No doubt many people will be raising a glass of tequila for Cinco de Mayo. It turns out the plant used to make tequila not only gives us margaritas, it could also improve our health.
A form of sugar made from the agave plant could help people lose weight and manage diabetes according to new research from Mercedes Lopez, a biochemist with Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados, one of Mexico's leading research institutes.
The substance, known as agavin, is different from agave syrup, which is a form of fructose like table sugar. Agavin cannot be absorbed by the body, so it doesn't raise blood sugar. In fact, when administered to mice, it actually lowered blood sugar levels and encouraged insulin production.
However, the same benefits will not be seen by simply ordering a tequila sunrise.
"You will not lose weight by drinking tequila," said Lopez. "Maybe you get drunk, and then you believe that you lost weight, but agavins are not contained in tequila."
That's because the distillation process converts those good sugars into the alcohol that gives tequila its signature kick.