RAW FOOD ALERT UPDATE FRIDAY, APRIL 9, 2011
The Real Raw Truth About Agave Nectar/AKA I TOLD YOU SO CARLOS :0)
(I believe you now Eric! We quit using Agave)
If you are reading this you probably already avoid any foods containing High Fructose Corn Syrup HFCS). The General Public is learning that this is really really bad for you, the industry has discovered something new to con us with, one targeted right at the health-conscious consumer – agave “nectar.” Agave nectar is advertised as a “diabetic friendly,” raw, and “100% natural sweetener.” Yet none of this is very false.
Agave nectar can found in the health food aisles of any store, as well as health food stores. It is also frequently found as an ingredient in many foods labeled as organic or raw, including ketchup, ice cream, chocolate, and health food bars. These labels on these products are designed to make you think that agave is a natural unrefined sweetener that has been used by indigenous people in Mexico for thousands of years. While it is true that they used to let the sweet sap one species of agave to ferment naturally, creating a mildly alcoholic beverage called pulque, the agave nectar in stores today is a newly created sweetener invented in chemistry labs during the 1990’s. Not Good :0(
You might have seen “Blue Agave” that you find popularized in stores isn’t even made from the sap or nectar of the yucca or agave plant as the original white agave traditionally was. Agave Tequilana, or Blue Agave, is processed by removing the pina, which is the root or bulb of the plant, which is then chemically treated, cooked and processed beyond all recognition!
The traditional Agave Salmiana (White Agave) associated with health benefits is made much more naturally. Agave Salmiana grows a flower from the center of the plant called the Quiote. The Quiote is cut off when the plants is 7-8 years old, creating a hole or pool of liquid in the center of the plant, called “Aguamiel.” The plant is then milked twice daily as the Aguamiel collects. Aguamiel is not the sap of the leaves as is often mistakingly thought. In fact, the sap from the leaves contains saponins, raphides and calcium oxalate making it inedible. Aguamiel is the juice that the plant makes to feed the Quiote. It is full of nutrients like carbohydrates, fructans, vitamins and aminoacids. The removal of the water in the juice by evaporation leaves us the White Agave nectar. This healthy, tradtional and natural white agave does exist, it is hard to find and expensive. Even if you do find some, it is still loaded with fructose too much fructose for anything but limited use and is acid-forming for your body.
Disaster With Diabetes
Because high fructose agave syrup won’t spike blood glucose levels, some ruthless companies promote agave syrup as good for diabetics! For this they should probably be criminally prosecuted! Fructose doesn’t trigger a test for glucose – but that doesn’t make it good for anyone, including diabetics! Yucca plants also can contain saponins. – highly toxic steroid derivatives. This unscrupulous industry actually tries to claim sapoinins have some ridiculous health benefits, but you should avoid them at all costs, especially if pregnant or breastfeeding!
Fructose is broken down in your liver just like alcohol and produces many of the side effects of chronic alcoholism! Excessive fructose can cause mineral depletion, liver inflammation, hardening of the arteries, insulin resistance leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, stroke, cancer, arthritis and premature aging.
If you have any insulin-related issues – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, overweight – my suggestions is that you avoid all sweeteners. I use Stevia as well as Coconut Necture however try to avoid sugars when you have any kind of problem until you overcome. A raw foodist can rehabilitate the ability to enjoy the natural goodness in unadulterated foods. That empowers your innate ability to eat “intuitively.”
If you want something sweet, eat a piece of fruit, not a candy bar labeled as a “health food.” Even raw organic snack bars are loaded with processed sugar! How can I say that? Because “drying” fruit, even in the sun, is a form of processing! Dried fruits are sources of highly concentrated sugars and can be almost as bad if abused as any other kind of sugar.
Now, of course that is an ideal. You might have to work up to it, since most people are addicted to things tasting sweeter than they really do. Your body may actually have adapted to an emergency form of cellular metabolism that needs more glucose since that is all you have been eating for decades. If that is the case, then you can wean yourself from sugar substitutes by using sweeteners known to be safer again like Raw Organic Coconut Necture or Stevia. For uncooked dishes try using Raw Organic Honey or Dates. For cooked dishes try a good Organic Maple Syrup. Also make sure that anything you buy like the honey and maple syrup is in a glass container or jar. For the occasional desert, use dehydrated cane sugar juice or maple sugar in moderation. Freshly made apple juice or orange juice can also provide plenty of sweetness – but remember, juicing sweet fruits is also a form of processing that concentrates sugars so should be used in moderation. If you must use agave, look for raw, organic white agave.
Ultimately all sweeteners are bad, forming acidic toxins just like cooking does. Healthy food is supposed to taste good naturally. When you alter the way foods taste, you confuse your ability to intuitively know what’s good and what’s not. With a raw, live food diet, after a period of cleansing and healing right down to the cellular level, your natural ability to truly taste real food begins to return and live, fresh foods begin to taste wonderful without any enhancement – and then when you have a craving its not just your addictions calling, it really means your body needs something nutritionally.
The Raw Food WAY – No Processing, No Labels, No Lies
When you eat fresh, organic raw food it doesn’t come with fine print on the label that can be distorted and twisted by greed. Every single new sweetener like agave syrup introduced into the market was invented to do one thing – make a profit. Since the FDA doesn’t enforce food-labeling laws, you can’t be sure what you’re eating is what is on the label of any processed food. So don’t eat that junk!
Reduce Your Consumption of Fructose and ALL artificial sweeteners!