Yacon: The Next Best Tool for Weight Loss?

YaconYacon is currently the one of the most popular weight loss tools. It is eaten in syrup form and made from the root of a South American plant, which has been a staple in the Andean diet for many years. After the cabbage soup diet and spoonfuls of coconut oil, this syrup is now said to be the next best tool for weight loss. However, as people skim the pages of health magazines or online articles, it looks all of these weight loss crazes are getting slightly out of control.

New weight loss tool became popular when it was presented on Dr. Oz show, where several women were invited to test out the product as a weight-loss aid.  Yacon syrup is found in the tuberous roots of the yacon plant, which is native to the Andes Mountains. The Incas originally included this molasses-like syrup in their diet. People in Brazil, Peru and Bolivia are praising yacon syrup as a low-calorie and a low sugar food, which can help with kidney problems, diabetes and digestive disorders. However, one main question remains. Can this syrup, which reportedly tastes like figs or raisins, really do all this and help in weight loss?

With only 20 calories per tablespoon, yacon syrup is a low-calorie syrup, which is high in prebiotics, including fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin, the naturally occurring sugars that can be found in several plants. FOS acts as a fiber, as it passes through the digestive system and into the colon, without being digested. Therefore, it is helping in keeping people, who eat it, regular. While FOS is in the colon, it promotes the good bacteria in the gut, which some studies have connected with anti-inflammatory properties, digestive healthy and maintaining a healthy weight.

Like any other food that contains fiber, yacon syrup also helps to keep cholesterol in check, blood sugar levels stable and it also helps to control the appetite. This means that this syrup could be beneficial to people, who have diabetes or other disorders.

Many people are wondering if they should use yacon syrup. The fact is that the research is very limited at this time. In 2009, only one small study was published in Clinical Nutrition, which did find that obese women, who took 3-4 teaspoons of yacon syrup each day for four months, did have a significant decrease in weight, waist circumference, cholesterol, LDL and insulin levels. However, these women were also instructed to walk for 45 minutes and reduce their caloric intake. Based on that, these improvements did not happen without diet and exercise and this is no surprise, since it is a well-known fact that the main thing in losing weight is exercise.

If people want to try yacon syrup for its nutritional properties or try it to enhance weight-loss, they should keep in mind that the syrup is not a magic pill. A balanced, healthy diet and a regular exercise is still crucial for weight-loss and good health. People must also be aware of the fact that intake of yacon syrup should be limited to 1 teaspoon before meals and no more than about 1 tablespoon total should be consumed each day. Too much intake of the syrup can lead to nausea, diarrhea and bloating. And as always, if the consumer is pregnant, nursing, has allergies or other medical concerns, it is important to consult with a doctor, before adding anything new to the daily routine, including yacon syrup.

By: Janette Verdnik

The Epoch Times
Authority Nutrition

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