Could drinking tequila help people lose weight? Not quite. However, a recent study discussed by the American Chemical Society has shown that the tequila plant, also known as the agave plant, does produce a sugar that could not only act as a sweetener for diabetics, but could also help people lose weight.
How did they find this out? Researcher Dr. Mercedes G. López, Ph.D. and her research team focused on the agavins within the agave plant. Agavins are a natural form of sugar that do not raise blood glucose since they act as a dietary fiber, and are non-digestible. Dr.López fed mice standard diets, as well agavin spiked water. The mice were weighed daily, and their glucose blood levels were checked weekly. The results revealed that the majority of mice that drank the agavin water ate less and lost weight. The mice also showed a lower blood glucose level when compared to basic table sugar, and artificial sweeteners like glucose, fructose, agave syrup and aspartame.
Dr.López noted that, “We have found that since agavins reduce glucose levels and increase GLP-1, they also increase the amount of insulin.” GLP-1 is a gut hormone that inhibits the emptying of the stomach, which stimulates the production of insulin. López also explained that agavins could cause people to feel fuller, which could help them eat less.
While agavins do contain fructoses, they should not be confused with the controversial high-fructose corn syrup, or agave nectar. While, yes, those sweeteners contain fructoses as well, the report revealed that, “agavins are fructans, which are fructoses linked together in long, branched chains.” Since the human body is not able to use them in that form, they do not raise blood sugar like high-fructose corn syrup and agave nectar do.
And now back to the heartbreak. As explained previously, tequila comes from the agave plant; however, the fermentation process of tequila converts all the plant’s agavins to ethanol. This unfortunately means that there are no agavins in any final tequila drink product. Sorry, tequila lovers.