Is Yacon Syrup Better Than Honey?
Trying to make healthier choices isn’t always easy. It can get pretty complicated, especially when it comes to sugar and other sweeteners.
We all know it’s better to eat raw and natural, and honey with its added health benefits, seems to be one of the best options to replace sugar. There’s also yacon syrup, which many people are just now learning of, but has been around for centuries.
Both are raw, natural, and organic. So what’s the difference?
Honey comes from the hard work of bees, sucking nectar from flowers and storing it in a special “second stomach.”
Eventually honey makes its way to the honey comb, where it will be extracted when ready. Honey contains pollens from the flowers. This brings us to one health benefit of eating honey.
The pollens in the honey help us build immunity to local pollens, causing less allergy symptoms. Honey also has antibiotic and antifungal properties to help build our immune systems, help with digestive health, and is also known to help heal wounds.
Honey is known also to benefit athletes. It’s a natural source of carbohydrates and is known for instantly boosting performance and reducing muscle fatigue.
And finally, one of the most popular uses of honey is treating a sore throat and cough by swallowing a spoonful of it or putting it in tea to drink.
Honey may be a healthier choice as a sweetener, but it does have its cons. To the body, sugar is sugar.
Honey is high in fructose and carbohydrates, and has a glycemic index of 58-60, which s not low on the scale and can cause your blood sugar to spike. The amount of calories in honey is also just as high as sugar, with 60-70 calories per serving.
The helpful pollens mentioned above are only a benefit if they haven’t been removed from the honey. Some manufacturers remove pollens to make a “clearer” product for the shelves.
The majority of honey on grocery store shelves has no pollen. You need to be careful when buying honey to make sure you get pure honey with all of its pollens. Your best bet is farmers markets or your local health food store.
Yacon Syrup Benefits
Yacon syrup comes from the roots of a yacon plant, which is native to the Andes in South America, and has been around for centuries. The sweet-tasting syrup is extracted from the roots, which look like sweet potatoes. The syrup is thick, having the consistency of molasses.
Yacon syrup, like honey, can be a good replacement for sugar and sweeteners, and has health benefits.
Yacon syrup is made of fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which is an indigestible form of fructose, meaning that this sugar cannot be digested by the body, keeping excess sugar from hitting the blood stream.
Not only does it have only 20 calories per tablespoon, but also has a low glycemic index of 1, helping to regulate blood sugar.
It is rich in phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. Potassium is a vasodilator, which relaxes blood vessels, increasing blood flow, bringing more oxygen to the body’s cells. This also decreases chances of artery disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Yacon syrup is also known to aid in weight loss and maintain healthy body weight. It’s high in fiber which makes it filling with not many calories, and also is known to have a slight “laxative effect.”
Another benefit of yacon syrup is digestive health. Yacon syrup is a prebiotic, also known as “food” for probiotics, which are “good” bacteria that help keep our guts healthy.
Yacon syrup vs honey
In a nutshell, honey has its benefits of helping us build immunity to pollens, helping our immune systems and digestive tract, and healing coughs, sore throats, and wounds. But honey is not only high in calories; it is on the higher end of the glycemic index. You also need to be careful where you buy honey to make sure it still has its beneficial pollens.
Yacon syrup is known for regulating blood sugar, lowering blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol, aiding in weight loss, helping with digestive health, and strengthening our immune systems. It also may improve liver health and aid in preventing some forms of cancer. And yacon syrup is low in calories and only has a glycemic index of 1.
Both honey and yacon syrup have their health benefits, so if you’re choosing between the two, you may want to consider which health benefits are important to you.
Also ask yourself if calories and regulating blood sugar are important. If the answer is yes, yacon syrup may be the better choice for you.