, scientific, industry facts by the author and industry "expert" is appalling. Not to mention they should be ashamed for their fear based tactics and questionable ethics. We think it should be noted that the author himself has avoided entirely the controversy he created and has not made himself available to address questions about the errors of fact, the manipulation of information and misstatements included in his article, the purpose of which was not to educate, but an attempt to derail the rising popularity of agave nectar.

Madhava Honey has recently added to our consulting team, Susan M. Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN. She has written several books on the topic of High Performance Nutrition and worked with groups such as the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sonics, Miami Heat, Gatorade Sports Nutrition Speakers Network and a former Educational Advisory Board member of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. She will be consulting with us and providing Madhava consumers with the facts about Agave Nectar and Fructose in a balanced diet.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Agave is bad for you because it is high in fructose.

Date: April 08, 2010 04:14 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Agave is bad for you because it is high in fructose.

Truth:

Higher fructose content does not mean higher fructose consumption. Most common sweeteners contain varying amounts of fructose. Fructose is what puts the sweet into sugar sweeteners, glucose is comparatively not sweet. Some sweeteners are sweeter than others. It is the higher fructose content that makes them sweeter. Agave has approximately 1.4 times the sweetening power of white sugar. Because it is sweeter, one adjusts to taste and consequently uses less, and consumes fewer calories in the process. The real issue is overconsumption and making good overall diet choices. It is certainly true that overconsumption of any one or a combination of sugars can have detrimental effects, but this is not in a vacuum, it involves lifestyles, other food choices and other conditions. Overconsumption of any food or beverage will have ramifications. Sweeteners are only ingredients which are added to other foods in relatively small quantity to make them more palatable. Often times the healthier food choices would not be consumed without this palatability obtained from the sweetener. People do not consume sweeteners as a solitary food in mass quantity. They are just part of the choices people make and consumption can be controlled, each of us chooses what we eat and how much. There are no health issues with moderate consumption of sweeteners; every negative circulating is relative to the overall consumption of one’s diet. Moderation in the overall consumption of sweeteners in one’s diet is the important point.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Agave Nectar uses Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) enzymes much the same as High

Date: April 08, 2010 04:05 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Agave Nectar uses Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) enzymes much the same as High

Truth:

Enzymatic hydrolysis (one of two processes of deriving agave nectar) uses a Non-GMO enzyme to separate the complex sugars found in Fructans. No refinement beyond the evaporation of water is involved.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Hydrolysis is bad for you.

Date: April 08, 2010 04:05 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Hydrolysis is bad for you.

Truth:

Agave contains Fructans or Inulin, not starch. Fructans are a naturally occurring polysaccharide or complex sugar consisting of Fructose and Glucose. Certain plants produce Fructans which is a form of energy storage. Most plants that synthesize/store Fructans do not store other material such as starch.

Enzymatic hydrolysis (one of two processes of deriving agave nectar) uses a Non-GMO enzyme to separate the complex sugars found in Fructans. No refinement beyond the evaporation of water is involved.

Hydrolysis in its simplest form is the separation of molecules. Everyday our body naturally performs simple hydrolysis in the conversion of energy for our daily tasks. In the process of Agave Nectar we are taking a complex molecule such as Fructan and separating it into natural molecules your body can absorb called Fructose and Glucose. This is the same exact process of how bees make honey. The nectar is hydrolyzed by an enzyme in the bee’s stomach and then they fan their wings to evaporate the natural water before capping the comb.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Fructose is a harmful sugar that creates obesity.

Date: April 08, 2010 04:10 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Fructose is a harmful sugar that creates obesity.

