If you are trying to reduce the number of carbohydrates or calories in your diet, Konjac pasta or also known as shirataki noodles or is an ideal alternative for you.
Since one of its nutritional properties is its high content of vegetable fiber, one of its benefits is that it can help you reduce the feeling of hunger. They are also deficient in net carbohydrates, so they are an allowed food on the keto diet.
This article discusses the nutritional properties and benefits of shirataki or Konjac pasta.
What are shirataki noodles?
Shirataki or Konjac noodles are low-calorie types of white pasta. Its main ingredient is Konjac flour: a kind of indigestible vegetable fiber.
The flour used to make shirataki noodles is obtained from the Konjac plant. A plant that grows in Japan and Southeast Asia. The use of shirataki in China and Japan dates back more than 2000 years.
Like other pasta, its flavor is neutral; however, its calorie content is ten times lower.
Glucomannan, the main component of shirataki paste, has been used by indigenous Chinese as an asthma treatment, detoxifying agent, and even as a treatment for skin wounds. Currently, shirataki noodles are one of the most indicated foods in cases of constipation, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. (5)
Nutritional properties of Konjac noodles
Of the nutritional properties of shirataki noodles, its low content in carbohydrates and calories and does not contain gluten stands out. So it is food allowed both on the keto diet and on a gluten-free diet.
The amount of calories in Konjac noodles is minimal: about 13 Kcal in 100 g. Pasta made from wheat flour usually multiplies this value 5 to 10 times. The reason is that shirataki noodles are one of the foods with the most plant fiber, a carbohydrate that cannot be processed by the human intestine.
Konjac noodles do not provide simple carbohydrates (sugars) or significant saturated fat or trans fat. As for the micro nutritional properties, they are not a food that stands out; calcium and iron are the only minerals present in moderate amounts.
Nutritional information for 100g shirataki pasta: (1)
Benefits of shirataki pasta
The benefits of consuming shirataki or Konjac pasta are:
- Less feeling of hunger
The high fiber content in shirataki noodles can physically fill the stomach. This triggers the hormonal balance of the molecules responsible for controlling hunger, such as leptin and cholecystokinin. (5)
- Improve the health of the intestinal flora
One of the benefits of shirataki noodles is their use as a prebiotic. This is explained due to one of its main nutritional properties: its high content of soluble fibers. Its effects are the increase of acid fermentation (mainly acetate and lactose) and the secretion of antimicrobial substances. (5)
- Prevent constipation
It has been reported that the consumption of this 3-4 grams daily of the fiber of Konjac noodles contributes to normalizing the rhythm of bowel movements and helps prevent constipation. This has been justified by the increase in the bacterial mass that occurs in the colon. (5)
- Promote weight loss
Establishing a direct relationship between eating shirataki noodles and losing weight is incorrect. However, studies suggest that glucomannan (3) (4) (5) can help reduce body weight. In these investigations, an improvement in body mass index was observed when Konjac was included in the diet.
- Can improve blood sugar levels
- It can lower harmful cholesterol levels
Several studies confirm (3) (4) (5) that the main component of Konjac noodles, glucomannan, is effective in lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing triglyceride levels. A person with hypercholesteremia should include this food in the diet.
- Improve the absorption of vitamins and minerals
The fiber present in Konjac noodles does not affect the absorption of nutrients such as iron, calcium, copper, or zinc. (5) Some studies suggest that it could improve mineral absorption due to an increase in the time that food is in the stomach. (4)
Who can’t eat shirataki noodles? Side effects
In addition to pointing out the benefits of shirataki pasta, it is essential to highlight its side effects. Konjac noodles are considered suitable food for most people: it does not contain gluten, lactose, or dyes in their composition. However, there have been mild gastrointestinal problems due to an excess of glucomannan.
The side effects of shirataki noodles are:
- The generation of flatulence
- Abdominal discomfort
Glucosamine in tablet form is no longer used because, in contact with water, it can cause them to swell before they reach the stomach, leading to obstruction of the esophagus. (5)
Konjac Noodles – The Keto Diet Pasta
One prohibited food on the ketogenic diet is pasta made from wheat flour, including those made from durum wheat semolina or made with whole wheat flour. Shirataki noodles are the solution to eliminating the urge to eat pasta when doing the keto diet.
As mentioned above, one of the benefits of shirataki noodles is their low carbohydrate content. Its nutritional properties make it one of the ketogenic foods.
How to cook shirataki noodles? – Vegan keto recipe
Cooking shirataki noodles is simple; its consistency is white and translucent, and it goes well with teriyaki sauce, tofu, tomatoes, and green vegetables: kale and broccoli. Here’s a vegetarian recipe with keto konjac pasta.
- 250 g de fideos shirataki
- 20 mL chia oil
- 100g organic tofu
- 10 mL of coconut acceptance
- 20 mL of rice wine or zake
- 10 mL de salsa Teriyaki
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 5 g ginger root
- 100 g cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Portobellos mushrooms (optional)
- Place the shirataki noodles for 3 minutes, strain, and add the chia oil.
- Cut the tofu and cherry tomatoes into small squares and sauté in a wok in coconut oil.
- Lower the heat and add garlic and ginger. Cook until the tofu turns a golden color. (5-6 minutes)
- Turn up the heat and add the mushrooms and Konjac paste.
- Before serving, add the rice wine and teriyaki sauce.
- Stir the ginger before serving.
SUMMARY – Konjac Pasta
- Shirataki noodles are low-calorie pasta made from Konjac flour, a plant of Asian origin.
- One of its nutritional properties is its low carbohydrate content. For this reason, it is food allowed on the keto diet.
- The science-proven benefits of shirataki noodles are: reducing hunger pangs, preventing constipation, and improving the health of the intestinal flora. These are attributed to a particular type of plant fiber called glucomannan.