Go Sweet on Maple Syrup
For better health, you might want to tune out the buzz on agave and reach for good old maple syrup. Some brands of agave are composed of as much as 90 percent fructose; by comparison, table sugar and maple syrup are 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. What’s the trouble with fructose? When University of California, Davis, researchers gave volunteers beverages sweetened with either pure fructose or just glucose, the fructose consumers put on more belly fat, the type of fat that scientists now suspect raises the risk of heart disease. (For more info, see No. 19.) In addition, the fructose-consuming group had decreased insulin sensitivity, which may be a precursor to diabetes. If you want to stick with agave, use it sparingly.