What is konjac?
Konjac is a tuber or a root, similar to a yam or a potato. This plant is traditionally used in Asian cuisine (Japan, China, Korea and India), and often formed in to cakes (Ita Konnyaku) or noodles (Shirataki noodles). More recently, this root is also processed into konjac flour and used as a food stabilizer or a gelling agent to enhance texture.
What are the benefits of konjac pasta?
Konjac is rich in soluble-type fibers, particularly in glucomannan. One of the main properties of soluble fibers is that they expand with water and form a gel-like substance. In your body (more precisely in your intestines), this property will allow you to stay fuller for longer! Also, since the konjac root is so rich in fibers (fibers are resistant to digestions and absorption), it is almost calorie-free (which could or could not be beneficial, depending on your individual needs).
What about traditional pasta?
Traditional wheat pasta is rich in active carbohydrates (the type of carbs that used as fuel for energy) and folate (vitamin B), and contain 4 g of protein per half cup. Since konjac products are so high in fibers, this does not leave room for many other active nutrients. Konjac pasta is low in active carbohydrates and protein. Therefore, you will not get the same energy-optimizing benefits from konjac pasta compares to traditional wheat pasta.
What should i choose?
I would not recommend you to completely replace traditional pasta with konjac pasta, since it does not contain sufficient active carbs to keep you going throughout the day. However, if you are interested in this type of pasta, I would recommend you to use konjac pasta to complete your meal, and to eat half a portion of wheat pasta and half a portion of konjac pasta.
- Dietitians of Canada
- Keithley & Swanson, Glucomannan and Obesity A Critical Review, Alternative Therapies, Nov/Dec 2005, Vol. 11, No. 6.
- Miracle Noodle
- Mullin, Supplements for Weight Loss: Hype or Help for Obesity? Part III, Nutrition in Clinical Practice, June 2015, Vol. 30, No. 3, p. 446-449.
- Zalewski et al., The effect of glucomannan on body weight in overweight or obese children and adults: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials, Nutrition, 2015, Vol. 31, p. 437-442.