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July 9, 2008 at 1:47 PMComments: 5 Faves: 0

Konjac Root For Weight Loss: 4 No-Guilt Shirataki Noodle Recipes You're Going to Love

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Konjac root, from the Asian plant Amorphophallus Konjac (if you think the name is weird, check out its picture), is also known as the source of the polysaccharide glucomannan. Glucomannan is a soluble fiber that can absorb up to 200 times its weight in water, and is frequently used to encourage weight loss.

What Is Soluble Fiber?

Basically, there are two kinds of fiber (soluble and insoluble), and we need them both. Fiber is not digested by our bodies, but instead used to promote feelings of fullness, prolong the absorption of sugar, and promote bowel movements. Insoluble fiber (found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains) helps move food through the intestines and bowels. In some cases, it may even help prevent constipation. Soluble fiber (from whole grains, nuts, seeds, and some fruits and vegetables) stays in your stomach longer and slows the absorption of sugar. It may also lower bad cholesterol levels as well as total cholesterol. Most foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. (The FDA recommends we consume 25 grams of fiber each day, so load up on the fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.)

Uses of Konjac Root

Konjac root is used mostly to promote weight loss, but also as a form of blood sugar control. Since it is so high in fiber, it may even be able to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the absorption of fat. Konjac root can absorb a great amount of water, so it increases in bulk inside your stomach, working to make you feel full. It can be used to relieve constipation and, in some cases, has been used to manage blood sugar levels.

Konjac Root Dosage

There is no regulated optimal dose of Konjac root, however most recommend taking 1 gram with at least 8 ounces of water an hour before meals. This allows enough time for the Konjac root to be processed and expand. However, if the supplement contains other fiber sources, be sure to follow the specific product directions. Konjac root may reduce the amount of nutrients your body absorbs from food, so be sure to take multivitamin while taking Konjac root regularly. If you experience diarrhea, bloating, or gas, decrease your dosage.

Konjac Root For Weight Loss

Konjac root may be a useful tool to promote weight loss, but you'll still need to be careful about the foods you consume (a healthy diet will be more effective when taking any weight loss supplement or while on a weight loss plan). Small studies have shown it to be effective, but there are also instances of esophageal and gastrointestinal obstruction reported after taking excessive amounts of Konjac root. As with any supplement, be sure to talk with your doctor before taking Konjac root, as some supplements may interfere with other prescription medications. Any weight loss plan should include a balanced, low fat diet, as well as regular exercise. Remember there is no magic pill to help you shed weight rapidly; it'll take time and dedication to lose weight.

Shirataki Noodle Recipes

From Wikipedia: "Shirataki(?, often written with the hiragana ) are thin, translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam (devil's tongue yam or elephant yam)... When wet, they are purchased packaged in liquid. They normally have a shelf life of up to one year. Some brands may require rinsing or par-boiling as the water they are packaged in has an odor that may be unpleasant to those not accustomed to it...Two types of shirataki noodles are sold in the United States. Traditional shirataki noodles have zero net carbohydrates, calories, and no gluten, and they are useful to those on low-carbohydrate diets.Tofu-based shirataki-style noodles are becoming increasingly popular in U.S. supermarkets and health food stores. They have a much shorter shelf life and require refrigeration even before opening. Tofu-based noodles contain a minimal amount of carbohydrate."

Thai Panang Curry Shirataki Noodles

"Named after the island of Penang, off the West coast of Thailand, this shirataki noodle recipe is incredibly fragrant and an easy mid-week, low-calorie meal (only 275 calories per serving.)" Recipe HERE.

Tuna & Shirataki Noodle Casserole

"I had a craving.  I wanted my Mom's Tuna Noodle casserole and it wouldn't go away.  After much hand wringing and skull sweat, I came up with the following.  It walks the high line on what I consider acceptable nutritionally, but it was DARNED good and it satisfied the cravings! Mom's recipe called for the dreaded canned Campbell's condensed you-know-what, but this recipe uses a béchamel sauce instead. I'm sure that you'll agree that the added effort is well worthwhile in terms of flavor and nutrition." Recipe HERE


Shirataki Noodles Stir-Fry with Over Easy Egg, Bok Choy and Sesame

"Texture is springy, almost rubbery so don’t expect them to replace the texture of perfect al dente Italian pasta. Upon opening the package, your nostrils may be accosted by the odor of fish gone wrong.  Don’t let this ruin your Shirataki experience.  A good solid rinse will quickly get rid of the funky smell. With these things in mind, how do you make these “miracle health noodles” taste as best as they can be?  I’d love to share our favorite way of cooking up Shirataki noodles: spicy Asian stir-fry, how else?" Recipe HERE.

100 Calorie Fettucini Alfredo

"Huh? No way. Even the smaller lunch portion of fettucini alfredo at Olive Garden has 800 calories and 48 grams of fat. But then again, this is a Hungry Girl recipe and Lisa Lillien (a.k.a. the Hungry Girl) can make any recipe work! The result? Cheesy and very tasty! The cheese is not a creamy drippy sauce but the flavor is perfectly satisfying." Recipe HERE.

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5 Comments

  • my question is:
    WHEN I EAT AT A RESTAURANT, WITH IN AN HOUR I HAVE TO FIND A BATHROOM. WOULD KOJAC ROOT WORK FOR ME?
    I NEED INFORMATION. PLEASE REPLY.

  • hello, I would like to know where I can I get this product in San Diego, and if it know with a different name
    Thanks

  • Mabi, you can order Zenitrim online (www.zenitrim.com). It contains the konjac root fiber discussed in this post.

  • where can I get Konjac root in Santa Rosa California?

  • Winnie - You can order Zenitrim online and have it shipped to you. A supplement is probably the easiest way to add a significant amount of konjac root to your diet. There are also noodles made with konjac root fiber I have found at my local grocery in Michigan. "Miracle Noodles" and "Miracle Rice" come packed in water in a clear plastic bag and are made only from konjac root, so they are 0 calorie, 0 fat, 0 sugar. In my grocery these are kept on the shelf by the special diet/gluten free foods. Another similar product is called "NOoodle."There are also "Shirataki Noodles" which combine a little bit of rice flour with the konjac root for a different, softer texture than the pure konjac products. (Also come packed in water in a clear plastic bag) As such, it does contain a few calories, but not many - I'm thinking like 15 per package.

    I want to warn you, these are different than the noodles you're used to. They smell bad when you open them. When you use konjac-based noodles, you have to rinse them first before adding whatever you like to them. They are also firmer/more rubbery in texture - not unpleasant, just different than wheat noodles. I like the "fettuccine" shirataki noodles. I'll add a 2 tablespoons of a greek yogurt spinach dip I buy, add just enough almond milk to make it saucy, stir in little vegetarian condensed broth and shake a little garlic salt, and black pepper on for flavor, then microwave for 2 minutes. The end product tastes like stroganoff, and is really satisfying for a 50 calorie snack!

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