Several months ago, in order to cut down on some carbohydrates in my diet (I’m pretty much a carb junkie), I started to eat Japanese shirataki noodles that I’d found in my healthfood store. It was a eureka moment for me when I discovered the whole package had only 20 calories and no carbohydrates. I was even more excited a few days ago when I found out that my no-carb-low-cal treat is actually good for me and my biome.
Shirataki noodles are made from water and starch from something called a konjac plant which, I just learned, is a kind of a yam. Manufacturers of the noodles extract the starch and create a block of a substance called konnyaku, which can be eaten by itself or formed into any desired shape as it the gelatinous substance sticks together beautifully. (On Japanese cooking sites, you can find delicious sound recipes for konnyaku – like this one with miso sauce.) The starch, glucomannan, acts as an soluble dietary fiber, which our bodies cannot digest to extract energy (calories).
So what are the health benefits?[i]
Now that I know all this, I will be searching for konnyaku next time I am at the health food store, to add it to my beloved noodles as a food staple. There are many easy recipes to be found on the internet, and while I’m not really familiar with Japanese cooking (I’m sorry to say), it looks like it won’t be hard to make some of them.
[ii] Cheang, K, et. al. Effects of glucomannan noodle on diabetes risk factor sin patients with metabolic syndrome: a cdouble blinded, randomized, crossover controlled trial. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2017. 5(8):622-628.
[iii] Mohammadpour, S, et. al. Effects of glucomannan supplement on weight loss in overweight and obese adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obesity Medicine. 2020:19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obmed.2020.100276
Category: Bacterial Microbiome, Constipation, Diabetes, Diet, Metabolic Syndrome, microbiome, PrebioticsTags: bacterialmicrobiome, constipation, Diabetes, Diet, gutbacteria, metabolicsyndrome, microbes, microbiome