The "lifestyle-related diseases" is the disease which is seriously affected by life-style, such as a daily meal. In particular, "obesity" is greatly related.
In addition to "obesity", the composite state of high blood pressure, diabetes and dyslipidemia is called "metabolic syndrome". It becomes the distress of the present age.
Konjac is a food that is made by solidifing glucomannan with a large amount of moisture. Moreover, glucomannan is a dietary fiber that is not digested by the human digestive enzymes. Therefore, konjac has little calories and a lot of dietary fiber. It is revealed that konjac has not only an intestinal regulation action and a constipation resolved effect (as we have been handed down since early times) but also it is helpful to prevent and improve obesity and lifestyle-related diseases, especially metabolic syndrome.
Well-biting stimulates the "satiety center" in the hypothalamus of the brain. This enables us to be satisfied with the diet abstemious and to prevent overeating.
Konjac is suitable for this effect because it has the features such as chewy (not too soft and not too hard) and easy seasoning.
The more we chew a konjac, the more delicious we feel. So it is appropriate to eat slowly.
In addition, we can increase the quantity and the number of the dishes by using konjac without increasing calories. Hence, konjac is the best food to prevent obesity.
Diabetes is a disease that makes us be impossible to control blood glucose levels. This is caused by the deterioration of the glucose tolerance (ability lowering the blood glucose level to normal), which is the result of high blood glucose level.
Blood glucose level and insulin levels will increase when we intake the glucose.
In addition to this, since it has fillingness with low-calorie, konjac has the effect to prevent the excessive caloric intake due to overeating and obesity which are risk factors for diabetes.
--- There are problems both too high and too low blood cholesterol levels ---
Cholesterol is the material of the cell membrane, and it is essential for the synthesis of the hormone. However, when the cholesterol in the blood increases, arteriosclerosis is caused by cholesterol soaked into the arterial wall. Arteriosclerosis is often cause day-to-day lifestyle. To prevent hardening of the arteries, we need to improve the diet of high-calorie-high-fat. Therefore, it is important to become normal cholesterol level meal that it adjusts calorie intake, saves fat and intakes aggressively dietary fiber.
Since konjac mostly consists of moisture and is a low-calorie, we can bring down the total intake calorie while feeling full by eating konjac.
In addition, konjac has a role of suppressing the abnormal elevation of blood cholesterol levels by adsorbing bile acids. Liver synthesizes bile acids from cholesterol to help digestion and absorption of fat, bile acid is discharged into the intestine, and liver re-absorbs bile acids from the intestine and repeats the synthesis and discharge. Since the synthesis of bile acids from blood cholesterole increases when the bile acid is adsorbed on the konjac and excreated, abnormal elevation of blood cholesterol levels will be suppressed.
Constipation refers to a condition in which stimulus sensitivity of the mucous membranes and defecation reflex are weakened and therefore stool transport of the large intestine is delayed. In many cases, constipation is caused by living habits such as insufficient intake of dietary fiber, irregular diet, lack of exercise, stress, etc. Therefore, it is said that the diet high in insoluble dietary fiber is effective to relieve constipation.
Konjac is insoluble dietary fiber food that is made by solidifing glucomannan with a large amount of moisture. Glucomannan, which reaches the colon to remain solid (undigested in the small intestine), stimulates colon, increases the defecation reflex and exert intestines action.
Since dietary fiber is eaten by intestinal bacteria, good bacteria become active by dietary fiber and the generation of hazardous substances by the bad bacteria is suppressed. This means that the intestinal environment improves, and peristalsis (which encourages defecation) will also be active.
When we become older, we may become difficult to move the body because of low back pain and knee pain, fracture even just by fall, or when terrible, lead to a "gait disorder" such as bedridden and primary nursing care. Bone density is lowered by osteoporosis and further symptoms worsen with age raises the risk of gait disorder. Therefore, we must keep in mind intake of calcium on a daily basis. It is said that konjac contains as much calcium as half a glass of milk and it easily dissolves in the stomach and be easily absorbed.
Although satiation and overnutrition are worried in Japanese eating habits which is affected by improvement of living standards and westernization, Japanese are the lack of calcium and dietary fiber nowadays.
In the "Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese" by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, target amounts of intake of both dietary fiber and calcium have been set. This is because, insufficient intake of dietary fiber is associated with lifestyle-related diseases and calcium is important to bone formation in the growth phase and osteoporosis prevention. When we eat konjac, we can take in as much dietary fiber as sweet potato and as much calcium as egg without worrying about increase of calorie intake.