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Are Shirataki Noodles Ok on The Candida Diet?

Posted 11/09/2021 by Dan Jackowiak Nc, HHP


Shirataki noodles are unique long white noodle that is very low in calories. The word “Shirataki Noodles” means white waterfall due to the white appearance of the noodles. Shirataki noodles contain a type of starch called Glucomannan. Glucomannan is a type of dietary fiber that comes from the roots of the konjac plant.

The origin of shirataki noodles is linked to Japan. They are traditional Japanese noodles made from the konjac plant. These noodles are a gelatinous food made by processing flour from konjac yam. East Asia has used konjac fibers for more than fifteen hundred years. (1)

Konjac in Japan has been a major part of a traditional healthy diet. Konjac-based foodstuffs like shirataki noodles were thought to help remove waste and poisonous materials from the body. In fact, for most Japanese households, Konjac has become a diet component for its digestive and toxin suppressive effects.

Manufacturers produce shirataki noodles from starch extracted from Konjac roots. The konjac starch is processed with water and flour into blocks called konnyaku. Konnyaku is used as a meat substitute. (2)

The konjac starch is gelatinous and is further boiled and shaped into konjac or shirataki noodles. Shirataki noodles are unique because of the Glucomannan starch they contain, which acts as a dietary fiber in the digestive track. Shirataki noodles are rich in water containing about 97%. They are also low in calories with no digestible carbohydrates. (1) (2)


Nutrient Profile of Shirataki Noodles

One serving of shirataki noodles (100 grams) contains 9 calories. (3) Shirataki noodles are low in carbohydrates and calories. They are used as low-calorie food in different types of diets. They are a rich source of dietary fibers.


Carbohydrates

One serving of shirataki noodles (100 grams) contains 2.7 grams of carbohydrates, including zero grams of sugar. (3) The glycemic index of shirataki noodles is zero, which means it is good for maintaining blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. So, the consumption of shirataki noodles helps maintain glucose levels and provides the energy necessary to perform physical activities. It is a good alternative to pasta and noodles for people on a low-carb diet.


Fibers

One serving of shirataki noodles (100 grams) contains 2.7 grams of dietary fiber. (3) Glucomannan is a soluble dietary fiber of shirataki noodles. Shirataki noodles can help promote regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. Glucomannan helps people with diabetes maintain blood sugar levels, aids in regular bowel movements, and can help lower cholesterol. Glucomannan reduces hunger and contributes to a fuller and more satisfying feeling.


Protein

One serving of shirataki noodles (100 grams) contains zero grams of protein. (3) Manufacturers typically add proteins to shirataki noodles from other sources.


Fats

One serving of shirataki noodles (100 grams) contains zero grams of fat. (3) It is naturally fat-free food, a perfect choice for weight loss. Consuming shirataki noodles can improve blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which leads to a lower risk of various health problems.


Vitamins & Minerals

Shirataki noodles are not a good source of micronutrients. They contain a negligible amount of vitamins and minerals. (3)


Antioxidants in Shirataki Noodles

The body produces unstable molecules that are known as free radicals. These free radicals disturb the normal functioning of the body when accumulated at high concentrations. Removal of these accumulated free radicals is necessary; antioxidants help to remove them.

Antioxidants are the potent molecules that fight with these free radicals and protect your body from any damage. Mostly, the source of antioxidants is mostly from plant-based food. Shirataki noodles are made from the konjac plant, making them a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants in shirataki noodles work by reducing the risk of cancer. They strengthen the antioxidant activity in your body. (4) (5)


Health Benefits of Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki noodles are beneficial for weight loss by keeping you full and satisfied. They have a low-calorie content which plays a significant role in weight management. Obese and overweight people have found them to be a good replacement for high-calorie foods helping them to attain a moderate weight by promoting weight loss. (6)

Glucomannan, a high viscous fiber, forms a gel-like appearance by absorbing water and swells to many times its original volume. This gel-like glucomannan remains in your stomach, thus reduces overeating and increases the feeling of fullness. Glucomannan promotes the feeling of satiety and fullness by reducing the levels of ghrelin – the hunger hormone. (7)

Shirataki noodles are a gluten and wheat-free noodle, making them a good replacement food for pasta and other noodles. They are used as a food substitute for people with food intolerances, food allergies, or digestive problems that restrict their diet. These noodles help people with gluten or wheat allergies avoid symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle. (8)

Shirataki noodles may reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and insulin resistance. Glucomannan reduces the rate of digestion; as a result, carbohydrates from other foods gradually absorb into your bloodstream, which helps avoid sudden spikes in blood glucose levels after a meal. The reduction in the level of fructosamine, a blood glucose marker, has been reported in several studies after consuming glucomannan-rich shirataki noodles. (9) (10)

Glucomannan may have a beneficial effect on the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your body. It lowers triglycerides and bad cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins or LDL) levels by reducing their reabsorption into your blood and promoting their excretion in the stool. Thus, it helps in maintaining healthy blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (11)

Shirataki noodles are rich in soluble fibers. They aid in digestion, promote regular bowel movements, and relieve constipation. Glucomannan is effective in regulating bowel movements in children and adults with infrequent bowel movements or chronic constipation. Glucomannan supplementation may treat constipation by increasing bowel movement frequency due to its laxative effects. (12)

