Maguey honey: the not-so-new secret to sweetness

If you are one of the millions of Americans with a sweet tooth, switching from sugar to Maguey honey…
Maguey honey: the not-so-new secret to sweetness
Foto: Flickr

If you are one of the millions of Americans with a sweet tooth, switching from sugar to Maguey honey could be a healthy alternative. Sugar is one of the most consumed foods in the world. It is found, in its varying forms, in more than 74% of the products Americans eat, explains Dr. Robert Lustig of the University of California at San Francisco. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the average American consumes approximately 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, adding about 350 empty calories to our daily diet.

When people eat foods that contain sugar, the body responds by increasing its own sugar levels. The type of sugary food eaten will depend on the body’s reaction. For instance, all foods are rated on a GI or Glycemic Index. This index ranges from 0 to 100. A food that rates high on the GI index is one that will increase the body’s sugar levels very fast. Foods rated with lower GI index readings will slowly increase the body’s sugar levels; a much preferred reaction.

Dr. Lustig conveys the need for people to reduce their average daily consumption of sugar from 22 teaspoons to 9 teaspoons for men, and 6 teaspoons for women in order to avoid illnesses that may otherwise result; yet he notes, “there’s no way to do it with the current food supply.”

Cultivated since pre-Columbine and Aztec people, Maguey honey originates from the plateau of Calpulalpan and Apan in the state of Hidalgo. This 100% natural sweetener derives from the Atrovirens species, also referred to as the tame Maguey, an ideal honey-producing cactus.

The fructose is extracted from the base of the plant without any chemical processing or chemical ingredients. Compared to other sugars, its high content of fructooligosaccharides does not prompt the secretion of insulin for digestion. With a glycemic index of 11, compared to a GI rating of 65 for regular sugar, the honey water from the cactus is can be an ideal alternative to other sugars and honeys. It can even be consumed by some type 2 diabetics.

There are numerous additional health benefits to eating Maguey honey which include its high content of niacin, its function as a bacteria inhibitor, and it’s ability to improve physical performance. Maguey honey can be found all over Latin and North America and is sold under names that include Agave Honey, Honey Water (aguameil de Maguey), and Metz, which is its Aztec name.