One of the major concerns when it comes to choosing a sweetener is its glycemic index. This is because most sweeteners tend to have a glycemic index that is too high that it risks the blood sugar levels increasing beyond normal upon intake. Especially when preparing meals for consumption for diabetics it is important to consider this for all ingredients used. The Yacon syrup is one of those food sweeteners you can use without having to worry about its glycemic index being too much for the body. This is because it has been proven to be rather low. But what is this Yacon syrup?
The Yacon plant is one that looks like sweet potato plant that is native to Peru in South America and produces tubers just like its look-alike. The sweet part in the Yacon plant is the root which contains fructo-oligosaccharides. It can be sliced and eaten raw and the taste that will meet the taste buds is that of a sweeter version of an apple. To make the sweet caramel tasting syrup, the Yacon plant root is ground, the juice extracted and then heated to reduce the moisture content. The resulting dark-colored sweetener will taste half as sweet as honey or maple syrup.
Glycemic index is a number indicative of a food’s ability to raise blood sugar levels as a result of the amount of glucose absorbed from the particular food when its digestion is completed. The more the glycemic index value of a food, the more it raises the blood sugar and the vice versa. This value is determined by many intertwined factors including the fiber levels and amount of simple or complex sugars present in food all of which determine the rate of absorption of sugars. So, how much of this is there is in Yacon syrup and why is it so important for it to be low?
The Yacon syrup glycemic index has been researched and found to have a value of 1 which is very low and ideal for use by all people. The fructo-oligosaccharides found in the syrup are soluble fibers which are not fully digested during the process of digestion. These fibers serve to provide bulk as food passes through the gut hence helping waste to be moved to the appropriate organs and expelled without easily. Just like any other soluble fiber taken up in food, this food has a characteristic low glycemic index. The bulk it creates in the stomach makes the gut contents much more viscous and hence absorption does not occur as fast as if the contents were watery. They also make a person feel fuller for longer hence reducing increased calorific intake and so Yacon syrup has been linked with weight loss benefits.
To sum it up, the glycemic index of yacon syrup is rather low compared to what other sweeteners offer. The good news however is the sweet taste is still there and with almost the same intensity as many other sweeteners. So, if you are looking for a sweetener that you can use to sweeten your foods without compromising your health by risking diabetes then this is the best choice for you.