5 Fast Facts You Need to Know about Yacon

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Every day, another diet product. But yacon syrup is not a new miracle pill- it’s actually a food that the Peruvians have enjoyed for a long time. It has just hit American headlines for its weight loss potential though, and we are carefully optimistic since quinoa and chia came from the same region.

1. What is Yacon Syrup? Yacon is a sweet-potato like root from South America and it’s been part of the Andean diet for hundreds of years. The yacon root juices are extracted to create a dark syrup (similar to maple syrup or molasses) that can be used as a sweetener.
2. Yacon Syrup is Low on the Glycemic Index. Yacon syrup has not yet been widely tested, but a few different sources place yacon syrup very low on the glycemic index. This means that it does not increase blood sugar levels, which would make it a useful sweetener for diabetics.
According to a 2003 report in Plant, Soil, Environment:
The tuberous roots of yacon have a sweet taste and because the human body is not able to metabolise the fructooligosaccharides, yacon does not put on body weight… Yacon sweetness is caused by fructose, which is by some 70% sweeter than table sugar and does not stimulate insulin production and does not bring a glycemic reaction. From this point of view, yacon saccharides have been an ideal sweetener for diabetics.
3. Dr. Oz Tested How Yacon Syrup Affects Weight. Dr. Oz recently talked about yacon syrup and how it could help with healthy weight loss. He asked 60 women to eat one teaspoon of the yacon syrup before every meal for four weeks. Theresults were impressive:
  • 29 (73%) of the women lost weight
  • 14 women lost five pounds or more
  • Average weight loss was 2.9 pounds
  • Average reduction in waist size was 1.9 inches
  • Total weight lost among all the women was 153 pounds
  • 27 (68%) recommended yacon as a weight loss tool
4. Other Studies on Yacon Syrup Look Promising. According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, yacon syrup had positive effects on obese women in terms of both weight loss and insulin levels. The conclusion from this study:
Yacon syrup is a good source of fructooligosaccharides and its long-term consumption produced beneficial health effects on obese pre-menopausal women with insulin resistance.
5. Side Effects of Yacon Syrup. If you are very regular, then be careful when taking yacon syrup. Here’s Dr. Oz’s warning for people that want to take it:
People who frequently suffer from diarrhea or loose stools may want to avoid yacon, as in larger amounts yacon syrup may cause diarrhea, bloating, flatulence and nausea. Do not take yacon if you are allergic to it or related foods such as sunflower seeds. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before trying yacon.
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