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What is Yacon Syrup?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 16, 2024
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Yacon syrup is a sugar substitute native to the Andean region of South America. It is glucose-free, and does not increase blood sugar levels. Because of this, yacon syrup is often recommended as a sweetener to those suffering from diabetes or at risk for becoming diabetic.

The syrup is derived from the roots of the yacon plant, and according to some studies is a good source of antioxidants. The yacon plant tastes similar to jicama, but is biologically closer to the sunflower family. The component that gives the roots a sweet taste is Fructooligosaccharide, or FOS. The tuberous roots may be made of nearly 50% FOS, and are believed to be the greatest producers of the saccharide in the natural world.

Because the body cannot process FOS, it passes through the system without leaving behind absorbable sugar compounds. It also is relatively low in calories, compared to most other sweeteners. The process to create it is vegan, and it can be used by vegans who are averse to regular sugar or honey.

Yacon syrup is often compared to molasses, caramel, or honey in taste, with a deep and rich flavor. It easily substitutes for maple sugar or molasses in recipes, and can be used to sweeten beverages. It is typically sold in jars like honey, and can be purchased online or at specialty food stores. A typical 8 oz (226 gram) bottle costs about $12 US Dollars (USD.)

If you are trying to cut down on harmful sugar intake, yacon syrup may be helpful in replacing sugar in your diet. Try swirling it into oatmeal or granola. It can be spread over fruit and complemented with chili pepper flakes for an unusual dessert. You can also easily stir a few drops into your morning coffee or tea. Remember that the sweetness is quite strong, and use sparingly in recipes.

Some studies have suggested that yacon syrup may be beneficial to the body in moderate amounts. It contains and promotes healthy bacteria that aid in cleaning the colon and regulating the digestive system. In some countries, such as Brazil and Bolivia, the leaves of the yacon plant are brewed into a tea said to fight diabetes. The health benefits of yacon syrup have not been extensively tested, but information from the published studies suggests a mildly beneficial effect on the body.

For diabetics, vegans and those cutting down on their sugar intake, yacon syrup makes a healthy alternative to synthesized sweeteners. For those looking to increase the amount of natural foods in their diet, it can also be a welcome addition. Many health food magazines and experts consider yacon syrup a newly discovered wonder food, but further studies must be conducted before truly determining the many claims of beneficial health effects.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for DelightedCooking. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon145518 — On Jan 23, 2011

I just had pancakes and Yacon syrup and it was delicious! Tasted not at all like molasses, more like honey, really sweet and I am sold, absolutely sold. I will keep a supply of this syrup at all times.

I am also just trying out raw coconut sugar in my coffee and am very pleased, no chemical or bitter taste at all, sweetens very nicely.

By galen84basc — On Oct 12, 2010

Did you know that you can use yacon syrup in a candida fighting diet as well?

People who have an excess of candida often have to cut out all sugars from their diet, including natural ones like agave or honey. They can still use sweeteners live stevia, but many feel that that one has a pretty strong aftertaste.

That's why a lot of candida sufferers use yacon syrup for their sweetener of choice. I know a few women who have used it and they said it was really the only thing they could use on that diet without feeling the aftereffects later.

So even if it can't do all the things that the salespeople say, at least it's a good alternative sweetener for people on a candida free diet!

By Charlie89 — On Oct 12, 2010

How does raw yacon syrup compare to agave syrup? I've been using blue agave nectar for about a year now, and I love the way it tastes, but I've been hearing so many good things about yacon syrup's glycemic index that I really want to try it.

Has anybody reading this tried the two of them; can you tell me how they measure up to each other?

By StreamFinder — On Oct 12, 2010

A friend recently gave me a gift of organic yacon syrup, and I'm really glad that I read this article, because I was kind of skeptical about all the yacon syrup benefits listed on the back of the package.

If I believed everything it said on the back of the package, then raw yacon syrup could single handedly combat the signs of aging, clean your colon, help you lose weight, and put good gut flora in your stomach.

I'm glad that you provided a more balanced view, because I really do want to try it (I've got my yacon syrup recipes all lined up), but I was kind of wary about using it if it sounded so...over-hyped, I suppose.

Thanks, wisegeek.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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