Even should you’ve by no means heard of konjac, you’re in all probability conversant in merchandise made out of this herb.
Konjac is used to make shirataki noodles, a pasta different you’ve probably seen on the cabinets of native well being markets.
However there’s a brand new konjac product coming into the market: a sippable jelly. Some manufacturers declare this fiber-filled jelly helps scale back starvation — however does it truly work? How wholesome is konjac jelly?
Right here’s what you should know.
What Is Konjac?
“Konjac is an herb that’s native to sure elements of Asia, the place it has been used for fairly a while in conventional Chinese language medication,” explains Dana E. Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a senior dietitian at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Heart and writer of the upcoming ebook Recipe for Survival.
Typically referred to as voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam, this plant “is understood for its starchy properties and as a supply of soluble dietary fiber,” Hunnes provides.
Konjac could also be used as a thickener in sauce and soup recipes.
Glucomannan, a polysaccharide extracted from konjac, might also be used as a prebiotic complement to feed wholesome intestine micro organism and assist to advertise regularity.
Hunnes explains that it’s largely the plant’s corm — the half that grows underground — that’s used to make these merchandise.
What Is Konjac Jelly?
Due to its fiber and starch content material, the corm of the konjac plant additionally works as a gelatin substitute — and that’s how konjac jelly is made.
Konjac jelly merchandise use water and konjac powder to create a gelatinous goo.
Firms then add flavoring and sugar substitutes to create a gelatin-like snack that delivers fiber and minimal energy.
Is Konjac Protected To Eat?
“There are particular identified dangers to konjac,” Hunnes says.
Gel candies made with konjac have been linked to choking deaths as a result of they don’t dissolve as simply as different gel candies or gelatin snacks.
It’s additionally doable that konjac “could broaden within the esophagus or the bowel,” resulting in medical issues, Hunnes provides. The European Union and Australia have banned konjac jelly over these issues.
What Are the Advantages of Konjac?
Konjac could assist assist wholesome levels of cholesterol, “equally to how soluble fiber in oats may,” Hunnes says. A research discovered that the fiber in konjac might also assist deal with constipation, although that research solely checked out seven folks.
However what about konjac jelly?
Whereas fiber consumption has been related to decrease physique weight, that doesn’t essentially imply konjac jelly will aid you slim down.
A research of 53 chubby and reasonably overweight individuals discovered that the glucomannan in konjac had no vital impact on weight reduction.
It’s additionally price noting that many konjac jelly merchandise at present in the marketplace comprise little to no fiber.
They’re primarily simply sweetened treats — not a fiber-filled snack. If you happen to’re trying to get the advantages of dietary fiber, attain for one in all these high-fiber meals as an alternative.
If you happen to’re hesitant to devour this herb, there’s a non-edible strategy to get in on the konjac development: It’s used to make facial sponges.
What Are the Greatest Manufacturers of Konjac Jelly?
First issues first: Hunnes suggests you learn any directions and warnings earlier than deciding whether or not or to not devour konjac jelly.
Understand that konjac jelly gained’t soften in your mouth like flavored gelatin and will require chewing.
If you happen to nonetheless need to give this development a strive, make sure to learn the diet labels carefully.
Whereas the konjac plant is touted for its fiber content material, many in style konjac jelly manufacturers don’t truly comprise a major quantity of dietary fiber.
Konjac jelly supplies chewy texture and sweetness, however not a lot else — and plenty of are loaded with synthetic sugars and sugar alcohols.
Listed here are just a few of the most well-liked manufacturers, however you’re in all probability higher off satisfying your snack cravings with lower-calorie snacks that present extra vitamins, together with fiber.
This model gives a variety of flavors, from peach to cola, together with added vitamin C and collagen.
However whereas the label says “zero sugar,” be mindful it accommodates erythritol (a sugar alcohol) and sucralose (a sugar substitute).
These six-calorie jelly pouches can be found in grape, mango, or peach — however they’re sweetened with 12 grams of erythritol, and so they comprise zero grams of fiber.