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Difference between Agave and Sugar

Agave:

Agave nectar is obtained from the blue agave plant widely grown in desert regions such as hot and arid regions found in Mexico. The agave plant is a medium-size succulent plant with green or grayish spiky leaves that make it look like aloe vera or cactus. The Honey water, which is found at the core of this plant, is extracted then filtered, heated and processed to produce thicker agave syrup.

Agave nectar has a dark amber color with light consistency. It is a natural sweetener which is a good substitute for sugar and other artificial, non-nutritive sweeteners. Its glycemic index is significantly lower than white sugar which makes it a healthy alternative to many processed and natural sweeteners like white granulated sugar, brown sugar, date sugar, dehydrated cane juice, maple sugar crystals etc. Furthermore, its taste is comparable to honey which makes it an ideal option for people who are vegetarians so don't like to eat honey or don?t like the taste of honey.

Uses:

  • Agave syrup is used as a topping for fruit salads, pancakes or ice creams and in baked recipes. It is high in calories so may cause weight gain or tooth decay if consumed in large amounts.
  • Agave plant sap is processed to make tequila.
  • Agave syrup is used as a substitute for sugar in various products like candy, drinks, and sauces

Sugar:

Sugar is an umbrella term which generally refers to sweet-flavored substances. Here, we are talking about table sugar which is also known as white or granulated sugar and is the most commonly used sugar, widely used in tea, coffee and desserts. It is generally obtained from sugarcane or sugar beet.

Sugars are categorized as monosaccharide, disaccharides and polysaccharides. The table sugar is a disaccharide, made of fructose and glucose, which is also known as sucrose.

The sugar production involves a long process which comprises the following basic steps:

  • First juice is extracted from sugarcane
  • Then the juice is purified with lime and heat
  • It is further processed which produces sugar crystals and molasses.
  • Sugar crystals are separated from molasses by high-speed centrifugal machines.
  • Finally, the sugar crystals are bleached and refined to produce the table sugar.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between agave and sugar are as follows:

Agave Syrup Table Sugar
It is obtained from the blue agave plant, native to Mexico. It is obtained from sugarcane and beets.
It is made of two types of sugars: fructose (60?80%) and glucose (20-40%). It also has two types of sugars but with different proportion: half fructose and half glucose (fructose 50% and glucose 50%).
It has low glycemic index: 10-19 It has high glycemic index: more than 50
Calcium: 72 mg per 100 g 1 mg per 100g
Vitamin C: 1 mg per 100 g Does not contain Vitamin C
Dietary fiber present Dietary fibers not found
It contains Sodium. It does not contain sodium.
It has runny to viscous texture, less viscous than honey. So, dissolves easily in cold drinks. It is produced as solid granule crystals. So it does not dissolve easily in cold drinks, suitable for hot beverages like tea, coffee.
It is native to Mexico and South Africa. It is native to India.
It is a light to dark amber in color. It is white or brown in color depending on the type and level of processing.
It has slightly more calories than sugar, but sweeter than sugar so less quantity can be used.Around 21 calories per teaspoon of agave syrup. It has fewer calories than agave nectar. Around 16 calories per teaspoon of sugar.
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