Even though it contains 50 percent more calories than sugar, agave is also 50 percent sweeter, so you tend to use less of it, yielding the calorie difference a non-issue. Agave is considered by many to be a healthy alternative to sugar, as is it commonly marketed as being “natural” and has a low glycemic index. However, the low GI is because it is 90 percent fructose—way higher than table sugar (50 percent fructose) and even high-fructose corn syrup (the kind used in most carbonated drinks is 55 percent fructose). Some say that agave is therefore worse than HFCS, but the fact is, neither is good for you. While some fructose in your diet is fine, excessive amounts of this sugar should be avoided because diets very high in fructose can lead to insulin resistance very quickly.
Best used: In baked goods, says Matthew Kadey, R.D., author of Muffin Tin Chef. He recommends using 2/3 cup agave for each cup of sugar called for, or else your dessert will be too moist and won’t set.