Truth:

Fructose is a simple sugar found in many foods. Fructose recently has been mis-linked as a harmful sugar, but the issue really lies in general with consumption or overconsumption to be exact. Certainly consuming large amounts of sweeteners of any kind will be detrimental to one's health. Suggesting fructose could cause health issues when concentrated amounts are eaten is a statement which should really apply to the overconsumption issue. Anti-sweetener advocates fail to realize the issue regarding fructose or really any sugar is the overconsumption. Used in moderation, sugars serve a purpose, to provide fuel for energy and to make other foods and beverages more palatable. While we respect the choice to not consume sweeteners and elect for an apple or piece of fruit for those sweet cravings you might have, the moderate use of Agave Nectar or really any natural sweetener will not create issues such as obesity, liver inflammation, etc. As always moderation and a balance diet are keys to one's health. It is a misconception that fructose sweeteners have given rise to increased consumption of total calories. The line graph below shows that total per capita energy intake increased 24% in the U.S. between 1970 and 2005. Over the same period of time, the graph also shows that flour/cereal products and fats increased 3-5% of total caloric intake, and caloric intake of added sugars, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat/eggs/nuts declined. The increase in total caloric intake in the U.S. was not caused by added sugars; rather, we are eating more of everything! - The Journal of Nutrition (2009). Supplement: The State of Science on Dietary Sweeteners Containing Fructose.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Agave Nectar is refined fructose and unrecognized (digested) in the body.

Date: April 08, 2010 04:11 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Agave Nectar is refined fructose and unrecognized (digested) in the body.

Truth:

Fructose or levulose is a simple sugar, sugar does not lack or contain nutrients; if it did, it would no longer be a sugar. Sugar exists as a single substance or nutrient, just as amino acids and fats exist as a single substance or nutrients. Digestion is the process of breaking down structurally complex food into smaller, absorbable units by the enzymes produced within the digestive system. Since fructose is already in a form that is small, it can be absorbed without digestion. Not only is fructose recognized as a food source by the body (hence the increase in body fat when over consumed), the body naturally makes fructose as it is the main energy source of sperm cells.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Fructose can lead to an increase in triglycerides.

Date: April 08, 2010 04:12 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Fructose can lead to an increase in triglycerides.

Truth:

To quote from the International Food Information Council website:

//ific.org/publications/qa/fructoseqa.cfm?renderforprint=1

“Triglyceride is a technical term for fat that occurs in food and in the body. Both dietary fat and carbohydrates contribute to the formation of triglycerides in the body but in different ways. Excess consumption of calories from fats, proteins, or carbohydrates- including starches and sugars-promotes accumulation of body fat”.

Triglycerides are a normal part of our body function. A wide range of foods can lead to an increase in triglycerides; fructose is not singled out by unbiased sources. Most foods have calories that will promote body fat when consumed in too large a quantity and this is particularly true for alcohol.

High triglycerides are the result of a combination of factors, not the direct result of the consumption of fructose. Clearly the intent was to manipulate a kernel of fact into a negative charge.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Myth: Industry insiders are currently using less, toxic agave plants due to shortage of Bl

Date: April 08, 2010 04:12 PM
Author:
Subject: Myth: Industry insiders are currently using less, toxic agave plants due to shortage of Bl

Truth:

This is a total fabrication. Madhava staff have personally travelled to Mexico this year and witnessed the SURPLUS of agave plants. This has been well documented in newspapers in Mexico and the U.S.A. The surplus is so great that some of the fields in which 8 years were invested, have been let go to seed and will not be harvested. Toxic plants are certainly not being used or substituted for agave syrup. It is a wild and crazy suggestion, a cheap shot again designed to propagandize against agave.



TopPreviousNextListen To An Article On Sweeteners

Date: April 08, 2010 04:15 PM
Author:
Subject: Sweeteners

There are only 3 categories to choose from when sweetening: sugar sweeteners from plant sources, artificial sweeteners, and stevia.

Most people will not use artificial sweeteners and many will not use stevia. This only leaves the sugar sweeteners category, and among these, agave has some advantages and is a good choice.

All sweeteners in this category also have some similar characteristics and all add to the overall total consumption that can have an impact on health. Moderation in the overall consumption of sweeteners in ones diet is the important point.

People may not realize that sugars are essential to our body and are an important part of one’s diet. The problem being that affinity for sweets leads to overconsumption.

What is overconsumption?

It is based on caloric intake and includes all caloric foods and is also related to the level of physical activity. The USDA recommends an average diet consumption of 2000 calories. As a portion of this overall consumption, added sweeteners should constitute approx 10% of that intake, 200-250 calories daily.

Agave has 20 calories per teaspoon. The caloric value is similar to other sweeteners, but less agave is required to reach the same sweetness level, so relatively fewer calories are consumed per serving.




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