Shirataki pasta (konjac): 0 calorie spaghetti and noodles?

What is shirataki pasta?

Shiratake Spaghetti

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Shirataki noodles are a type of Asian noodles (slightly thicker noodles) made primarily from glucomannan, a dietary fiber derived from konjac root, an Asian plant.

They are part of traditional Japanese cuisine, but are also sometimes eaten for their low caloric value; unlike traditional pasta, which is rich in carbohydrates in the form of starches, shirataki pasta is actually almost calorie- and macronutrient-free (see below).

Today it is also possible to find different formats, for example in grain (like rice), rigatoni, …

What does shirataki mean?

The Japanese term “shirataki”, which describes the appearance of the spaghetti, means “white waterfall”; this is a clear reference to their transparency and jelly-like consistency. The name evokes the unique appearance of these noodles, which at first glance stand out from traditional wheat noodles.

What does shirataki pasta contain?

Shirataki spaghetti consists of 97% water and 3% konjac, which contains glucomannan, a water-soluble fiber that is able to absorb large amounts of water.

It is free of protein, fat and simple sugars, making it an attractive choice for those following a low-calorie or low-carbohydrate diet.

What are they good for?

Due to its high glucomannan content and almost negligible calorie intake, Shirataki noodles have been used and designed for:

  • low-calorie regimes (diet for weight loss),
  • diabetics (the fiber contained can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the absorption of other carbohydrates/fats present in food)
  • promote satiety,

Additionally, for those who suffer from constipation, glucomannan fiber can help improve bowel regularity.

Nutritional values

Although there are some differences in composition between different brands, as a guide the nutritional table of already hydrated forms (sold in water) provides (per 100g):

  • Carbohydrates: 1.0 g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Fiber: 3.9 g

Caloric intake, also slightly variable, generally ranges between 10 and 30 calories per 100 g.

Beyond the numerical values, it is possible to state that the caloric and nutrient intake is essentially zero, with the obvious exception of fiber.

How many grams of shirataki per day?

There is no “standard” amount of shirataki to eat daily, however, it is important not to consider it a one-size-fits-all replacement for all other foods, especially those rich in essential nutrients.

In fact, excessive consumption of Shirataki could lead to the neglect of other important foods in the diet. These noodles are extremely low in calories and lack many key nutrients such as protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals, so relying too much on this food could potentially expose you to micronutrient deficiencies and dietary imbalances.

For some sensitive individuals (or those who are not accustomed to consuming fiber), excessive consumption may cause intestinal distress due to the high fiber content.

How does shirataki pasta taste?

Shirataki pasta has a neutral flavor and slightly chewy texture; For this reason, proponents and enthusiasts describe it as particularly versatile in the kitchen, as it can be easily combined with various spices and sauces.

However, other consumers need an adaptation period to get used to the consistency, which is far from the more conventional foods of our tradition.

Where to buy them

You can find shiratake pasta in ethnic stores, organic food stores, and some large supermarkets.

They are available in wet form (packaged inside tubs containing water) or in dry form.

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