Good news, margarita lovers of the world: Tequila might actually be able to help you lose weight.
SEE ALSO: How to survive your diet at the office
According to a 2014 study by the American Chemical Society (ACS), agavins, natural sugars found in the agave plant which is used to make tequila, could lower blood glucose levels for people with type 2 diabetes, and help obese people lose weight.
"We have found that since agavins reduce glucose levels and increase GLP-1, they also increase the amount of insulin," said Mercedes G. López, Ph.D and one of the researchers. GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) is a hormone that slows the stomach from emptying, thereby stimulating production of insulin and making you feel fuller for longer.
"Agavins are not expensive and they have no known side effects, except for those few people who cannot tolerate them," López added.
To prove that, scientists fed mice a standard diet, and added agavins to some of their water. They discovered that the mice who consumed agavins ate less overall and had lower blood glucose levels. The effects were stronger than other artificial sweeteners like aspartame and agave syrup. The mice consuming agavins also produced the GLP-1 hormone.
Now, you may be wondering: Why do these agavins affect us differently than other sweeteners? López explained that because of their structure, they don't affect blood sugar in the same way.
She pointed out that high-fructose corn syrup is loaded with fructose sugars and, therefore, can raise blood sugar levels. In contrast, agavins are fructoses linked together in long, branched chain that the human body can't break down. Since they are non-digestible, they are processed as a dietary fiber and therefore do not raise blood glucose levels like some other sweeteners.
She also warned that agavins are not the same thing as agave nectar or agave syrup, which appear on many health-food store shelves. These products contain fructans that have been broken down into individual fructoses, so they are much more similar to high-fructose corn syrup.
The one place you can be sure to find pure, un-tampered-with agavins? Good ol' Jose Cuervo.
BUT, be careful about what you put on the rim of that tequila drink...