Perfect 10 Blog

Mar 01

Dr. Aziz Addresses The Agave Nectar Controversy

Posted by: KatMeyer in About The Perfect 10 Diet

Agave plantThe Perfect 10 Diet FaceBook discussions have yielded a lot of great information, along with a lot of great questions. To lend more detail to those topics that seem to be of a great deal of interest to P10'ers, we'll be posting information from Dr. Aziz on those topics regularly here on the blog.

One such issue that has been raised again and again over on the Perfect 10 Diet Facebook page is that of the safety of agave nectar. What is agave nectar? Agave nectar is a honey-colored liquid that is considerably sweeter than sugar. It is gluten-free and low in the glycemic index so it is marketed as diabetic-friendly sweetner. However, there is some controversy that agave can be dangerous, and that it acts as a high-fructose corn syrup.
We asked Dr. Aziz to shed some light on agave nectar for us, and he did!

"I'll explain the controversy. Agave nectar has a low-glycemic index for one reason only: It's largely made of fructose, so it has minimal impact on insulin-the fat-storing hormone," says Dr. Aziz. "In large quantities, fructose is a very damaging form of sugar. Agave nectar has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener. All sugars (table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup) contain some mixture of fructose and glucose. Table sugar is 50/50, HFCS is 55/45. Agave nectar is a at 90 percent fructose."

Is fructose bad? "No," says Dr. Aziz, "Fructose, the sugar found naturally in fruits -- is perfectly fine when you get it from natural sources. But when it's commercially extracted from fruits, it is in a concentrated form. Fructose can be damaging in excess as it can cause insulin resistance and has a negative effect on cholesterol. The controversy is: fructose found in the agave plant is natural, but when extracted, the fructose becomes concentrated, and therefore can be very damaging."

So, what is Dr. Aziz's advice when it comes to using commercially-extracted agave nectar? "If you need a sweetener for use at high temperatures, a small amount of agave nectar once in a while isn't going to harm you or kill you. You can also use plain sugar, honey, or maple syrup but all of these types of sugar will have a negative impact on insulin and should be used moderately ,and in small amounts. Stevia is a perfectly acceptable sweetener on the Perfect 10 Diet, and is recommended for use when high temperature cooking will not be involved."

If you have a question for Dr. Aziz, please leave it here in the comments, or post to the Perfect 10 Diet FaceBook page, or on Twitter. We'll be posting answers to your Perfect 10 Diet questions both here and over at FaceBook, so check back regularly!

Comments (13)Add Comment
written by martin sage, July 03, 2012
My husband and I have been following Perfect Ten diet for the past 2 months. He (about 75 lbs overweight to start)has steadily lost 20 pounds, feeling great, having done Stage One as in the book. I did not need to lose weight, skipped Stage One but want to follow the plan for better health. We are both 55. I lost weight, I'm not sure how much exactly, look a little anorexic, having lost it mostly in my face and chest, but have also noticed a weird thing. My veins are standing out all over the place, even up and down my abdomen. I mean bulging. I am an OB nurse and see alot of women's bodies but have never seen anything like this. I have tried eating more even though I don't really feel hungry, thinking it may have been due to a sudden loss of adipose tissue. The only other medical situation going on is that I take Danazol because I had extremly heavy bleeding, but I have been on that for over a year. I decreased the dosage when this vein thing started thinking it might be a decrease in Estrogen catching up with me. I just wondered if you would have any idea of what could cause this, or have seen this before. Are there any adjustments to the diet, to keep from losing weight? I'm not really sure what to increase. I have gotten very thin before but my veins have never done this. Thank you for your time. Carol Sage
written by Kathleen, September 26, 2011
What if you work 3rd shift. I have read this can adversely affect your hormones, especially Cortisol. Is there anything special one would need to do if your are working when your body thinks you are supposed to be sleeping? Does it make any difference when you eat breakfast lunch and dinner on this diet?
written by Janis Mathis, February 09, 2011
I have not read any information on the sweetner it as safe as Stevia?
written by malrie, January 10, 2011
One of the dinner entrees for Stage One is Squash Soup. Is there a recipe?
written by Maxine Madruga, August 21, 2010
Dr. Aziz, would you please clear up what you said in your book re: Chromium Picolinate....when you need it, and how much. When I looked in the health food store, they only carried 200, and 400mcg. when I asked for more, they told me it was very dangerous, and would never suggest so much as 1000mcg!!
I know you can explain. I am down 11 lbs in 3 weeks, and am flying on total energy!! I breezed thru the stage 1, and have not had any sugar cravings.
Would also like more info on post menopausal needs, what tests specifically to ask the Dr. for, and how to encourage them to order those tests.
Thank You for this wonderful way to live my life!!
Maxine Madruga
written by Perfect 10 Team, July 21, 2010
Dear Jean

