|The Weston A. Price Foundation
|Contact: Kimberly Hartke, Publicist
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Agave Nectar Latest Health Scam
New Product Contains More Synthesized Fructose than High Fructose Corn Syrup
WASHINGTON, DC, April 12, 2009–Agave “nectar,” a sweetener increasingly appearing in products aimed at health-conscious consumers, poses greater health hazards than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), according to a recent article in Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a leading voice for accurate nutrition information. Although agave “nectar” is promoted as a healthy alternative to sugar, its high fructose content has nutrition experts raising the caution flag. According to the article, agave contains more free synthetic fructose than high fructose corn syrup, which experts now link to obesity and other health problems.
The article details the manufacturing process for agave “nectar,” which is similar to that used for high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) syrup production. The chemically intensive process transforms starch in the agave root bulb or, in the case of HFCS, corn, into free synthetic fructose.
According to Russ Bianchi, a food industry executive, the body is unable to readily use the unnatural fructose isomer in HFCS or agave “nectar” for energy and so rapidly transforms it into triglycerides (fat), which show up in the body as high triglycerides or as accumulated adipose tissue. Agave contains higher levels of free synthetic fructose than most varieties of HFCS, 70 percent versus 55 percent. “Agave ‘nectar’ is a recipe for obesity, increased insulin resistance, inflammation and heart disease,” says Bianchi, “just like high fructose corn syrup.” The information was published in the Spring, 2009 issue of Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, in the article “Agave Nectar: Worse than We Thought” by Sally Fallon Morell and Rami Nagel.
“As consumers have discovered the dangers of high fructose corn syrup, manufacturers are switching to agave ‘nectar’ in products sold at health foods stores,” says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. “Bottles of agave ‘nectar’ are displacing natural sweeteners like dehydrated cane sugar juice, maple sugar and even honey at high-end stores like Whole Foods. But agave is likely to be even worse for your health than high fructose corn syrup.”
“Agave nectar users have been deceived into believing that they are eating something that is safe and natural,” says Rami Nagel, co-author of the article, “yet they are actually ingesting a highly refined form of fructose instead. A confidential letter from the FDA explains that agave nectar should be labeled as ‘hydrolyzed inulin syrup’ to reveal its true nature. Yet as of today, no agave manufacturers comply with the FDA’s labeling requirement. These manufacturers are deceiving customers while reaping huge profits.”
“The natural health food business has gone to great lengths in the case of agave to defraud consumers,” says Bianchi, “by misrepresenting the true nature of this highly processed ingredient.”
Agave “nectar” also contains high levels of saponins, which can cause miscarriage, making it unsafe for pregnant women. Saponins are steroid derivatives capable of disrupting red blood cells and causing diarrhea and vomiting, making agave problematic for all consumers.
“We urge consumers to read labels carefully,” says Fallon, “and avoid any product containing HFCS or agave. Use moderate amounts of honey, maple sugar or syrup and palm sugar in homemade desserts. Even white sugar is a better choice than agave ‘nectar’.”
The Weston A. Price Foundation is a 501C3 nutrition education foundation with the mission of disseminating accurate, science-based information on diet and health. Named after nutrition pioneer Weston A. Price, DDS, author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, the Washington, DC-based Foundation publishes a quarterly journal for its 10,500 members, supports 400 local chapters worldwide and hosts a yearly conference. The Foundation headquarters phone number is (202) 363-4394, www.westonaprice.org, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kimberly Hartke, Publicist 703-860-2711, cell 703-675-5557, email@example.com
Ramiel Nagel is author of the whole foods nutrition books, Cure Tooth Decay and Healing Our Children. He can be contacted at (800) 314-7806, firstname.lastname@example.org.