How Does Raw Honey Compare as a Sweetener to Agave?

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Everyone knows that raw honey is sweet, which gives it its appeal. As a sweetener, there isn’t anything more healthy on the planet that tastes so good. How does it compare to a sweetener like agave, though?

Those of you unfamiliar with agave should know it’s also a natural sweetener, though a little different from honey in taste and appearance.

Which one is better for you? Let’s look at some comparisons to help you make a smart dietary choice.

What is Agave Exactly?

Agave is considered more like a nectar or syrup since it comes from blue agave plants found in Mexico. Yes, Mexico is the only place where agave is found, making it a more valuable sweetener to use on food and in drinks.

When this syrup is extracted from the plants, it’s processed much like honey is to sell in stores. The heating process thickens the product, just like honey, and ultimately what’s sold in most marketplaces.

Many vegans prefer consuming blue agave because those who prefer a vegan diet don’t always buy honey due to personal philosophy on the labor of bees. Still, the comparison between honey and agave is an interesting one. 

A good argument can be made in both being of equal value, even though how each are processed makes the difference in their nutrition.

How Much Sugar is in Agave?

Part of the appeal with agave is it has a lower glycemic index compared to honey. Many diabetics turn to agave for this reason. Overall, it has fairly high fructose content, something that requires careful balance if you’re watching your sugar intake.

On the glucose end, it’s not quite so high, though depends on how it’s processed. It only has 60 calories, which is about equal with most honey, including raw honey. Interestingly enough, granulated sugar is a little lower in caloric level.

What matters above the health aspects of agave is how it tastes. 

What Does Agave Taste Like Compared to Raw Honey?

Most people describe agave as tasting sweeter than sugar, giving it major appeal for use in recipes and libations.

Compared to raw honey, both are very similar in taste. Someone not aware they were tasting agave might think, initially, it’s honey. 

Regardless, other people think the taste is more neutral compared to honey. When you find a darker colored version of agave, it can sometimes taste like maple syrup. Others say when you buy a lighter version of agave, it has a unique sweet taste that stands alone compared to honey or sugar.

One thing about agave is it’s not quite as thick as honey. While this all goes by personal tastes, you still have to use agave (and honey) in moderation for a healthy diet due to both having sugar and fructose content.

Should You Buy Your Agave in Organic Form?

A major problem exists with processed agave, just like with honey. Those of you who’ve bought honey in grocery stores for years are probably getting the pasteurized variety that takes away all the healthy properties raw honey has.

Agave is going through the same issue. All the processed agave in grocery stores you might be buying also has its healthier properties stripped away by heating.

Your best bet is to buy organic agave to get the healthiest type. Here at Artie’s Harvest, we work closely with local farmers to make sure you get organic blue agave directly from the farmers who harvest it.

We work with farmers who connect with agave growers in Jalisco, Mexico who make sure safe growing practices are carefully followed.

So, the verdict: Honey and agave are both great sweeteners, but only a couple of tablespoons per day is all you need to enjoy their benefits.

References:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/healthy-tips/2012/11/food-fight-agave-vs-honey

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/agave-nectar-vs-honey

https://www.verywellfit.com/agave-vs-honey-how-they-compare-according-to-dietitans-5195952

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