Monday, March 24, 2014

Did you hear the news about tequila and weight loss?

It wasn’t long ago that Well and Good posted about an ice cream cleanse. I tweeted saying something like “the margarita cleanse can’t be far behind”.  Little did I know that days later, a study would surface out with some intriguing news about a tequila ingredient. “Tequila plant is possible sweetener for diabetics helps reduceblood sugar and weight”. Psychic food tendencies aside, this was fun news. Before we go further, I will confess my bias. I like tequila. I like a tequila shot, I like mixing tequila with green juice and sea buckthorn and please, who doesn’t like a margarita? It’s like the Ellen DeGeneres of drinks, everyone likes them.

When I read that this study was conducted on mice I chuckled at the thought of drunken rodents being weighed and tested (PETA I’m joking). However, I learned that the mice were not given tequila but one of the ingredients in tequila called agavins (different from agave nectar). Mice consuming these agavins ate less, dropped weight and had lower blood glucose levels compared to other sweeteners. It also turns out that these agavins are prebiotics meaning they are good for our GI health.

If you’re starting to get excited (I sure was), hang on. When explaining the findings, the researcher specifically said that the agavins are converted to ethanol during fermentation ergo they’re not present in tequila. Even if it turns out agavins have the same beneficial effects on humans, we will not ingest them via our tequila intake. Shoot.

While this feels like a bad almost-April Fools joke some tequila facts.
  • Skip the gold- one of the reason many have had bad experiences is that gold tequila is made using caramel coloring (or that in college you had 20 shots) pick silver or blanco and ask what they’re using when you order. Quality is important even with booze.
  • And tequila expires (or deteriorates) once you open a bottle you have one to two months to finish it. I’m thinking there’s some ancient tequila lurking in may of your homes. Please do not finish the bottle of tequila just because I told you this.
  • I don’t want to leave you totally sad to start the week. While I detest the word “moderate” when it comes to drinking that’s about 4 drinks a week. And it seems that amount has some beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity (alcohol lowers your blood sugar).
As for the agavins, they're another “sweet” option we can follow up on once they hit the shelves which I’m guessing will happen by tomorrow based on this research.
Do you like tequila? Did you hear about this study? What was your reaction? 


  1. I am a tequila lover, usually a homemade margarita with some fresh citrus juice (great use of meyer lemons or blood oranges!) and some agave syrup. I guess I didn't drink much of it in college, because I haven't had a bad experience with it.

    Too bad my margarita won't contribute to my weight loss. I will just have to keep on counting it towards my moderate alcohol intake! (4 drinks a week, frankly, is on the high side for me. I might have that much if my week includes a night out in addition to a family party or something.)

  2. I haven't been burned my the tequila fire either Jen- homemade margarita here and there- we are drink twins.

  3. you are inspired and do I make things peppery?

  4. You totally had me fooled! Margaritas? Yes! Come visit and I'll take you to my favorite spot in La Jolla. Tequila straight up? Sometimes if it's the really good stuff, although I have to say I became pretty fond of Mezcal on my trip to Oaxaca. Have you been there? I think you would love it!

  5. Peppery is just what good tequila tastes like to me.