Have you visited Peru? If you do and want to climb the Andes mountains, chances are that you will see the plant pictured above growing in fields - the Yacon plant. At harvest, these plants produce a tuber that resembles a cross between potatoes and sweet potatoes:
From these tubers comes the Yacon Syrup. In recent years it's been touted as a sweet syrup that can help you lose weight. That seemed too good to be true, but there is some research to back up the claims.
The syrup is made by extracting the juices from the roots and then evaporated in a chemical-free manufacturing process, similar to maple syrup. It's a very natural process. The consistency when the syrup is finished is similar to molasses.
The active ingredient is fructooligosaccharides (let's use FOS for short). The exact amount varies between batches, but the range is roughly 40-50% FOS. FOS are sugar molecules that are connected in a way to make them unrecognizable by the digestive system. Humans cannot digest them, so they're basically free calories. Each Tablespoon of Yakon Syrup contains only 20 calories!
Anyway, FOS eventually work their way to your large intestine where they feed your friendly bacteria, which in turn produce short-chain fatty acids that have powerful anti-obesity effects. There is also evidence that FOS can lower the hunger hormone that helps to reduce your appetite.
SO, DOES Yacon Syrup actually work for weight loss?!
I read about a placebo controlled clinical trial that included participants who were 55 obese women with cholesterol problems and a history of constipation (yikes)! The women were split in 2 groups - 40 took Yacon syrup while 15 took another type of syrup that acted as a placebo. Both groups were advised to eat a low-fat diet and mildly restrict their calories. The study lasted 4 months.
The women in the Yacon syrup group lost 33 pounds on average! The women in the placebo group gained an average of 3.5 pounds. Of course, the Yacon syrup group also saw amazing results with their measurements (if I lost 33 pounds I would see reduced measurements too!)
I am NOT guaranteeing you that if you try Yacon Syrup you will lose weight. This is only one study and I am not a professional. I am only providing you with my personal research.
What I've been doing with Yacon Syrup
So far, I have used Yacon Syrup to sweeten my coffee, and have taken 1-2 teaspoons an hour before lunch. Oddly, it does make you feel satisfied, so of course I'm eating less. It tastes pleasant enough even though it has the consistency and looks just like molasses. Once you get past that it's smooth sailing. Just a word of caution: if you decide it's great and you take too much get ready for some intestinal distress - much like eating too much fiber!
So what do I really think?
I plan to continue using Yacon Syrup before meals - I want to be one of the 33 pound losers and it certainly hasn't hurt me! Because I am a natural cynic I was surprised to find that I've actually lost a few pounds since starting Yacon!
You can find Life & Food 100% Pure Raw All Natural Yacon Syrup HERE for $19.99. That's cheaper than most other diets I've been on and the Yacon Syrup tastes much better too! It's been bottled and tested in an FDA certified facility in the USA, even though it comes from Peru. You can also follow Life & Food on Facebook.
Disclosure: I was provided products or compensation to help facilitate my review and form my opinion. However, the opinions expressed herein remain my own.