Yacon syrup is a sweetener that’s derived from the roots of the yacon plant, which is native to South America. It’s used to add sweetness while improving the condition of your gut bacteria.
These beneficial effects of yacon syrup are thanks to its high contents of fructooligosaccharides, which are excellent sources of nourishments for the probiotic bacteria in your stomach and intestines.
It’s far better for your digestive and metabolic health compared to regular sugar, which is known to have negative effects on both metabolic health and gut flora.
If you want to add sweetness to your food and drinks while strengthening your digestive health, yacon syrup might be a good call. Our research team has ranked the ten best yacon syrups available right now—read on for our rankings.
1. Alovitox Yacon Syrup
Alovitox Yacon Syrup is a certified organic yacon syrup that’s processed using a special low-temperature procedure that ensures more of the biologically active compounds aren’t broken down by the heat.
Alovitox Yacon Syrup has a smooth, almost chocolate-like flavor that is distinctively different from other sugar alternatives. It’s versatile, healthy, and easy to use, which makes it our top pick.
2. Peruvian Naturals Yacon Syrup
Peruvian Naturals Yacon Syrup comes straight from Peru and is organically grown and certified. This 8.8 ounce jar is perfect for coffee and tea, and its taste is often compared to a rich, deep honey.
This makes it an attractive options for strict vegans who don’t eat real honey.
3. Nature Botanicals Yacon Syrup
Nature Botanicals Yacon Syrup comes in a three-pack of eight ounce containers, so it’s a good pick for those who go through a lot of yacon syrup on a regular basis.
The narrow neck makes it a little tricky to measure out large quantities, but at the same time, it’s very convenient for pouring straight into coffee or tea.
4. Amazon Therapeutic Labs Yacon Syrup
Amazon Therapeutic Labs Yacon Syrup comes in a larger 11 ounce bottle and is organically certified.
These qualities alone make it a fairly solid pick, though some users find the taste and texture is not quite the same as other yacon syrups.
5. Organic Traditions Yacon Syrup
Organic Traditions Yacon Syrup comes in a narrow 8.5 ounce glass bottle that’s easy to stick on the shelf alongside your coffee and tea supplies.
Like other narrow-mouthed containers for yacon syrup, it can be tricky to measure out larger quantities, but that’s about the only downside to this organically certified yacon syrup.
6. Alovitox Yacon Slices
Looking to add sweetness from yacon in an even more natural form than yacon syrup? Alovitox has a great solution in the form of yacon slices, which are dried slices from the yacon root.
These slices have all the sweetness of yacon syrup but with the fiber and extra nutrients left in the plant fiber. It’s perfect for flavoring cereal and oatmeal, but obviously not so much for adding sweetness to beverages.
7. Zint Yacon Syrup
Zint Yacon Syrup comes in an eight ounce bottle and is easy to use thanks to its thin consistency, but this feature bothers some other users.
Some people prefer yacon syrup that’s rich and thick; Zint Yacon Syrup is much thinner and runnier. It’s up to you if that’s a dealbreaker.
8. Trala Coffee Sweetener
Trala Coffee Sweetener offers a way to add flavor shots to coffee without the usual dose of simple syrup that usually comes alongside.
Trala Coffee Sweetener has several different flavors, all of which include only yacon syrup and various natural flavoring agents. Though it’s not very versatile, it excels at flavoring coffee and tea.
9. Of the Earth Yacon Syrup
Of the Earth Yacon Syrup doesn’t have quite the same sweetness profile as other yacon syrups, but if you want to keep things as natural as possible, it’s a good option: it’s minimally processed to preserve the greatest amount of nutrients possible.
10. BT Labs Yacon Syrup
BT Labs Yacon Syrup comes in a glass eight ounce bottle, but doesn’t offer quite the same perks that many other competitors offer. Users find the taste isn’t quite as rich and complex as some of the other top-rated brands.
Who Should Buy Yacon Syrup?
Yacon syrup is safe for all individuals looking to add a touch of sweetness to their foods or beverages, without the insulin spike. Yacon syrup can also help individuals who are looking to lose weight since it acts as a potent appetite suppressant.
While safe, pregnant women and children should only consume yacon syrup under the supervision of a medical professional.
How We Ranked
Of The Earth yacon syrup made our list for providing a minimalistic option, but ranked low due to its lack of sweetness. Trala Coffee Sweetener offered a good coffee sweetener that includes only natural ingredients. Due to its lack of versatility, it ranked near the bottom. Alovitox found its way to the middle of the pack for proving yacon slices that can be eaten whole or made into yacon syrup. While very healthy, it’s not useful for sweetening beverages.
