In two recent articles about the popular weight loss supplements Hourglass Fit and Leanbean, I mentioned a soluble fiber called Glucomannan. When I passed the article to a friend, he mentioned, “Sam, not everyone is a food nerd like you. A lot of people don’t know what Glucomannan even is.”
On top of that, he added, they might not know if it can actually help people lose weight. I was struck by the extreme justice of his statement, and decided to share a bit of the highlights from this wonder fiber. And a bit of a back-page give-away–yes, Glucomannan works!
- Glucomannan is a natural fiber made from the Konjac root, from Southeast Asia.
- It’s been used for centuries as a food thickener, vegetarian gelatin, and as an ingredient in noodles.
- In addition, Konjac and Glucomannan have been prescribed by traditional healers for helping with digestive issues and weight loss.
- Today, Glucomannan has had some bad press from people being unsafe with it; but in supplements and with discretion, it can make a powerful ally in your health journey.
Big Name for a Unique Fiber
Sometimes people can get tripped up by semantics. After all, we went through decades of “fat is bad,” until all of a sudden Avocado Toast and Olive Oil came along. All that to say, not everything classified as “fat” should be treated equally, and neither should every “fiber.”
Glucomannan has demonstrated remarkable differences from other fibers, like oatmeal or wheat bran, and so people who use it in their products are careful to mark out the difference on the label–this isn’t your grandma’s fiber.
In fact, it can be used to make candies and jellies, replacing the high sugar pectin or animal gelatine in many recipes; it can be made into noodles and cakes (known as “konnyaku” in Japan); and yes, it can be taken as part of a supplement formula.
One aspect of Glucomannan that makes it so powerful is that it’s highly soluble. That means it mixes into liquids seamlessly. Not only does that make it a remarkable food additive, but it makes it ideal as a fiber supplement.
How Fibers Help Us Shed Pounds
From here we’re going to telescope out into how fibers help us lose weight. Some of these studies are of Glucomannan specifically, others of fiber in general. And remember, where we read “benefit of fiber,” multiply that effect, because Glucomannan absorbs so much quicker and better than other fibers.
Fibers in general bond with the other foods we eat, especially sugars and fats, making them harder for our bodies to absorb. That’s right. Glucomannan can actually keep you from absorbing fat and sugar.
What’s more, it’s so effective at keeping sugar specifically from our system that Glucomannan is emerging as a candidate for treating Diabetes. And lowering blood sugar has a direct effect on our weight: lower blood sugar means less weight gain. It’s as simple as that.
Feeling Fuller, Longer
Because fiber, and Glucomannan specifically, absorbs water as it mixes with it, it can make us feel more full than if we ate our normal diet alone. That’s why products like Leanbean recommend taking it before you eat. That way, you’ll eat less.
The science behind this is ironclad. People taking fibers like Glucomannan have significant weight loss. If you’re interested, you can even take a quick science lesson on the molecular processes behind it. Or, you can think of it this way: putting Glucomannan in your system is like a calorie free, all-natural belly-filler. With it there, you’ll eat less, and feel the first cravings after eating much later.
Actively Burning Fat
Lastly, we have some continuing research into something called Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT). These are fat cells that convert other body fat into fuel to burn, especially for keeping us warm.
Well, for years scientists have noted that people with high fiber diets tended to have lower body fat. Now we know one of the scientific reasons behind that. Turns out that fibers like Glucomannan stimulate the process whereby our bodies use BAT to burn other reserves of body fat.
Glucomannan in Foods
As we’ve covered already, Glucomannan is a common food additive in Southeast Asian countries. The problem is that it has caused choking hazards among unsupervised children and other at-risk individuals. This has made Glucomannan hard to come by in food form.
If you can get it, just be aware that it requires high water intake to digest it, because of its high solubility. That’s one huge reason I recommend Glucomannan as part of a Supplement.
Popular Products/Effective Supplements
Right now I can only think of two proven, effective, and safe supplements that contain Glucomannan, along with the requisite other weight loss ingredients. Those two products are Hourglass Fit and Leanbean. They both have a safe amount of Glucomannan, spread over several capsules a day, so you can tailor your dose to your needs.
I’ll say it forever until I can no longer breathe, but not every product, ingredient, or food is created equally. While all fibers are good, and I recommend getting more fiber into every diet, there are clearly superior forms of this nutrient. Glucomannan, according to all the experience and research I’ve compiled, is one such superior food.
But thick, gummy noodles aren’t for everyone, and finding other foods with Glucomannan can be difficult, especially in Western countries. So to get all the research-proven weight loss benefits of this fiber, I’d look into a quality supplement.