Ah, Agave a sweet and tasty nectar straight from the fields of Mexico. We feature both dark and light fairly traded and organic agave in 12 ounces jars from Essential Living Foods.
The Agave plant is a succulent that grows in the arid regions of Southern Mexico, where traditionally the nectar has been fermented to make Tequila. The un-fermented nectar makes a sweet, raw sugar substitute, that is suitable for most diets and widely enjoyed by those who use it.
Dark Agave is the perfect alternative to brown sugar or maple syrup, sweetening with 25% fewer calories. Sweetening your life with Agave is easy, as it is similar in sweetness to sugar yet it has a much lower glycemic index level. It is great in tea, coffee, smoothies and can be used deserts and drinks. Agave rates 30 on the Glycemic Index Scale.
THE GLYCEMIC INDEX AND WHY YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO IT
The Glycemic index is a rating scale that measures the way carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels after being consumed. The index runs form 0 to 100, foods rated 55 or lower are considered to be low glycemic index foods. Foods from 56 to 69 are medium and from 69-100 are high glycemic index foods; white sugar and many processed junk foods fall into the high glycemic index category. There are many factors that determine how you react to sugars. So consider use this index as a reference guide because a variety of factors affect your blood sugar response.
In general foods with a lower glycemic index produce less of a blood sugar spike than foods with a higher glycemic index. So why is this important? With a large sugar load comes a spike and this large spike leads to a large crash and when this pattern becomes habit it can lead to a health crisis. But if we can avoid this by choosing foods that have a low glycemic load we can prevent the Spike/Crash/Crisis scenario.
Out of balance blood sugar leads to a Yo Yo effect on your body's glandular system particularly the pancreas and adrenals.
Here's how it goes: you consume sugar with a high glycemic load, your blood sugar spikes, your body secretes insulin to draw the sugar out of your blood stream and into your cells. It does this because too much sugar in the blood is dangerous. But them what happens is your blood sugar gets low and your body starts to secrete the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and you eventually start to crave more sugar which continues the cycle. Now folks this is very simplified, mainly because I don't want to go into the technical jargon. But what is important is that you understand the cycle, lets review again.
1.) You Eat Food with a High Glycemic Index
2.) This causes a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels
3.) To counter this your pancreas secretes insulin to draw the sugar from the blood into the cells
4.) This leads to a drop in blood sugar and a. . .
5.) Desire for more sweets
How many people are trapped in this cycle? We do what we need to do to survive but if we don't consciously intervene and stop this cycle it will continue and lead to a crisis. And, don't just listen to me, I encourage you to try it yourself. Watch what happens when you eat high sugar foods, watch the cycle see how it feels in your body, pay attention.
These spikes and peaks and valleys also cause a massive increase in the release of stress hormones in the body, such as cortisol and adrenaline. This leads to a host of other issues with weight gain and insulin resistance being two of the main outcomes.
SWEETNESS AND HEALTH
Take your sweetness and health one step further, consider using Stevia,
a naturally sweet substance that rates ZERO on the Glycemic Index. Meaning it will not affect your blood sugar in any way. We have a variety of Stevia options for you to choose from making it easy for you to start using it in a number of different ways.
Tuck a few of the packets
into your purse, pocket or backpack for use on the go. Or pick up a dropper bottle
which also conveniently fits into a purse or backpack.
But, no matter how you choose to sweeten your life beware of the dangers,options and choices involved. Because over time your body will suffer from an overload of sugar. The body is resilient and with proper care and attention it will be there to serve and support you to live a healthy balanced life.
This piece was written and compiled for Zebra Organics by Mark D'Aquila, flower essence practitioner, www.essencealchemy.com