Miele o sciroppo d'agave, confronto tra due dolcificanti liquidi naturali | Pinkfoodshop

Honey or agave syrup comparison of two natural liquid sweeteners

Jul 26, 2020Barbara Arlati

Even the less attentive to nutrition now know that white sugar is not good for health due to its high glycemic index but also because it undergoes various refining processes before arriving on our tables.

Once "traditional" sugar has been discarded, one finds oneself having to choose an alternative and one is faced with a multitude of choices, more or less natural and more or less accessible.

Today we compare the best known and oldest natural alternative to sugar, honey, with maple syrup which in recent years has also become increasingly popular in Italian natural food stores. We will evaluate the pros and cons of each one and then decide which is the best choice for our health.


  • Little processed, some types almost not at all.
  • It provides 304 kcal per 100 grams and has a slightly higher sweetening power than sugar (so you need less)
  • It has a glycemic index of 58 (sugar 60)
  • It is made up of 30% glucose, 40% fructose and then other sugars in smaller quantities (maltose, isomaltose, etc.)
  • It is known for its many properties: it is used in case of sore throat or cough, it is anti viral, anti fungal and rich in antioxidants (especially if it is unpasteurised honey)

Agave syrup

  • It undergoes a fairly complex process to get to be consumed, this neutralizes a large part of the nutrients
  • It provides about 310 kcal per 100 grams and has a sweetening power equal to that of honey
  • It has a glycemic index of 19
  • It is made up of 75-90% fructose (processed by the liver with a consequent increase in triglycerides)

Agave syrup given its low glycemic index can be useful in case of diabetes (but still to be used sparingly) but in all other cases  the use of honey (not pasteurized) is certainly healthier.

The fact that the agave syrup is composed almost entirely of fructose and that it is refined to reach the table are certainly the worst defects. In fact, fructose is metabolised by the liver which, when it receives an excess, transforms it into triglycerides which are introduced into the blood or deposited in the liver itself (hypertriglyceridemia is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease).

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