Shirataki noodles have been popular in traditional Japanese cuisine for centuries, and their popularity is spreading into the health food market as a low-carb alternative to pasta.
In addition to being keto-friendly and vegan, Shirataki noodles are naturally gluten-free. Continue reading to learn more about these Shirataki noodles, including nutrition, benefits, and side effects.
Shirataki Noodles: What Are They?
In Asian cuisine, Shirataki noodles (also known as miracle noodles, Ito Konnyaku, Konjac yam noodles, or Devil’s tongue noodles) are a common ingredient. Shirataki noodles are long and white. It is created from the konjac plant, which is ground and then shaped into noodles, fettuccini, or even rice. Shirataki noodles contain almost no calories and carbohydrates.
Tip: A variety called tofu Shirataki noodles is very similar to traditional Shirataki noodles but with added tofu that provides a few more calories and carbs that are digestible.
How To Cook Shirataki Noodles
You do not have to worry about how to make Shirataki noodles; they are quite simple to make.
When you first open your package of these keto-friendly noodles, you will likely notice an odd or fishy smell. However, don’t worry, the noodles themselves are tasteless, and a little preparation will remove that smell.
STEP 1: Rinse the shirataki noodles well
Make sure that the water is hot, preferably boiling. You should repeat this process at least three times, but five is the sweet spot to remove the fishy smell and achieve the best texture.
Tip: Some reviews recommended rinsing with cold water when we first heard of them years ago, but we prefer boiling water.
STEP 2: Pat Dry shirataki noodles
After rinsing, pat dry until most of the moisture is gone.
STEP 3: Saute shirataki noodles
Saute for 3-5 minutes in a dry, non-stick pan. Shirataki noodles should be dried out as much as possible – removing all the water is what you want.
Tip: Don’t add oil to the pan!
STEP 4. Add Some Flavor to shirataki noodles
Mix in any sauces or seasonings you want and cook for a few more minutes so that the noodles can absorb all the taste of the sauce.
Nutrition Facts About Shirataki Noodles
Shirataki noodles contain glucomannan fiber, which promotes weight loss and improves cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Fibers such as glucomannan can boost your digestion and curb hunger. Studies have shown that glucomannan is prebiotic that can fuel good gut bacteria, curb hunger hormones, and keep you regular as a health supplement.
Shirataki noodle nutrition facts are fairly straightforward as far as food labels are concerned. Since traditional Shirataki noodles are made entirely from water and fiber from konjac yam (plus lime to keep the fibers solid), you won’t have to read much.
Shirataki noodles: Helps You Lose Weight
Shirataki noodles can be an effective weight loss supplement.
Their viscous fiber delays stomach emptying, so you feel fuller for longer and consume fewer calories.
A further benefit of fermenting fiber into short-chain fatty acids is that it can induce a gut hormone that elevates feelings of satiety.
In addition, taking glucomannan before eating a lot of carbohydrates appears to decrease levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
An analysis of seven studies found that people who took glucomannan for four to eight weeks lost three to five pounds (1.4 to 2.5 kilograms).
One study found that people who took glucomannan alone or in combination with other types of fiber lost significantly more weight when compared to those who took a placebo.
Another study showed that obese individuals who ingested glucomannan every day for eight weeks lost 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) without losing weight or altering their exercise habits.
The results of another eight-week study did not indicate any difference in weight loss between obese and overweight participants who took glucomannan versus those who did not.
Tip: We have a tool that will calculate your BMI.
Based on the fact that these studies used 2–4 grams of glucomannan taken with water on tablets or as a supplement, Shirataki noodles are likely to have similar effects.
However, there is currently no specific research on Shirataki noodles.
The timing of the noodles may also be a factor. The noodles are part of a meal, while glucomannan supplements are typically taken an hour or more before a meal.
Shirataki noodles: Supposed to relieve constipation
Some people suffer from chronic constipation or have infrequent bowel movements that are difficult to pass.
Both children and adults can benefit from glucomannan in the treatment of constipation.