Dietary fibers in shirataki noodles may improve bowel movements, reducing your risk of diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and colorectal cancer. Glucomannan acts as a prebiotic that nourishes the gut flora (bacteria living in your colon) and improves colon health. These gut bacteria ferment dietary fibers into short-chain fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and enhance immunity. The production of short-chain fatty acids provides several health benefits. (13)


Negative Health Effects of Shirataki Noodles

There are certain health risks associated with shirataki noodles. Eating shirataki noodles in large amounts can cause certain complications like diarrhea, trapped gas, and bloating. Shirataki noodles may also cause mild digestive issues like loose stool, bloating, and flatulence. (14)

Shirataki noodles are low in calories with zero digestible carbohydrates. They provide very little energy to the body. Shirataki noodles contain no vitamins and minerals. A person may develop certain deficiencies by consuming shirataki noodles regularly.

In addition, Glucomannan may limit the absorption of certain medications, particularly several diabetes treatments. To prevent this, take your prescription at least one hour before or four hours after eating shirataki noodles. Shirataki noodles have been shown to lower blood sugar levels due to the konjac starch content. It may also slow the absorption of sugar. So people with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar after eating shirataki noodle . (15)


Shirataki Noodles on The Candida Diet

The following nutrition information for 4 ounces of shirataki noodles (112g) is provided by the USDA.

Calories: 10

Fat: 0g

Sodium: 0g

Carbohydrates: 3g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 0g

Protein: 0g

With only 3 grams of carbohydrates and a glycemic index of zero, Shirataka noodles would be fine on the Candida Diet. They would make an excellent replacement for high carbohydrate grains such as wheat, rice, and pastas in general.

However, if you also suffer from SIBO, the glucomannan fiber in shirataka noodles could feed those bad bacteria and make your symptoms worse. If you find that you bloat severely after eating them, this is more than likely what is happening. If no symptoms occur, Enjoy!


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Medical References

1. Shirataki Noodles And Its Health Benefits _ POGOGI Japanese Food.
2. Konjac Foods - Pure Fiber Zero Calories Pasta.
3. Shirataki noodles by Super Frec U.
4. Behera SS, Ray RC. Konjac glucomannan, a promising polysaccharide of Amorphophallus konjac K. Koch in health care. Int J Biol Macromol [Internet]. 2016;92(January):942–56. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.07.098
5. Zhao Y, Jayachandran M, Xu B. In vivo antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of soluble dietary fiber Konjac  glucomannan in type-2 diabetic rats. Int J Biol Macromol. 2020 Sep;159:1186–96.
6. Wanders AJ, van den Borne JJGC, de Graaf C, Hulshof T, Jonathan MC, Kristensen M, et al. Effects of dietary fibre on subjective appetite, energy intake and body weight: a  systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Obes Rev  an Off J Int Assoc Study  Obes. 2011 Sep;12(9):724–39.
7. Mohammadpour S, Amini MR, Shahinfar H, Tijani AJ, Shahavandi M, Ghorbaninejad P, et al. Effects of glucomannan supplementation on weight loss in overweight and obese adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obes Med [Internet]. 2020;19:100276. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2451847620300968
8. Kök MS, Abdelhameed AS, Ang S, Morris GA, Harding SE. A novel global hydrodynamic analysis of the molecular flexibility of the dietary fibre polysaccharide konjac glucomannan. Food Hydrocoll [Internet]. 2009;23(7):1910–7. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0268005X09000319
9. Yu K, Ke M-Y, Li W-H, Zhang S-Q, Fang X-C. The impact of soluble dietary fibre on gastric emptying, postprandial blood glucose  and insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2014;23(2):210–8.
10. Vuksan V, Jenkins DJ, Spadafora P, Sievenpiper JL, Owen R, Vidgen E, et al. Konjac-mannan (glucomannan) improves glycemia and other associated risk factors for  coronary heart disease in type 2 diabetes. A randomized controlled metabolic trial. Diabetes Care. 1999 Jun;22(6):913–9.
11. Ho HVT, Jovanovski E, Zurbau A, Blanco Mejia S, Sievenpiper JL, Au-Yeung F, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of the effect of konjac glucomannan, a viscous soluble fiber, on LDL cholesterol and the new lipid targets non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B. Am J Clin Nutr [Internet]. 2017 May 1;105(5):1239–47. Available from: https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.142158
12. Chen H-L, Cheng H-C, Liu Y-J, Liu S-Y, Wu W-T. Konjac acts as a natural laxative by increasing stool bulk and improving colonic  ecology in healthy adults. Nutrition. 2006;22(11–12):1112–9.
13. den Besten G, van Eunen K, Groen AK, Venema K, Reijngoud D-J, Bakker BM. The role of short-chain fatty acids in the interplay between diet, gut microbiota,  and host energy metabolism. J Lipid Res. 2013 Sep;54(9):2325–40.
14. Zhou Y, Qin J, Wang Y, Wang Y, Cheng Y. Gastrointestinal and metabolic effects of noodles-based konjac glucomannan in rats. Food Nutr Res [Internet]. 2019 Dec 13;63:10.29219/fnr.v63.1997. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31903092
15. Onakpoya I, Posadzki P, Ernst E. The efficacy of glucomannan supplementation in overweight and obesity: a systematic  review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Am Coll Nutr. 2014;33(1):70–8.




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