Yes, it’s November, and you know what that means – more weight-loss “game changers” on “The Doctor Oz Show.” Today’s show didn’t fail to disappoint with Dr. Oz’s latest superfood find – yacon syrup.
"There's going to be a marketing frenzy after this show airs," Dr. Oz said at the start of Monday's segment. At natural foods stores, this is known as the "Oz effect" -- people streaming into stores with a laundry list of supplements to buy.
The syrup, distilled from the Peruvian tuber yacon -- contains up to 50 percent fructooligosacharides, or FOS. FOS, classified as a prebiotic, is a non-caloric sweetener and also a fiber source. Inulin is an FOS and it is often added to processed foods to increase its fiber levels.
(And yes, it can be quite “combustible” to some people, so take it easy at first. The reason is that the FOS passes through the digestive system unmetabolized.)
Dr. Oz touted yacon syrup on Monday’s show because a 2009 study, among others, showed that yacon syrup produced significant weight loss in premenopausal women with insulin resistance and also helped with satiety.
Conversely, yacon leaf was once thought to be helpful in diabetes but in studies produced kidney damage in lab rats, so it should be avoided in teas and capsules.
So what exactly is yacon syrup and what can you do with it?
It has a smoky, molasses-like flavor and you can use it like you would molasses, honey or maple syrup. You can drizzle it on oatmeal, use a spoonful in tea, add it to baked goods and any other opportunity where you need a touch of sweetness.
Essential Living Foods also sells organic yacon syrup in a 12 ounce bottle and it appears to still be in stock. Just in case it is sold out, Essential Living also sells yacon powder, which can be used like sugar and still has the syrup's properties -- plus, it's cheaper.
There's a good chance that after Monday's show, you may not be able to find yacon syrup anywhere. The active ingredient, FOS, can be taken as a supplement and many brands carry FOS in capsules that are frankly a lot less expensive than yacon syrup.