In the middle of the pack, Amazon Therapeutic Labs provides an organically certified yacon syrup that makes it one of the best on the market. It took 4th spot because users reported its taste and texture to be different than most other yacon syrups. Nature Botanicals is the best option for bulk buyers who want a high-quality yacon syrup product. However, it didn’t make the top 2 since the bottles it’s packaged in are only useful for sweetening in small doses.
Peruvian Naturals provides a yacon syrup straight from Peru that’s 100% certified organic. The flavor profile is phenomenal, making it one of the best tasting, pure yacon syrups on the market. Alovitox took the top spot for providing a 100% organic yacon syrup that has a smooth, chocolate-like taste. What sets it apart is their processing. They use a special low-temperature procedure, ensuring that the beneficial biologically active components of the market aren’t degraded.
Yacon syrup benefits and side effects
Yacon syrup is a natural, low-calorie sweetener that comes from the root of the yacon plant, which is a potato-like plant with a starchy tuber as a part of its roots.
Yacon root may pave the way for weight loss by conditioning the gut microbacteria, and compares favorably to normal table sugar when it comes to sweetening foods and beverages.
Preparations derived from Yacon roots have been used as an herbal remedy for centuries to treat digestive disorders and kidney problems. (1)
The digestive benefits to yacon syrup are due to the molecular structure of the fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which account for most of the sugar in yacon syrup. These FOS account for the bulk of the sweet flavor that yacon syrup imparts into foods and drinks.
Connecting structure between molecules of FOS is unique, making it unrecognizable by the digestive tract. That means it stimulates the sweetness receptors on the taste buds, but then slips on through the digestion process without adding a lot of calories.
Yacon syrup is one of the richest dietary sources of fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which is also found in lesser amounts in other vegetables, like leeks, artichokes, onions, and garlic. Fructooligosaccharides are also commonly found in probiotic supplements, because beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract can feed on these starches and use them to reproduce.
Yacon syrup contains about 50% fructooligosaccharides and fiber as well. In addition, you’ll find a sprinkling of fructose, sucrose and glucose, which your body does recognize and digest. One tablespoon delivers about 20 calories from those three sources of sugar. Sucrose, or table sugar, runs at 48 calories per tablespoon (2).
Indulging a sweet tooth has derailed dieters with the best of intentions, so this new take on taste might be the definitive answer to tripping the pleasure meter and supporting healthy body weight at the same time.
Yacon syrup helps probiotic bacteria thrive in your digestive tract. When the sweetener works its way down to the large intestine, the fructooligosaccharides nourish resident friendly bacteria; we can’t digest FOS, but the bacteria can, and the end result is improvement of the gut environment.
Studies with rats included analysis of byproducts from the bacterial digestion process of FOS, some of which include short-chain fatty acids that can help prevent weight gain, increase metabolism and improve colon health. (10, 11)
Yacon syrup may help you lose weight. Yacon syrup is a relative newcomer to the diet aid scene, so there’s only a limited amount of research to draw from so far.
However, what research has been done shows promising results. There are bound to be more trials and studies on its effects in the future, and the general reaction from nutritional experts is what you’d expect: more information is necessary to determine if it’s really effective as a weight-loss supplement.
One study has shown quite a bit of promise for yacon syrup as a supplement for weight loss. As clinical trials go, this 4-month study was fairly small; 55 obese women with high cholesterol and constipation problems participated for 4 months, with results correlated for body weight and Body Mass Index (BMI), cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity and frequency of bowel movements. (12)
Participants in the placebo-controlled double-blind trial were asked to follow a low-fat diet and cut back on total calories.
Over 16 weeks, 40 of the women took yacon syrup while the other 15 were given a syrup without active ingredients.
Women taking yacon syrup experienced dramatic changes in BMI and metabolism; the others reached the end of the trail without much difference in measured markers.
The yacon group dropped an average of 33 pounds, while the others packed on about 3.5 pounds each. Waist measurements didn’t change in the placebo group, but the women taking yacon syrup shrunk the numbers by nearly 4 inches.
Yacon syrup also decreased the prevalence of constipation, an effect which can likely be chalked up to the inulin fiber content as well as the improvements in gut bacteria makeup as a result of the fructooligosaccharides.
The women in the study also saw a decrease in insulin resistance. Decreased insulin resistance translates to a lower risk of developing heart disease and diabetes; LDL cholesterol is the bad kind, and a better lipid panel is also associated with better heart health. Constipation has been linked to higher rates of gastrointestinal disorders, depression and thyroid problems. (13)
Lower BMI measurements allowed yacon syrup users to officially gravitate from “obese” to “overweight.”
Since it’s a natural food with no chemicals or additives, the chances of having an adverse reaction taking yacon syrup are slim, but caution is the best approach with anything that affects your digestion.
If you take too much yacon syrup at once, you could experience nausea, diarrhea, flatulence or stomach aches. Anyone who already has a problem with diarrhea might want to exercise caution; while diarrhea can be caused by disruptions in gut bacteria, it may be more beneficial to take a probiotic supplement directly instead of using yacon syrup.
