Agave is replacing honey and sugar more often.

Agave, once used to make tequila and mezcal, is now a popular sugar replacement.   

It's cooked and concentrated into a syrup to spread over pancakes or bake sweets, and it's often added to cocktails, tea, coffee, and fruit smoothies.   

Agave may be better than sugar or artificial sweeteners in smoothies, but I prefer fresh or frozen fruit," says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of "Finally Full, Finally Slim" and adjunct nutrition professor at New York University.  

When most people talk about agave in cuisine, they mean alcohol-free agave syrup, also known as agave nectar.   

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Agave syrup comes primarily from the blue agave plant and is sweeter than other sweeteners due to its higher fructose content," explains Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist Kate Zeratsky, RD.   

According to the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences, agave is 1.5 times sweeter than table sugar, thus it needs less to taste sweet.   

Agave syrup is sold online and in natural foods sections of most supermarket stores in light, amber, and dark grades.  

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