You may have heard agave nectar -- made from the succulent plant agave -- hyped as a better-for-you sweetener. Fans claim that it doesn't raise blood-sugar levels as much as table sugar does, since it's lower in glucose (spikes in blood glucose are a diabetic danger). It is true that agave nectar has less glucose (10 percent to table sugar's 50 percent), but is it really healthier?
Afraid not, says Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, because it's also higher in fructose (90 percent to table sugar's 50 percent). High fructose content may be even worse for you than high glucose -- fructose is processed in the liver, where it can increase levels of fats in the blood, as well as contribute to insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 Diabetes. Sweeteners that are high in this sugar, like agave nectar, should be used with caution, Bowden says.