- Diet & Weight Loss
Is Yacon Syrup Your Dream Weight Loss Solution?
Do those extra pounds weigh on your mind? You are not alone. A majority of people today struggle with issues of unwanted flab and weight woes. As you approach your 30s, the body’s metabolic rate begins to slow down leading to faster accumulation of flab. The problem is only compounded in the ensuing decades of your life, particularly for women who go through drastic hormonal changes during phases of menopause. These biological changes, coupled with sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits, lead to accumulation of ‘empty calories’, subsequently causing weight gain. The constant paucity of time has led to more and more people looking for easy yet effective means to lose weight. Losing weight by sipping on a sweet-tasting syrup can be a dream weight loss technique. The Yacon Syrup is touted to be exactly that ‘dream weight loss program’.
Where Does Yacon Syrup Come From?
The syrup is an extract drawn from Yacon plant’s tuberous roots. The plant, native to South America, has been known and widely used for its medicinal properties for centuries. Yacon, grown in the Andes mountain range, has been thus far used to treat conditions like digestive disorders, diabetes and kidney-related diseases. The Yacon syrup is extracted from the root – which bears a striking resemblance to sweet potato – through a natural process. At first, the juice is extracted from the Yacon plant roots and then, filtered. The filtered product is then subjected to a chemical-free process of evaporation resulting in dark, sweet syrup that appears similar to molasses in terms of its consistency. The process of manufacturing the Yacon Syrup is similar to that of manufacturing Maple syrup.
How does it Work?
The secret behind Yacon Syrup’s effect on body’s metabolism is associated with the presence of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Though the exact quantity of fructooligosaccharides may vary from one batch to another, it remains a key ingredient of Yacon Syrup making for up to 40-50% of its constituents. The unique thing about fructooligosaccharides is that they cannot be recognized by the human system digestive, owing to their molecular arrangement.
Though digestible sugars such as sucrose, glucose and fructose are also found in the syrup, their ratio is almost negligible. It is the presence of indigestible sugar fructooligosaccharides and inulin fiber that makes Yacon syrup a healthy metabolism enhancer.
Since, fructooligosaccharides are not recognized or digested, they get to the large intestine unaltered, where the healthy bacteria in the digestive tract feast on them. This leads to an enormous increase in the number of these healthy bacteria, which are imperative for the health of the human gut. These bacteria also have healthy effects on digestion and hunger-producing hormones. All in all, the presence of fructooligosaccharides in the gut leads to improved digestion, feeding off short-chain fatty acids to the colon cells, and reduction in appetite. All these factors contribute to improved metabolic activity and set off an anti-obesity trend in the body.
Is Yacon Syrup Effective?
There have been many claims about the effectiveness of Yacon Syrup in improving body’s metabolism and eventually, speeding along the weight loss process. All these claims on Yacon’s effectiveness are primarily based on the results of a placebo-based clinical trial conducted on as many as 55 obese women with previous history of medical conditions like constipation and increased cholesterol levels. These women were divided into two groups, where one groups was administered Yacon Syrup on a regular basis, the other was put on a normal low-fat diet. At the end of the pre-decided period of 120 days, women in from the Yacon Syrup group had lost an average of 33 pounds, where as an average increase of 3.5 pounds was seen in the members from the placebo group.
On the basis of this study, the following observations were made about the effectiveness of Yacon Syrup:
- Regular consumption of Yacon Syrup leads to striking improvements in metabolic rate and body weight
- Leads to reduction in Body Mass Index
- Enhances insulin resistance in the body
- Causes a decrease in the LDL or bad cholesterol levels in the body.
Are There Any Possible Side-Effects?
Yacon Syrup is not known to have any side-effects as long as it is consumed in regulated quantities. However, excessive consumption can lead to some possible discomforts and side-effects:
- Excessive production of gas in the digestive tract
- Discomfort in digestive tract
Considering these probable side-effects, it is best to seek advice from your physician before using Yacon Syrup, particularly if you have a sensitive stomach or are prone to digestive disorders.
Using Yacon Syrup
Since it is a rich source of fructooligosaccharides and tastes sweet, Yacon Syrup can be introduced in the daily food regime as a substitute for regular sugar, and can be consumed with your daily intake of beverages such as tea, coffee or milk. Yacon Syrup can also be inculcated in meals by using it over waffles or pancakes in place of the traditional molasses or maple syrup. Similarly, diabetics and vegans can use it as an alternative sweetener. If you don’t fancy the idea of mixing it in beverages or using it as an alternative sweetener, a teaspoon of Yacon Syrup can be consumed directly before meals. For best results, the syrup should be consumed 30-60 minutes before a meal, as it allows fructooligosaccharides to get to work and reduce appetite.
While there are many way of consuming Yacon Syrup, you cannot bake or cook with it, as heat causes the molecular structure of fructooligosaccharides to break down, thereby depriving the syrup of its key qualities.
The sweet syrup from South America’s Andes ranges is increasingly being touted as a ‘magic potion’ for those looking to lose weight. The syrup is said to produce visible results comparable to the effects of an intense weight loss diet plan. The fact that there is a clinical-trial based study to support the effectiveness of Yacon Syrup further fortifies the claims of it being an effective weight loss solution. However, Yacon should not be misconstrued as a long-term slimming solution. Though its regular consumption leads to weight loss, diet control and regular exercises are necessary to prevent those lost pounds to pile up again.