Is This Syrup the Next Trendy Sweetener?

by in Food News, January 11, 2014

yacon syrup
Yacon syrup has been dubbed a “game-changer” for slow metabolism — and social media is exploding with promises of weight loss. But is the syrup worth the hype?

What is Yacon?
Yacon is an edible root native to regions surrounding the Andes mountains. Like bananas, leeks, onions, garlic and barley, yacon is high in fructooligosaccharides, sweet-tasting and indigestible substances that are often used as a sugar alternative. Fructooligosaccharides have a prebiotic effect, helping to promote healthy bacteria in the intestines but also causing stomach upset when taken in large quantities.

The Syrup, The Claims
Yacon syrup has a molasses-like consistency with a flavor similar to figs or raisins. It can be used as a lower calorie substitute for sugar since it has 7 calories per teaspoon (regular table sugar has 15).

Proponents recommend consuming a teaspoon of yacon syrup before each meal to help promote weight loss. Its high fiber content is believed to help increase satiety, making you feel full longer. One small study published in 2009 found a desirable effect for weight loss and insulin levels for women who took a daily dose of yacon syrup for 120 days. (Yacon syrup sells online for about $2.85 per ounce. So using 3 teaspoons a day would cost about $43.00 per month.)

Bottom Line: When it comes to weight loss, there’s still no magic pill — or syrup for that matter. At this point there’s not enough research to say whether or not yacon syrup can really help with weight loss. If you like the taste and don’t experience any unpleasant side effects, you could add it to your arsenal of lower calorie sweeteners.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (5)

  1. [...] Proponents recommend consuming a teaspoon of yacon syrup before each meal to help promote weight loss. Its high fiber content is believed to help increase satiety, making you feel full longer. One small study published in 2009 found a desirable effect for weight loss and insulin levels for women who took a daily dose of yacon syrup for 120 days. (Yacon syrup sells online for about $2.85 per ounce. So using 3 …read more [...]

  2. Perryn Carroll says:

    Wasn't aware of Yacon. Cheers for this

  3. @tessa says:

    Curious if it causes unnatural sugar level spikes like stevia… Can you find this at retailers like Whole Foods?

  4. Dr Scott Einhorn says:

    Dana mnentions the calorie count of a ts of sugar. I would like very much to know if in 'his world', what is the definition of a ts – as I have seen this particular point become quite the sticking point. Is is a level ts, a rounded one, or would ot be heaping (prob not the latter, Im sure) If a measuring spoon is used, which of course it should be in a case such as this, then what do we do with te fact that in real life, barely anyone levels off their ts when using. In actuality, this only improves the agument in favor of alternatives.
    Personally, I use whole stevia powder, and not the crystalline extract. No bittrerness. Will likely never change.

  5. Paul says:

    If you are willing to lead a healthy life, you must eat sensibly, and do physical exercises regularly. Obviously, one can achieve weight loss results without skipping nourishing diet, if he knows how to balance the calorie gained with the energy output.

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