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Tequila may be the next natural weight loss miracle

If you, like so many of us, have noticed the scale tipping upward after this holiday season, I’ve got some good news for you. The key to dropping those extra pounds may not be at the gym, but rather at your local bar.

So yes, rather than turning to endless sets with those heavy dumbbells, you might want to consider grabbing that shot glass instead. This probably sounds like music to the ears of all those who already grabbed a shot glass many times over New Year’s (me).

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According to a study conducted by the American Chemical Society, the sugar that’s in tequila has actually been found to lower blood sugar in the body. Sound dubious? Well, then let me elaborate. The sugar we’re talking about is agavin, and it’s a naturally occurring sugar found in the agave plant. If you frequent smoothie shops or holistic food stores, you’ve probably come across it. Agave is often used as a sweetener alternative to sugar or honey. However, unlike other types of fructose, our body can’t actually digest agavins like it can other sugars.

Since we can’t absorb agavins, they pass straight through our bodies without elevating blood glucose levels. They act like dietary fiber, which helps to cleanse our digestive tracts all the while making us feel fuller longer so we don’t overindulge.

Not only is this great news for anyone who’s up against a weight loss New Year’s resolution, but it’s pretty exciting for Type 2 diabetes sufferers as well. Not only do agavins pass through the body without raising blood glucose levels, but they have actually been proven to lower levels in people with diabetes. But it gets even better. According to Mercedes G. López, one of the study’s researchers, “We have found that since agavins reduce glucose levels and increase GLP-1, they also increase the amount of insulin.” For those who are unfamiliar with GLP-1, it’s a neuropeptide that makes your stomach empty more slowly, which in turn makes you feel fuller longer — aka a dieter’s dream.

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Researchers from the American Chemical Society conducted the study on mice. They gave half the mice agavins diluted with water for several weeks, while the other half received glucose, sucrose, fructose, agave syrup and aspartame diluted with water. They discovered at the end of the study that the mice who were given the agavins diet ate less, had lower glucose levels and weighed less than the mice on the more traditional sugar diet.

However, it’s not all fabulous news just yet. This was just the first attempt to evaluate agavins as a potential alternative sweetener, and so far the study has been conducted only on mice. Scientists have yet to know exactly how effective its use will be on humans. Moreover, agavin is not nearly as sweet as the more traditional sweeteners we’re used to, so it may not be the most viable sugar substitute. It also might be harder on the stomachs of people who don’t normally do well with fiber.

Of course, if you do enjoy the occasional tequila shot, you should definitely give this naturally occurring weight loss supplement a try. If not, I’ll happily take on the role of guinea pig when I go on my vacation to Mexico next week.

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