Is Yacón Syrup Better Than Stevia?
Written by Amanda Ennett
Yacón, the “Peruvian ground apple.”
This may be one of the best natural sweeteners on the market. So good for you that it may even rival the ever-so-popular stevia plant. Unlike stevia, yacon is not bitter. Tasting like a mixture between caramel and molasses it can be used like any other sweet syrup to liven up baked goods, smoothies, desserts, sauces and dressings.
Yacon syrup is pressed from the roots of a plant that grows in the Andes Mountains. Peruvians, as well as many other South Americans, have been using yacon for years. The leaves are steeped into tea. The main stem can also be used like celery. The roots, or tubers, can be found in reds, oranges, yellows and even purplesand are sweet, juicy and almost calorie free. They look very similar to a potato, butare crisp and sweet-tastinglike an apple. The tubers can be eaten raw, cooked up, or the sugar/syrup can be extract from them.
Benefits of Yacon Tubers, Leaves and Stems
- regulates blood sugar balance
- helps to eliminate toxins
- improves digestive functions
- allows for greater absorption of calcium and magnesium
- reduces constipation
- helps in the absorption of B vitamins
- immune building
Yacon is 100% all-natural and when processed with good intent is 100% pure, certified organic, gluten-free, kosher and vegan.
High in Nutrients
- A good source of antioxidants.
- An excellent source of minerals including potassium, calcium, phosphorous and iron.
- Contains 20 amino acids.
- Promotes the production of healthy bacterial colonies in the digestive system, which can contribute to better absorption of nutrients.
Yacon syrup scores an outstanding 1 on the glycemic index making it a more suitable replacement for higher glycemic sweeteners. Yacon syrup’s sweetness comes from a high concentration of inulin, a complex sugar that breaks down slowly into fructooligosaccharides(FOS). Because the body cannot process FOS, it passes through the system without leaving behind absorbable sugar compounds. It tastes sweet but won’t spike your blood sugar!
With half the calories of sugar and a high concentration of indigestible inulin, yacon is a friendly alternative sweetener for diabetics and those looking to reduce sugar.A sweet alternative to packing on pounds.
Yacon vs. Agave
Agave syrup has a fructose content of about 70-90% which is way higher (worse) than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Scientists have shown that although fructose has a fairly low GI, it has other harmful effects and must be considered unsafe to take in large quantities.
Unfortunately, agave syrup, andany concentrated caloric sweeteners high in fructose, can cause elevated levels of triglycerides and increase someone’s risk for heart disease. It may also somewhat increase the risk of metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance.
Because of the harmful effects of fructose, agave easily loses to yacon.
Yacon vs. Stevia
It’s a tie here. Stevia and yacon are both probably the only truly raw, organic, natural, low calorie, and low glycemic sweeteners available. The only difference perhaps is that we may still be hungry after having something sweetened with stevia vs. being satisfied by something sweetened with yacon.
Yacon glycemic index is 1, our bodies have a very minimal reaction to it.
Stevia is an all-natural zero calorie sweetener and has no glycemic index which means that it makes no impact on blood sugar levels at all.
On the surface, this sounds great! However, some studies have shown that insulin is secreted by the pancreas soon after the sweet taste is experienced on the tongue, whether the substance contains calories or not. It expects glucose to hit the bloodstream and it gets none. This may result in increased appetite soon after leading to over eating in the long run.
Benefits of Stevia and Yacon
- Do not cause a blood sugar spike and this alone is beneficial to health.
- Are suitable for diabetics who would otherwise have a limited choice of sweet things.
- Areharmless to teeth.
- Contain no (stevia) and very little (yacon)calories and should be of assistance in a diet plan.
- Are all-natural and non-chemical.
From my perspective, the glycemic index (and glycemic load) is a very poor indicator of how healthy a food is and I do not recommend choosing foods by it. However, itcan be helpful for those who need to predict how foods might affect their blood glucose levels. Here is a little information pertaining to common sweeteners (not artificial).
Sweetener – Glycemic Load
- Stevia – 0
- Luo Han Guo – 0
- Yacon Syrup – 1
- Agave – 15
- Brown Rice Syrup – 25
- Coconut Palm Sugar – 35
- Cane Juice – 43
- Sorghum Syrup – 50
- Honey – 50
- Maple Syrup – 54
- Blackstrap Molasses – 55
- Caramel – 60
- HFCS – 68
- Maltodextrin – 110
By Amanda Ennett
At home, this mom and busy wife doesn’t let daily stress stop her from eating clean and training hard. On the job, Amanda uses her BS in Exercise Science to aide physical therapy patients and transform her personal training clients. On her off time, she loves to write about her main passions: nutrition and healthy living. Amanda considers herself a self-proclaimed health fanatic living by the mantra “let thy food be thy medicine.”
Follow my facebook page @ AJ’s: Fit n Beautiful [https://www.facebook.com/Fit.n.Beautiful] and on instagram @fitnbeautiful
Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury.
It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.
Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
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