The P 10 is the absolute right diet for your son in view of all the medical issues you mentioned. But he needs to follow up with a doctor who knows about hormones. A low thyroid hormone level and a low testosterone can cause depression and should be treated with hormones replacement therapy, and not with antidepressants. Digestive enzymes can help if the gall bladder surgery was recent. Otherwise, it should not be an issue. Yes, xylitol is safe. Please keep us posted.

Dr.Michael Aziz

written by Jean Jameson, July 19, 2010
We (my son & I) have just purchased your book & are eager to try it. We've got a lot to lose altho we have a few things right, but not enough. Question: You say lack of good fats in the diet can cause all kinds of problems. My son (age 47) has no gall bladder, hence, he has issues when he eats fats. What do you suggest for him? Bile salts, perhaps? But how much? His complaints: constant iritis (10 eye surgeries,) low testosterone level, low thyroid, high triglycerides. diabetes.unexplained pain here & there. AND he feels awful most of time. No energy, so tired. Sleep does not refresh him. He has trouble sleeping. His job is a fairly easy one, but it wears him out. His doctor wants him on anti-depressants, C-PAP machine. And she thinks he's a hypochondriac. What do you think? We'd be grateful for ant info.

What about Xylotol for a sweetener? It's expensive, but it's not as hard on you as sorbitol. AND it's a healthy sugar in that it tends to eliminate harmful bacteria from the G.I. tract. It's low glycemic index as well. It's sold from Heritage Stores in Virginia Beach, VA.
written by Perfect 10 Team, May 10, 2010

We know how important motivation is when making a decision to follow a diet. The Perfect 10 Diet is not just about making you look great, but also about making you feel great!
The main principle of the diet is to balance body's 10 key hormones, which in turn makes losing weight easier. In other words, it is not about starving yourself into shedding pounds, but about working with your body to stay healthy and lose weight at the same time. If followed correctly, you can lose up to 14 pounds in 21 days!
The book gives great explanations on how the hormones effect our well-being, tips on how to stay on track, delicious recipes and a shopping list.
If you still have doubts, visit out Facebook page to see how many people have tried the Perfect 10 Diet and are sharing their experiences and encouraging each other:!/perfect10diet
Good luck to you and keep us updated!
written by Somila, May 08, 2010
Hi everyone
I'm in SA. I just watched the Doctors show and they were talking about this book. Can someone give me a brief discription so I can be motivated to go and get the book. I'm 20kg overweight.
written by carooyn webb, March 10, 2010
Are products such as pure via and truvia acceptable as stevia additives
written by Jill, March 03, 2010
I think that Yacon Syrup is a better choice than Agave.

"Dried yacon root powder contains 50-70% (dry basis) FOS and low proportion of simple sugars (e.g., glucose, fructose and sucrose). The human body has no enzyme to hydrolyze FOS, so it passes through the digestive tract unmetabolized, providing few calories, a marketing strength for dieters and diabetics. Yacon also acts as a prebiotic. The undigested portion of yacon serves as food for "friendly" bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species, in the colon. Clinical studies have shown that administering inulin can increase the number of these friendly bacteria in the colon while simultaneously reducing the population of harmful bacteria.

Other benefits noted with FOS supplementation include increased production of beneficial short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, increased absorption of calcium and magnesium, and improved elimination of toxic compounds. Preclinical studies indicated an increase in bone density after consumption of FOS. In addition, the beneficial effects of FOS on the presence of Bifidobacteria suggest an improved absorption of vitamins, such as the B complexes."

It takes great mixed with creme fraiche and full fat greek yogurt on top of berries.
written by Dr. David Kamnitzer, March 01, 2010
Thank you Dr. Aziz for your thoughts and continued commitment to sharing empowering information with us. Health is far more than the absence of disease ... and I believe we are bringing forth a truly HEALTHY community here.

I encourage everyone to visit and contribute to the Perfect10 Facebook Page:

There is a great energy building there ... not to mention great recipes in the Discussion Section ... and the good Doctor visits every once in awhile!


written by Gabrielle, March 01, 2010
Thanks for discussing that issue!! Great information.

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