You might be a tequila drinker, but chances are you are not a true tequila aficionado (devotee).
What’s the difference?
Well, anyone can guzzle tequila, but not everyone knows what it takes to make it.
Tequila is a regional specific name for a distilled (alcoholic) beverage made from the Agave tequilanan plant, (also known as blue agave plant, agave azul or tequila agave) primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 km northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands of the north western Mexican state of Jalisco.
Did you know that the same plant used to make tequila beverage also produces a sweetener?
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A sweetener created from the Agave tequilanan plant, used to make tequila as well, could lower blood glucose levels of the 26 million Americans who are registered diabetic and other diabetic patients worldwide who have type 2 diabetes.
A recent study conducted by the American Chemical Society (ACS) revealed that the sugar agavin found in the Agave tequilanan plant could also help people with type 2 diabetes lower their blood glucose levels and maintain a healthy weight.
What is agavin?
Agavin is a natural form of the sugar fructose called a fructan. This is the key difference. With fructan, the individual sugar molecules are linked together in long chains which make it a non-digestible dietary fiber that won’t raise blood sugar levels, but does have a sweet flavor.
The agave nectar has fructan that has been broken down into individual fructoses, like high-in-fructose corn syrup that the body can digest, raising blood glucose levels and contributing to diabetes.
Altgough it sounds like a contradiction, in fact, it isn’t contradictory, because agavin adds no calories. It comes from the agave plant, which is also used to make agave nectar. Unlike agavin sweeter, the agave nectar has calories and raises blood sugar. So, it is necessary to differentiate the agave sweetener from the the agave nectar (syrup).
According to the study, agavin can act as dietary fiber and, as a result, it will not raise blood glucose. The Mexican researcher-contributor to the study, Dr. Mercedes G. Lopez, Ph.D. said:”We have found that since agavin reduces glucose levels and increases GLP-1, it also increases the amount of insulin.” Lopez further added, “Agavin is not expensive sugar and it has no known side effects, except for those few people who cannot tolerate it.”
When scientists added agavin to the water of mice prone to diet-induced obesity and type 2 diabetes, the mice ate less and had lower blood sugar.
The mice also had increased insulin and hormone called GLP-1. This hormone slowed their digestion or emptying their stomach, and stimulated the production of insulin.
Thus, it help them feel fuller, so they ate less, lost weight, and had lower blood sugar levels compared with mice given other sugars and even aspartame.
These studies need to be verified by human trials to look at the long term consequences of eating agavin.
The only known downside to this sweetener is that it’s not as sweet, but its benefits could make eating a lot more fun for diabetics.
However, scientists will have to conduct more studies to show that a shot of tequila is as good for diabetics as the agavin sweetener is.
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American Chemical Society (ACS)