The Norman Transcript

Features

July 10, 2013

All types of sugar should be consumed in moderation

NORMAN — Q: Many of my “health nut” friends have started using agave nectar instead of sugar in their cooking and baking. They tell me it’s a healthier alternative to regular sugar and claim its all-natural, but is this true? Is there really such thing as a healthy sugar?

A: It’s good to hear you’re being skeptical. With obesity, diabetes and heart disease rates on the rise worldwide, many consumers have started to become more health conscious when it comes to diet. This trend toward preventative health measures through healthful eating is inherently great news because healthier people mean reduced health care costs.

But, as many of us know already, it also can be very easy to get caught up in the fads and trends that continuously pop up and mislead us when it comes to healthful eating. Because following the latest craze actually may end up doing more harm than good when it comes to health, it is important to remain an informed consumer.

One such trend that appears to have generated quite a bit of buzz more recently among health-conscious consumers is the use of agave nectar (also called agave syrup) as an alternative sweetener to other refined sugars.

Derived from the sap of the agave plant (the same plant used to make tequila), agave nectar has been used for centuries, including by the Aztecs, for its believed medicinal properties.

However, agave nectar is now gaining popularity among many health-aware consumers in light of the increasingly bad raps now tailing refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup, which have subsequently pushed many to seek out a healthier, more natural (meaning minimal or no processing) sweetener.

While Agave nectars and syrups are often marketed as “natural,” this sweetener is actually processed just like any other sugar. Because the United States Department of Agriculture does not regulate or legally define the term “natural,” many manufactures often include the term on labels as a marketing ploy to increase sales and enhance the product’s “healthy” image.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Pancake breakfast set

    The Police Explorer youth organization will host an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Norman Masonic Lodge, 1700 N. Porter Ave. All-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, milk, orange juice and coffee costs $5. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Center will be more than a building

    Many volunteers who assist veterans and surviving spouses have driven more than an hour to be at the Goldsby Community Center by 7 a.m. each Thursday. The volunteer of the week is from Harrah and has made that drive for the last three ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senior organizations that appeal to conservatives

    Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any advocacy organizations for seniors other than AARP? I cut up my AARP card a few years back when they supported Obamacare and am now looking for another organization that better represents me....

    July 29, 2014

  • Seniors adjust to different sleep patterns

    According to the National Institutes of Health, older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, sleep patterns change with age; this is often evident in the nursing home population. Frequent causes of interrupted sleep ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Ceremony marks opening of community center

    A July 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the addition of another feature to the Chickasaw Nation Carter service campus in Ardmore....

    July 27, 2014

  • Chickasaw Cultural Center a terrific place to visit

    SULPHUR — The Chickasaw Cultural Center is a magnificent tribute to a proud people and their storied heritage. Located an easy hour’s drive south from Norman, it’s among the finest travel destinations in Oklahoma. Set on 109 scenic acres, ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisoner re-entry planning for offenders with mental illness

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental health issues, re-entry into society can be troublesome. That is the topic in the first of the 2014 Fall ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Exhibit takes families on food expedition

    If your palate enjoys culinary diversity or if you’re interested in introducing new flavors to your family, join the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in tasting international delights and create your own treat during Family ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Resident makes art in new home

    There’s an old saying about a picture being “worth a thousand words,” which took on a literal meaning recently....

    July 27, 2014