Is Agave Nectar Paleo? No

Agave nectar is a sweetener that has been marketed as a healthy alternative to table sugar. This is largely due to the fact that agave ranks low on the glycemic index, meaning it does not cause a spike in blood sugar. Low blood sugar means that there is no insulin rush. Since insulin promotes the storage of nutrients as fat, causes inflammation, and a host of other health problems, this would appear to make agave nectar a good sweetener for those trying to lose weight.

However, there is more than blood sugar at work here. Agave nectar is almost entirely fructose, which goes straight to the liver where it is packaged as triglycerides. Triglycerides are clusters of three fatty acids held together with glycerol. They travel around your bloodstream and get stored as fat cells until your body needs the energy stored in them. High levels of triglycerides in the blood stream are associated with higher levels of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Consumption of high amounts of fructose also tends to create fat deposits around the liver, resulting in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This can lead to inflammation, scarring of the liver, and in the worst case scenario, liver failure.

Finally, although agave nectar has been marketed as a “natural” sweetener, in fact, there is nothing natural about it. The process of making agave nectar is very similar to the process of making high-fructose corn syrup, which is a highly industrialized process that includes genetically modified enzymes, caustic acids, clarifiers, and filtration chemicals. You can get more information on agave nectar here.