Move over, maple syrup, there’s a brand new child on the town. Yacon syrup is making waves on-line and amongst vitamin fanatics who declare that this plant-based sweetener is the perfect alternative for sugar and different sugary merchandise. 

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It’s true that yacon syrup is all-natural, low-calorie and generally is a nice substitute for its higher-in-calorie counterparts. But it’s not essentially the magic sweetener of your goals — and when you’ve got abdomen points, it might truly be a little bit of a digestive nightmare. 

What precisely is yacon syrup, and is it actually all it’s cracked as much as be? Registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, LD, provides us the low-down on this candy substitute.  

What is yacon syrup? 

Yacon syrup is created from the yacon plant, or Smallanthus sonchifolius, a member of the daisy household that’s native to the Andes Mountain area in South America. 

Sometimes known as Peruvian floor apple or strawberry jicama, yacon itself has lengthy been a staple in South American diets. Its tubers, that are largely product of water and carbohydrates, may be eaten uncooked or cooked, alone or in drinks and snacks. 

And sure, they are often become syrup, which can be utilized instead of honey, maple syrup or molasses, drizzled on waffles, over yogurt, and so forth. 

Benefits of yacon syrup 

Fans of yacon syrup love that it’s low-cal and plant-based, and a few say it will possibly additionally relieve constipation, assist in weight reduction, and reduce insulin resistance, blood sugar and ldl cholesterol. But how a lot is simply hype?

Czerwony weighs in on these claims so you’ll be able to separate truth from fiction and resolve whether or not yacon syrup is value attempting.  


Yacon syrup mainly comes straight from the yacon plant itself. Once juice is extracted from the plant, it may be boiled till it turns into a thick, caramel-colored substance with the consistency of molasses. It tastes a bit like honey, however not as candy.  

Low in energy 

Yacon syrup is about 40% to 50% fructans, a kind of carbohydrate. The kind of fructan in yacon syrup is known as fructooligosaccharides. (Try saying that 5 instances quick!) Why is that this essential? Well, your small gut can’t truly digest or take up fructans.  

“It’s made up of these little molecules of sugar, and what makes it unique is that it also has a fiber component, inulin,” Czerwony explains. “Because of that makeup, your body can’t completely digest it, which means you take in fewer calories.” 

Here’s how yacon syrup stacks up, calorie-wise, towards different kinds of syrups and syrup-like sweeteners: 

Sweetener Calories per tablespoon
Yacon syrup 20
Maple syrup 54
Molasses 61
Agave 63
Honey 64
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture 

Relieve constipation 

Fiber helps ease constipation — and yacon syrup is stuffed with it. It contains each fructooligosaccharides, which might help stimulate good bacteria in your gut, and inulin, a prebiotic fiber.

“It may actually help make your gut microbiome healthier,” Czerwony says. One study suggests that yacon syrup can lower the period of time it takes your physique to digest and that it will increase stool (pooping) frequency. 

Not so quick, although. For some individuals, yacon syrup can truly trigger digestive points like diarrhea. More on that in a second, however when you’ve got a delicate abdomen, it’s in all probability greatest to carry off on this candy substitute.  

May work as an urge for food suppressant 

Some individuals say yacon syrup is an efficient weight reduction assist, and never simply because it’s low in sugar.

“There are claims that it may act as an appetite suppressant because of the amount of fiber in it,” Czerwony says. “To use it this way, try taking a teaspoon of yacon syrup about 30 to 60 minutes before a meal, rather than having it with your meal.” 

But don’t count on yacon syrup to alter your life. It’s vital, Czerwony notes, to eat a well-balanced weight loss program, drink sufficient water, train usually and simply typically lead a wholesome life-style — all of which can go loads additional than a spoonful of yacon syrup earlier than you eat.  

“Nothing is going to be like a magic pill for weight loss,” she says.  

Other potential advantages 

There are lots of lofty claims on the market about yacon syrup’s advantages, like that it will possibly decrease your blood sugar and your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol ranges and reduce insulin resistance. But Czerwony says there’s simply not but sufficient analysis into yacon syrup to indicate that any of those is a certain guess.  

Side results of yacon syrup 

If you might have abdomen points, like irritable bowel syndrome, yacon syrup is probably not the appropriate transfer for you.

Remember what we mentioned about your physique not with the ability to digest fructans? For some individuals, fructans could cause unwelcome abdomen points. In truth, in one study on yacon syrup, 30% of contributors dropped out as a result of the digestive-related unintended effects had been so uncomfortable and ugly. They embody: 

Some individuals are delicate to fructans, that are a kind of FODMAP — an acronym for a category of carbohydrates that may be tough to digest. Fructooligosaccharides, the particular type of fructans in yacon syrup, are present in different meals, too, however in lesser quantity. They embody: 

“If you have intolerances to FODMAPs, then yacon syrup isn’t something you want to try,” Czerwony warns. “There are enough other low-calorie sweeteners, though, like Stevia and monk fruit.” 

Can make you constipated 

When you eat lots of fiber, constipation is at all times a danger — and sure, we all know that sounds counterintuitive, provided that we simply informed you that fiber can also be identified to assist you poop. Fiber pulls in water, which helps get issues shifting, however when you aren’t hydrated sufficient, it will possibly truly again you up.  

“Any time you’re taking in extra fiber, it’s important to make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids,” Czerwony advises.  

Not appropriate for baking 

You can use yacon syrup type of like a condiment, the best way you may use maple syrup or honey: 

  • Mixed with Greek yogurt and berries.
  • As a dip for apple slices.
  • Drizzled atop pancakes, waffles or toast.
  • Blended right into a smoothie.
  • Stirred right into a cup of espresso or tea.
  • As an alternative choice to honey or agave in no-bake recipes. 

But what you can’t do is sub it into baking recipes. “The high temperatures will actually break it down,” Czerwony explains.

Elusive and costly 

As yacon syrup has its quarter-hour of fame on social media, some celebs are singing its praises. But it’s not essentially straightforward to seek out, relying on the place you reside.  

“Celebrities are probably going to find it more accessible within their circles than most of us are,” Czerwony says. And even when you could find it, you might expertise some sticker shock on the worth.  

Is yacon syrup good for you? 

So, is yacon syrup a legit, must-try ingredient, or is it only a fleeting meals fad? If you don’t have any identified sensitivities, go forward and provides it a shot, Czerwony says — however solely if you wish to.

“If it works within your diet, it’s worth a try,” she continues. “It does have some benefits for some people, but if it’s not right for you, don’t stress over it. It’s not going to be a miracle cure for anything.”  

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