Even if you happen to’ve by no means heard of konjac, you’re in all probability conversant in merchandise constituted 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 getting into the market: a sippable jelly. Some manufacturers declare this fiber-filled jelly helps scale back starvation — however does it really work? How wholesome is konjac jelly?
Right here’s what it’s worthwhile to 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 guide 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, can also be used as a prebiotic complement to feed wholesome intestine micro organism and assist to advertise regularity.
Hunnes explains that it’s principally the plant’s corm — the half that grows underground — that’s used to make these merchandise.
What Is Konjac Jelly?
Because of 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 recognized 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 “might develop 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 might assist help wholesome levels of cholesterol, “equally to how soluble fiber in oats may,” Hunnes says. A examine discovered that the fiber in konjac can also assist deal with constipation, although that examine 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 show you how to slim down.
A examine of 53 chubby and reasonably overweight members discovered that the glucomannan in konjac had no important impact on weight reduction.
It’s additionally price noting that many konjac jelly merchandise at the moment in the marketplace include little to no fiber.
They’re primarily simply sweetened treats — not a fiber-filled snack. In case you’re trying to get the advantages of dietary fiber, attain for certainly one of these high-fiber meals as a substitute.
In case you’re hesitant to devour this herb, there’s a non-edible technique 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.
Needless to say konjac jelly received’t soften in your mouth like flavored gelatin and will require chewing.
In case you nonetheless wish to give this development a attempt, you’ll want to learn the vitamin labels intently.
Whereas the konjac plant is touted for its fiber content material, many well-liked konjac jelly manufacturers don’t really include a major quantity of dietary fiber.
Konjac jelly offers chewy texture and sweetness, however not a lot else — and plenty of are loaded with synthetic sugars and sugar alcohols.
Listed here are a couple of of the preferred 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 presents a variety of flavors, from peach to cola, together with added vitamin C and collagen.
However whereas the label says “zero sugar,” take into account it incorporates 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, they usually include zero grams of fiber.