Last updated on February 12th, 2018
There are several instances over the last few years of a new discovery that whets the appetite of the medical professionals and diet journalists alike.
There have been one or two major finds and the newly discovered food is marketed as the next biggest weight loss miracle.The latest find—yacon syrup. And, of course, if Dr. Oz is talking about it, there must be some validity to it (or at least that is what most people believe).
So what is yacon syrup and why is it the newest and most effective way to lose weight? Let’s take a look.
What is Yacon Syrup?
The yacon plant (Smallanthus sonchifolius) is a root vegetable found in the Andes Mountains [source]. The syrup is extracted from the plant’s tuberous roots and acts as a sweetening agent. Eating the yacon plant has become very popular in Peru because it has very little calories and a very low level of sugar.
Diabetics and those with renal or digestive disorders in Bolivia eat the yacon roots [source]. Brazilians use the dried leaves of the plant to make tea. The reason diabetics find the yacon plant so desirable is because it has no effect on blood glucose which means it is safe for them to consume.
Yacon roots are made up of nearly fifty percent FOS (fructooligosaccharide) which is what gives it its sweet taste. The body cannot process FOS so it goes through your system without leaving any sugar that may be absorbed later on. The FOS also has contains fiber. The roots and leaves of the yacon plant have high levels of polyphenols which is a type of antioxidant that can prevent heart disease and certain cancers from developing.
The taste of the syrup is very similar to either caramelized sugar or a smoky molasses. But be careful as the taste is a bit strong so you may want to use it in small doses before getting accustomed to the taste.
You can use it to sweeten desserts, coffee, hot cereals or anything else that you want. An evaporator is used to make the syrup much like how maple syrup is made so it is perfect for people who are vegans. A 2002 study found that yacon’s enzyme solutions act as a better antioxidant than those found in eggplant, mushrooms or potatoes.
How is Yacon Syrup Used for Weight Loss?
Recent studies have found that taking yacon syrup had a significant effect in decreasing body weight, body mass index and waist circumference in women who were obese and premenopausal.
It is also believed to help promote healthy bacteria in your body which is important in keeping your colon and digestive system running smoothly. This also helps with weight loss because your body will not be backed up and unable to digest your food properly which can be another source of weight gain.
The easiest explanation for why yacon syrup may help people lose weight is because using it in place of regular sugar or artificial sweeteners provides a significant calorie reduction. And because it does not affect your blood sugar, insulin levels remain stable instead of getting those dreaded spikes that affect your metabolism and your hunger. By keeping hunger in check, you eat less overall resulting in weight loss.
Where Can You Find Yacon Syrup?
Yacon syrup is still not a popular staple in local supermarkets, but you can easily find it online or at natural health food stores. However, since Dr. Oz featured it on a recent episode of his show, you may be able to find it easier now (if the stores and websites do not sell out of it quickly from all the hype).
An eight-ounce jar will cost roughly £12.00 or $18 and while that may be on the steep side, you do not need to use as much of it compared with other sweeteners so it will last longer.
If you do decide to purchase yacon syrup, be sure it is organic as that is the purest and healthiest form and will retain the most benefits. So far there have not been any reports of side effects so it is safe to say that you do not have to worry about any adverse reactions from consuming yacon syrup.
However, like anything, you want to enjoy moderate amounts and not overdo it. A little here and there in your food or drink is okay, but too much of it and you may end up consuming more calories than you want.
Weight loss is not always easy, but using yacon syrup in place of your regular sweetener may be a way to get off to a good start and then continue with even more healthier substitutions for foods and drinks that can be your weight-loss demise.
Where To Buy Yacon Syrup In The UK
As this is fairly new to market and the furore surrounding it has yet to produce anything Yacon Syrup related in the likes in Boots, Superdrug, Holland and Barrett or Tesco.
This shouldn’t matter as ‘The Yacon Diet’ can be ordered direct from the official website. The diet is easy to follow – simply take a supplement twice a day while introducing the rw syrup into a drink.