Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chocolate Fudge for Weight Loss

This recipe combines yakon and coconut oil, two ingredients that not only encourage weight loss, but between the two of them, will increase metabolism, lower cholesterol, reduce appetite, feed the friendly bacteria in the intestines and aid in controlling blood sugars.

Not only that, this recipe is for....fudge!

Have you heard of yakon yet?  Yakon syrup can help with weight loss.  Yakon is a tuber from the Andes in South America.  Yakon is high in a sugar called fructooligosaccharides.  The friendly bacteria in your gut love to feed on fructooligosaccharides.  As they digest it, they produce short-chain fatty acids that have powerful anti-obesity effects.   You may be able to find yakon syrup at your local health food store, but there are also resources online.

In a recent study, 40 obese women were fed yakon syrup for 120 days and asked to mildly restrict calories.  After the time period the group had lost on average 33 pounds.  A blind placebo group of 15 women were also told to mildly restrict calories and did not receive the yakon--at the end of 120 days they had gained 3 pounds.  A couple of other benefits were noted among the yakon users.  Their fasting insulin levels went down by 42%.  Their insulin resistance went down by 67% and their LDL (bad) cholesterol went down 29%.  

You may also be aware that coconut oil has been shown to reduce weight.  Coconut oil is thermogenic, which means that eating it tends to speed up metabolism.
 In one study, eating 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day sped up metabolism by 5%, totaling about 120 calories per day.

For weight loss, you need 2 T coconut oil per day and 1-1 1/2 T yakon per day. We've also added cocoa powder and walnuts to this recipe.  Cocoa powder is high in flavanoids which are antioxidants which greatly diminish inflammation.  Walnuts are high in omega-3s, also inflammation fighters.

Cocoa also has weight loss properties.  Rats fed a diet high in fat and given cocoa had significantly lower body and fatty tissue weights after three weeks.  
This recipe is enough for 4 days.  To get the weight loss quantities the research studies were based on, you should eat 1/4 of this recipe each day throughout the day.  Eat it before and between meals.

Yakon and Coconut Oil Chocolate Weight Loss Fudge   

1/2 c coconut oil
1/4 c cocoa powder
6 T yakon syrup
1/4 t vanilla
1 pinch of sea salt
1/4 c walnuts

Melt the coconut oil, let it cool a bit and stir all other ingredients into it.  Pour it into a pie tin or low dish and let it set up in the refrigerator.

By the way, I was thinking of adding green tea extract and glucomannan to this recipe.  Both are also researched and proven to reduce weight.

In one study of 60 obese individuals, the group taking green tea extract lost 7.3 lbs (3.3 kg) and burned 183 more calories per day after 3 months.

I decided against adding green tea extract to the fudge because of the strong taste.  It seems like it is just better to take the dropper full needed separately.

As for the glucomannan, it is not carried at my local health food store.  Glucomannan is a fiber from the elephant yam in Southeast Asia.  It is often used as a thickening agent in production foods, comes in powder form and it creates a gel when combined with liquids.  You take the capsules before meals and they help reduce appetite.  You need to take 1 gram 3 x per day.

Groups given glucomannan in weight loss studies lost almost twice the weight of those given placebos.    

My local health food store did not have glucomannan available.  I'm not giving up though, and when I get some I'll experiment to see if it can be added to the fudge recipe.  My fear is that it will be so thickening that we'll end up with fudge that is unappealingly dense.  Of course, we won't know until we try it.  I'll keep you posted!

Finally, don't forget your yogurt.  A study performed by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, "Twelve weeks of consuming a fermented milk product containing lactobacillus strain was associated with a 4.6 per cent reduction in abdominal fat."

Chocolate Peanut Butter?--  Peanut butter cup lover?  Omit the almonds and add 4 T organic peanut butter.  You'll also want to significantly increase the sea salt to get that classic peanut butter cup taste.  Again, you'll eat 1/4 of the recipe per day.    

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