As many as 45% of children taking glucomannan were successfully treated with severe constipation, compared to only 13% of children in the control group.
Supplementation with glucomannan increased bowel movement frequency as well as levels of good bacteria in the gut, as well as short-chain fatty acid production for adults.
Shirataki noodles: Reduces blood sugar and insulin levels
Researchers have demonstrated that glucomannan lowers blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and insulin resistance.
As a result of viscous fiber delaying stomach emptying, blood sugar and insulin levels rise gradually as nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream.
In a study, subjects with type 2 diabetes who took glucomannan for three weeks showed a significant decrease in fructosamine, which is a marker of blood sugar levels.
One study found that participants with type 2 diabetes who took a single dose of glucomannan before consuming glucose experienced lower blood sugar levels two hours later compared to those who took a placebo.
Shirataki noodles: Could Lower Cholesterol
Glucomannan may also help reduce cholesterol levels, according to several research studies.
Scientists have found glucomannan increases the amount of cholesterol excreted in stool, reducing its absorption into the bloodstream.
Glucomannan decreased “bad” LDL cholesterol by an average of 16 mg/dL and triglyceride levels by an average of 11 mg/dL in a review of 14 studies.
Shirataki noodles: The high content of viscous fibers
Glucomannan is a type of soluble fiber that is highly viscous and can absorb water to form a gel.
As evidenced by the high water content of Shirataki noodles, glucomannan can absorb up to 50 times its weight in water.
Noodles move through your digestive system very slowly, which makes you feel full and delays the absorption of nutrients into your bloodstream.
Viscous fiber also functions as a prebiotic. It maintains your gut flora, or microbiota, which are living bacteria in your colon.
Fiber is converted by bacteria in your colon into short-chain fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and provide other health benefits.
A recent study in humans estimated that short-chain fatty acids could be produced from the fermentation of glucomannan.
Approximately 1–3 grams of glucomannan are present in an average serving of Shirataki noodles, which is a calorie-free and carb-free food.
Nutritional Information On Shirataki Noodles
Shirataki noodles has a much different nutritional profile than noodles, which typically have plenty of carbs. Here’s what’s in a 100-gram serving according to the USDA database:
|Total lipid (fat)||0||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||2.68||g|
|Fiber, total dietary||2.7||g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||0||g|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units||0||IU|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0||g|
|Fatty acids, total trans||0||g|
Shirataki noodles: Side Effects Are Possible
There are potential side effects to consuming Shirataki noodles, although allergies aren’t particularly prevalent with them. Due to their fiber content, you may experience some minor bloating and gas. The first time you consume these low-carb noodles, your body may have difficulty digesting them if you’re not used to eating fiber regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many carbs are in shirataki noodles?
In traditional Shirataki noodles, there are no net carbs, since the total amount of carbohydrates equals the amount of fiber. The serving of tofu Shirataki noodles contains 6 carbs without any dietary fiber. Check the label before buying the noodles since different brands will add different ingredients that will change the carbs per serving.
Do shirataki noodles taste good?
As they do not possess their own flavor, they are ideal for absorbing soups and sauces. As long as they are prepared correctly, I find that they can substitute for pasta and noodles.
It is important to note that they will not taste like real pasta. This is not possible. If you follow a low carb, keto, or low-calorie diet, you should consider them a good substitute.
Can I skip rinsing and dry-toasting the noodles?
Not at all. The recipe does indeed require several steps. But you must first rinse, drain, boil, and then toast the noodles in a dry skillet.
These steps are crucial. In addition to getting rid of the fishy smell and rubbery texture of the noodles, they make them better able to absorb sauces.
Can you eat the noodles raw?
Yes, you can eat the noodles raw, but I wouldn’t recommend it. When the noodles are rinsed and quickly boiled, the aroma of the konjac plant is removed and the texture of the noodles is greatly improved.
Noodles made from Shirataki are a great substitute for traditional noodles.
They are extremely low in calories, provide a feeling of fullness, and may be beneficial for the loss of weight.
Furthermore, they also have positive effects on blood sugar, cholesterol, and digestive health.