You need the beneficial bacteria to be present in order for them to grow and take advantage of the fructooligosaccharides, so if you already have a deficit, yacon syrup may not be very helpful.
Women in the study covered above took 10 grams of fructooligosaccharides daily, dividing the dosage to take it about an hour before eating each meal or snack. The total amount of 10 grams adds up to between 4 and 5 teaspoons.
Consider starting with a single teaspoon a day so you can see how it affects you.
It’s not yet clear whether taking yacon syrup before a meal is necessary to get the appetite-suppression effect, so you may want to try it both ways.
The molecular configuration of FOS doesn’t hold up to heat, breaking down at 284˚ F (140 C˚); cooking with it alters the sugar content into free fructose, making it sweeter and also digestible, which would defeat the purpose of keeping calories low. (16)
What is yacon syrup made of? Yacon syrup comes directly from the roots of the yacon plant. The yacon plant is native to the Andes Mountain region, where the locals have consumed yacon syrup products for several generations. Since its initial discovery, the yacon plant is now grown in several countries throughout the world.
Does yacon syrup suppress appetite? In a 2017 study, scientists analyzed the effects of yacon syrup on appetite. Researchers found that yacon syrup can boost satiety, which can help treat obesity and diabetes (17).
Yacon syrup is also incredibly beneficial when it comes to improving the digestive system. In a 2009 study, researchers determined that after 120 days of daily yacon syrup consumption, study participants experienced a lower body weight, decreased body fat, and a smaller waist circumference (18).
Does yacon syrup help with constipation? Yacon syrup contains fibers that help digested food travel through the length of your digestive system. With greater gastrointestinal movement, you’re less likely to be constipated and have a clear system.
Where can you buy yacon syrup? Like most health and wellness supplements, yacon syrup can be found in specialty health and wellness stores as well as online.
Does yacon syrup cause GI distress? While yacon syrup is safe for consumption, it can cause GI tract issues like nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, and gas. To limit these side effects, always start with a small dose and titrate up.
Is yacon syrup suitable for people with diabetes? Though researchers are still looking to figure out just what yacon syrup is capable of doing in terms of health benefits, there is plenty of evidence that shows that yacon syrup can lower blood sugar levels and help improve symptoms of diabetes.
Yacon syrup is becoming increasingly popular as a sugar substitute due to its ability to provide a sweet taste without the detrimental blood sugar spike. For reference, yacon syrup has a glycemic index of about 1, while table sugar averages about a 63. This makes yacon syrup the perfect sugar alternative for people with diabetes looking to actively control their blood sugar levels and insulin.
Is yacon syrup sugar-free? The nutritional composition of yacon syrup consists mostly of fructooligosaccharides, which are composed of fructose. Fructooligosaccharides are considered sugar alternatives and are not actual sugar products. It’s not accurate to describe yacon-syrup as sugar-free; very low sugar would be more accurate since the inclusion of fructooligosaccharides may mimic some of the effects of sugar.
Does yacon syrup need to be refrigerated? Like honey and regular syrup, yacon syrup does not need to be refrigerated to keep it fresh. It will maintain its taste and quality as long as it’s kept in an appropriate environment and sealed tightly. The best way to store yacon syrup is by keeping it in a cool and dry location that does not experience direct sunlight. If you live in a hot or humid environment, refrigerating your yacon syrup may prolong its shelf-life. Refrigerated yacon syrup will have a thicker consistency, making it more viscous.
Does yacon syrup expire? Yacon syrup doesn’t expire when stored properly. That means in a cool and dry location that does not have access to direct sunlight. In other conditions, it may develop mold.
The mold is usually not dangerous, so you can still consume the product, but you might want to err on the side of caution and avoid moldy syrup.
Can you cook with yacon syrup? Cooking with yacon syrup is not recommended, because the fructooligosaccharides will break down when exposed to anything over 248°F (20)
Does yacon syrup benefit your gut microbiome? Yes, yacon syrup can support your gut microbiome by providing proper nutrition for your healthy gut bacteria in the form of prebiotics. The fructooligosaccharides found in yacon syrup function as the soluble fiber in the large intestine, feeding your healthy gut bacteria (21)
What does yacon taste like? Yacon syrup has a sweet taste, similar to apple or caramel, due to its fructooligosaccharide content. The sweet taste of yacon syrup effectively explains why yacon syrup is used as a sugar substitute, providing a similar taste to sugar without resulting in a spike in blood sugar or insulin levels.
What are yacon tubers? Yacon tubers are the “fruit” of the yacon plant. While they look somewhat similar to potatoes or sweet potatoes, they have a fruity and sweet taste. While yacon syrup comes directly from the roots of the yacon plant, the entire plant has a sweeter taste.
