Agave is a succulent plant, one species of which is used for making tequila. Although they are commonly referred to as cacti, agave plants are related to the lily family rather than the cactus.
The sap of some agave plants is sweet enough that native Mexicans called it “honey water,” and it is now used commercially as the basis for a sweetener. The natural sap is a source of iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. However, the agave syrup or nectar currently marketed is heavily processed, and is therefore much more refined than the simple sap.
Agave syrup is 90 percent fructose and therefore tastes very sweet, so less of it can be used to provide the same sweetening effect as table sugar. Depending on how heavily refined the agave syrup is, it may—or may not—have a better glycemic profile than refined cane sugar.Nutritional Facts
One teaspoon of agave syrup provides 15 calories, 4 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 0 g fat, 0 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugars.