Come on-a my house my house, I’m gonna give you everything-Rosemary Clooney
What is agave? It is the nectar from the agave plant, and yes, it is used to make tequila. While tequila has its effect, it is not the subject of this post.
Blue agave is used as a sugar substitute. I am seeing it more and more in gluten free baked items, like breads, cakes, cookies and even dairy free cheesecake and ice cream. What gives? Just because you are making something gluten free, does not mean I want a sugar substitute that aggravates my IBS. I am limited enough to gluten free and dairy free items, now I have to avoid those that contain agave, which limits my choices even more.
As you see in the above picture, agave is not as healthy as it is made out to be. The way it is made makes it into inulin, that nasty item that causes all kinds of war in my stomach. Chicory root is often also used to provide bulk. Same issue. It is the fructose in the agave and the fiber in the chicory root that upsets the IBS sensitive system.
As I stated in my previous post about IBS, agave is on the fodmap list. So is inulin. Granted, I am happy to see so many gluten free packaged goods on the market. Even just a couple of years ago, it would have been hard to find anything gluten free. But I don’t think these manufacturers are thinking outside of the box, so to speak-they are not seeing the bigger picture that a lot of people who are gluten intolerant also have IBS. They are trying to use healthy sweeteners, like agave or honey, instead of granulated sugar. Honey is also on the fodmap list. Yes, sugar is bad for you, but table sugar is one of the only types of sugar an IBS person can tolerate. Just like some soda companies are replacing high fructose corn syrup with sugar, I am hoping that the manufacturers of gluten free and dairy free products are going to realize that using agave or honey is making them lose customers.
This will not happen overnight: but by sharing posts such as these and getting the word out, things will change. Companies are starting to remove food additives and artificial preservatives. It is only a matter of time until this carries over into the gluten and dairy free industry.
Please comment, like and share. Reblog. Help me spread the word. Make your voice heard.