What is Konjac?
Konjac glucomannan is a derivative of the konjac tuber or root vegetable. This herb grows in the mountains or hilly areas in subtropical regions of South East of Asia. It has been used as food and food additives for over 1000 years in China and Japan.
In the United States Konjac flour is used as a gelling agent, thickener, film former, and emulsifier. There is positive research suggesting that konjac glucomannan has the ability to lower blood cholesterol and sugar levels, aid in weight loss, promote intestinal activity, and boost the immune system.
The main components of konjac and konjac products are fiber and water. This may sound a bit scary for someone following a low FODMAP diet, but there is some positive research about Konjac and its low FODMAP qualities.
Clinical studies have shown that glucomannan can promote bowel movements without prompting negative side effects in your stomach. The research is limited, and it depends on the product. This nonabsorbable fiber has been used in jelly, noodles, jams and other food products. Let’s dive in deeper and see if Konjac foods are low FODMAP
Konjac noodles, also known as Shirataki or Miracle noodles, are a high fiber, low calorie, and low carb pasta substitute. This pasta is made from the stem of the konjac plant. Konjac noodles are considered to be low FODMAP by many sources. A brand, Miracle Noodles, has been tested and certified low FODMAP by FODMAP Friendly. However, due to the high fiber content of this food, over consumption or eating large portions of these noodles can lead to too much fiber intake and negating the low FODMAP qualities. Be sure to try these delicious noodles in moderation to see how your body responds.
Konjac flour doesn’t seem to have the same amount of support as konjac noodles. Currently, there is not a sufficient amount of research to prove that konjac flour is low FODMAP. If you’re wanting to give this flour a try…be sure to start with small portions and evaluate your body's tolerance.
Konjac gum is considered to be low FODMAP by some sources but the evidence is limited. When selecting the best type of konjac gum for you be sure to carefully read food labels and watch out for other types of gum that may be present in the food product. Other types of gum may cause gastrointestinal and IBS symptoms. Some additional types of gums that are considered to be low FODMAP include xanthan and Guar gum.
I hope this answers your question about Konjac. Overall, be sure to select good quality konjac products and start with moderate consumption to see how you respond!
Looking for some new & fun low FODMAP meals?
Try Konjac noodles with a fun low FODMAP pesto
• 2 cups fresh basil
• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 1/2 cup garlic infused extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup parmesan (or 1/2 cup nutritional yeast for a vegan option)
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 1 tsp low FODMAP certified Italian Seasoning
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse on and off a few times until a paste is formed. You can make it as chunky or as smooth as you like!
Serve this pesto on a serving of konjac noodles & enjoy!!
Axelrod, C. H., & Saps, M. (2018). The role of fiber in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders in children. Nutrients, 10(11), 1650.
Zhang, Y. Q., Xie, B. J., & Gan, X. (2005). Advance in the applications of konjac glucomannan and its derivatives. Carbohydrate Polymers, 60(1), 27-31.