Agave syrup is just as unhealthy as sugar, say scientists

It's time to ignore the 'nutribabble'

Sarah Young
Thursday 07 September 2017 11:44
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Allying under the hashtag #eatclean, the wellness set has declared sugar the enemy while public health officials say that it’s the major contributing factor to our obesity epidemic.

Instead, ‘clean eating’ celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Deliciously Ella insist that, if you really must consume it, you should be opting for trendy alternatives like agave, rice malt or even maple syrup.

But, in news that is sure to please sugar lovers everywhere, experts are now saying that these fashionable forms aren’t healthier after all.

In fact, they’re just another, albeit far more expensive, type of sugar.

Speaking at the British Science Festival, dietitian and senior lecturer in human nutrition at Coventry University, urged people to ignore so-called ‘nutribabble.’

And when it came to the topic of replacement sweeteners, he said, “The bottom line is, sugar is sugar.”

A favourite of clean eating gurus, agave syrup – which costs up to £10.99 for 500ml on the high street – has a low glycemic index (GI), meaning it enters the bloodstream more slowly because of its low sucrose content.

But, it’s actually high in another type of sugar called fructose which makes it close in composition to the standard form of processed sugar we largely blame for obesity.

As such, experts are now saying that people would be better off consuming less normal sugar and buying healthy foods like fresh vegetables, rather than wasting money on ‘one-shot’ solutions glamourised by celebrities.

“There is a lot of 'nutribabble' out there, and that is the polite description,” Mellor added.

“We need to relax and not get so hung up about every individual part of our diet, and look at how the whole thing fits together.”

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