There is no secret that the main reasons why people find it difficult to lose weight, is because they are unable to abide by a strict exercise and diet regimen.
It is difficult to make long-lasting lifestyle changes and therefore any kind of supplement that helps to lose weight, especially if it is promoted by a famous TV doctor, becomes popular in an instant.
Yacon syrup is the latest supplement and according to a certain TV doctor, it can help lose in excess of 5 pounds in 4 weeks. But what is Yacon syrup exactly and does it work?
What is Yacon syrup?
The syrup is derived from the Yacon plant and it is a staple in Peruvian diet. It has been used by Peruvians for generations as a natural sweetener and also as a sugar substitute.
It is high in fiber and low in calories (7 calories per teaspoon). Since it is metabolized slowly by the body, the blood sugar spike is very mild and therefore it is especially beneficial for individuals who suffer from high blood sugar.
The main ingredient in the syrup itself that gives all the benefits is FOS (fructooligosaccharides). FOS is a certain fructo-polysaccharide that has low levels of glucose, sucrose and fructose and it is often used as an alternative sweetener for diabetics and those who want to limit their sugar intake.
You can put it in coffee or tea for example. It can also be used to replace molasses and syrup on waffles and pancakes or added to fruit or oatmeal.
Since the human body does not have enzymes to break down fructooligosaccharides, it is not metabolized in the digestive tract because of it.
This means it provides very few calories. It is said to increase stool bulk and control constipation. It can help people who suffer from diabetes and high cholesterol. Since it is also an excellent probiotic, it acts as food to bacteria that are beneficial to the body.
In a study published in the Clinical Nutrition journal in 2009, a group of overweight women were given 2 different doses of this syrup over a period of 4 months. In the end of the 4 month study, the women lost on average of 2 pounds per week, which resulted in an average of 33 pounds of weight loss.
The levels of good cholesterol increased while the levels of bad cholesterol decreased. The supplement also helped to cure constipation amongst other things.
This famous TV doctor also conducted a similar study himself and the experiments he conducted look very positive. But critics say that there were many substantial limitations in the experiments.
For example it is not known how much weight was lost due to the placebo effect and how much weight was lost due to the syrup itself.
It might have been that the individuals who took part in this experiment expected to lose weight and therefore followed their diet more rigorously.
The dangerous always is, with the people who want to know what yacon syrup is, that they take this as a “miracle weight loss pill,” rather than just a helpful tool.
This syrup is certainly effective but people need to have realistic expectations as well. There is no magic pill and people first and foremost need to focus on their diet and exercise program.
Supplements can be used in addition to exercise and diet. If this is done in a smart manner then the supplements, such as this syrup, do provide significant benefits in terms of weight loss and health.
The main focus should be to make sure a person gets as much nutrients out of their diet as possible and use supplements only if they are necessary.