What is the best way to consume yacon syrup? The most common use of yacon syrup is as a sugar substitute for beverages such as coffee, tea, juice, smoothies, or any other beverage that you want to be sweeter. As a sugar substitute, you can also use yacon syrup as an alternative in the baking process. Yacon syrup can also be used in place of regular syrup, like on pancakes and waffles.
Is yacon syrup safe for a low FODMAP diet? No, yacon syrup contains fructans, which are a class of FODMAP’s – making them unsuitable for people following a low-FODMAP type diet (22)
How do you plant yacon plants? First, you need the proper environment – which includes adequate rainfall and substantial heat. Once you have this, the easiest option would be to buy pre-grown yacon plants, as planting the crop may take a while and requires a very specific schedule and environment. You can then transplant them into your garden or grow them in a temperature-regulated greenhouse.
During each season of the year, the yacon plant develops in a certain way until it’s time to finally harvest. If you’re harvesting the plant for the tubers or syrup, you’ll need to pull the entire plant from the soil to reach the roots.
Is yacon syrup keto-friendly? As an effective sugar substitute, yacon syrup is keto-friendly. With a low carbohydrate count, calories, and sugar, you’ll be able to add this sweetener to your foods and beverages without negatively impacting your ketone levels. If you’re trying to limit your carb intake, you should only consume one tablespoon of yacon syrup per day, as one serving has about 11 grams of carbohydrates.
Can yacon syrup be used in coffee or tea? Yes, yacon syrup is safe to use in tea and hot coffee. It can also be used in a variety of other beverages to sweeten the flavor since it mixes well.
Can yacon syrup reduce ghrelin? Ghrelin is known as the hunger hormone and is what makes your stomach rumble when hungry. A 2005 study showed that fructooligosaccharides, which are found in yacon syrup, can help decrease ghrelin, helping people eat less (23).
Is yacon syrup a good sugar substitute? Yes, yacon syrup is a great sugar substitute. With the inclusion of fructooligosaccharides, yacon syrup provides a sweet taste without the negative blood sugar spike. Yacon syrup is 100% natural and does not contain any artificial preservatives.
Does yacon syrup spike insulin? Perhaps the greatest advantage of yacon syrup is its ability to provide the sweet taste of sugar without experiencing the accompanying insulin spike. This makes it ideal for those looking to maintain their blood sugar levels, like diabetics.
How do you eat yacon? Yacon comes in several forms, with the most popular being yacon syrup. Yacon roots can be ground into a powder that can be added to tea, coffee, juices, or any other beverage. You can also buy yacon slices, which come from the yacon tubers. Yacon slices make great nutritious snacks. If you’re interested in the potential health benefits of yacon, but don’t want to consume the product, there are yacon root capsules available. These products may include up to 1000 milligrams of yacon root per serving.
Does yacon syrup improve brain function? No, yacon syrup does not boost brain function directly. However, it does support a healthy gut microbiome, which has been shown to improve brain function (24).
Is yacon syrup appropriate on a low carb diet? Yes, yucan syrup is appropriate to use on a low carb diet since it doesn’t spike blood sugar. The magic comes from the fructooligosaccharides, which provide sweetness without affecting insulin levels.
How many calories does yacon syrup have? Fructooligosaccharides, the main component of yacon syrup, are not fully digestible by humans. This is what drastically lowers the calories. 1 tablesppon of yacon syrup contains just 20 calories. Sugar has around 60 blood-sugar spiking calories for the same serving.
What is the active ingredient in yacon syrup? The active ingredient in yacon syrup is fructooligosaccharides, which a type of fructan. Around 45% of yacon syrup is made up of fructan, which acts like soluble fiber in the intestines. This helps to promote a healthy but microbiome by feeding healthy but bacteria.
When is the best time to consume yacon syrup? Yacon syrup can be taken at any time. However, 30-60 minutes before a meal seems to offer the best results in terms of reducing appetite.
What is the scientific name of Yacon syrup? Yacon syrup is scientifically known as Smallanthus sonchifolius. The plant it’s extracted from is native to South America.
How many calories per gram does yacon syrup contain? Yacon syrup contains roughly 1.3 calories per gram.
Yacon syrup is a very attractive alternative to sugar as a sweetener for foods and beverages. The caloric content of sugar is over 50% smaller, and the high levels of fructooligosaccharides and fiber in the form of inulin mean that yacon syrup is very friendly towards your gut bacteria.
Though research to date is limited, preliminary evidence suggests that yacon syrup could be very helpful for losing weight and improving your metabolic health if you are overweight or obese.
If you’re looking for a natural short-term weight-loss aid, yacon syrup isn’t likely to cause problems, and it might just be the ticket for soothing a sweet tooth while sticking to a diet that’s lower in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
For Body Nutrition’s #1 yacon syrup recommendation, click here.