One type of soluble fiber has so many benefits for people with diabetes that I have been recommending it for years. But only now do we have a good-tasting and low-calorie product that can help us lose weight.
The fiber is glucomannan, which some people call konjac fiber because it is the main component of the root of the konjac plant (Amorphophallus konjac) that grows in China and Japan. They call it a yam, but it’s totally different from American or African plants of that name.
Eight years ago today I wrote in Number 70 of my “Diabetes Update” newsletter that we have scientific proof that it reduces our blood cholesterol levels and helps us control our diabetes since it slows digestion and the rate of nutrient absorption from the stomach and intestine. It blunts the rapid rise of blood glucose after a meal. Together with liquid, it forms a gel, absorbing lots of water in our stomach, producing a sensation of fullness.
The new product is just as neat as its name, “Gummy Owls.” Basically, it’s glucomannan sweetened with sugar alcohols and stevia. Each of the little owls has just 4 calories.
The company that makes them and sent them to me for review, Green Forest Nutrition in San Diego, recommends that we eat three to five of these little owls 30 minutes before each meal. Both taste and effectiveness are important to me.
Taste is tricky, because you want something that will taste good -- but not so good that you would eat it like candy. Manufacturers of glucose tabs have the same problem, and from many reports they haven’t solved it well, since lots of people can’t stand the taste of glucose tabs. Gummy Owls, at least for me, taste good enough that I am delighted to eat a few -- but not too many.
And they do seem to be effective for me in losing weight. As I have written here in “When Diabetes Discipline Becomes a Diabetes Obsession,” about how hard it is for me to keep off the weight I have lost, I still have to struggle with my weight.
After a trip last month to Southeast Arizona, I noticed my weight creeping up again. So I was delighted to receive Gummy Owls from Tom U. Gardner at Green Forest Nutrition and to take them before almost every meal for the past week.
My bathroom scales tell me that they really work -- at least for me at this time. This type of anecdotal evidence is not, of course, scientific.
And Gummy Owls are not for everyone. One friend of mine turned down my offer to try a sample, because one ingredient, a coloring agent called carmine, is not vegetarian.
But studies show that many people have results similiar to mine. A study in the journal American Family Physician, titled “Common dietary supplements for weight loss,” shows that glucomannan increases satiety.
A double-blind trial of glucomannan tested whether it woud help 20 obese people lose weight without making any changes in their eating or exercise. This study, “Effect of glucomannan on obese patients: a clinical study,” in The International Journal of Obesity, concluded that they averaged a weight lost of 5.5 pounds in eight weeks.
The experiment that counts, of course, is the one that each of us runs on our own body. If your weight is above the recommended body mass index maximum of 24.9, eating a few Gummy Owls might well help. I try to keep my BMI even lower, less than 20, and they are helping me.
I asked the company if they would create a coupon code giving a discount to readers of this article. They replied that they created a coupon code GFN0612D for $10 off any order at GummyOwls.com through June 30 of this year.
Besides, all owls are great, right? Here is a photo of a beautiful Great Horned Owl that I took two days ago.
A Great Horned Owl
Just remember that these little Gummy Owls are the only ones that can help us lose weight.
Published On: May 01, 2012