Can You Use Agave Nectar on the Dukan Diet?
This is a question which usually appears two or three times a week so I thought I write a quick post to make the answer easier to find. Although Agave nectar is allowed in some weight loss programs it is not allowed on the Dukan Diet. The Dukan Diet is low in carbohydrates so this is why foods such as fruit, some vegetables and agave are not allowed in the weight loss phases. It is also a diet which does not allow any sugar to be added to food and this is why so many fat free yogurts aren’t suitable. However although you are not allowed to add sugar to any food, some of the foods that you eat on the Dukan Diet such as dairy products do contain naturally occurring sugar. This is why you cannot find a fat free and sugar free yogurt. It is like looking for a tin of elbow grease!!
All forms of sugar are carbohydrates but not all carbohydrates are the equal. The reason that some weight loss programs allow the use of agave is because it is absorbed by our body much more slowly than other sugars and this rate of absorption in measured in the glycemic index (GI) of various foods. Foods that have a high GI are those which have carbohydrates that our bodies can easily convert to sugar, making them more likely to cause a quick rise in our blood glucose levels.
Agave does have a much lower GI than many foods and it also has a good glycemic loading (GL) per serving but this ignores the calorific and nutritional content. For example an apple when compared to two tablespoons of agave nectar has a higher(poorer) GI and GL yet is much lower in calories and will be much more satisfying so whilst the GI and GL of a food is useful information, it needs to be tempered so that you make sensible food choices. Apples of course are not allowed in the weight loss phases of the Dukan Diet because of their high carbohydrate content.