Tuesday, September 09, 2014

YACON SYRUP - Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.)

A natural sweetener that won't spike your blood
sugar levels and actually does your body good!
Since Dr. Oz did his Yacon Syrup Project everyone’s been buzzing about this oh, so sweet sugar substitute with the potential to aid in weight loss! This is great news for those of you watching your waistline (it'll soon be time to fit into that holiday dress!), as well as those struggling to regulate blood sugar. That's right, diabetics can enjoy yacon syrup! It's low on the glycemic index and therefore does not increase blood sugar levels. It is also low calorie and all natural, so the nasty side effects associated with many artificial sweeteners are not an issue here.

Although this is not a new product (Yacon has been used in Peruvian communities for thousands of years), we are learning more and more about its many health benefits and it's quickly become a hot item and is flying off the shelves at National Nutrition!

So where did it come from?

The Yacon is a member of the Asteraceae family, close to the sunflower, and native to the Andean region of South America. The yacon itself looks very similar to a potato, but tastes more like an apple! The tuberous root is boiled down to produce a syrup that is often compared to molasses. 
What makes it so great?

The Yacon is high in inulin, a complex sugar that breaks down slowly into fructooligosaccharides (FOS). In fact, the Yacon has one of the highest concentrations of FOS in any plant. For those not familiar with FOS, it is a term that has become synonymous with prebiotic, meaning it helps to stimulate our own production of probiotic bacteria in the gut. FOS is non-digestible, resistant to gastric acidty and enzymatic processes that allow us to break down what we consume. This means it travels untouched to the large intestine, where it selectively stimulates the growth of intestinal bacteria (selective because it increases the bacteria we need, in the amounts we need it!). A balanced gut flora promotes a healthy immune system and regulates digestion. Inulin is also considered a soluble fibre, known for its ability to help balance blood sugar levels, as well as lower cholesterol. Yacon is also an excellent source of minerals including potassium, calcium, phosphorous and iron, as well as 20 amino acids. Again, of great benefit to diabetics in particular, yacon syrup is naturally sweet, while coming in extremely low on the glycemic index (almost 0), meaning there's no spike in blood sugar levels after consumption.

This seems great, but what do I do with it?

If you are trying to cut down on more refined, or artificial sugars, yacon syrup is a natural and 
healthy alternative. It can be used in coffee/ tea, mixed in your morning oatmeal or granola , or used in baking as you would sugar, honey, molasses, or maple syrup. Like anything, make sure you test out how sweet yacon syrup is on its own before baking with it. It is considered sweeter than sugar, so you may not want to substitute it one for one. Given the numerous health benefits it's worth trying! - You wouldn't want to miss out on the new WONDER FOOD, would you?!

Where do I get it?

Health food stores, including National Nutrition. It typically comes in glass jars or bottles, similar to honey.

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