IS KIMCHI KETO: Keto Kimchi is keto-friendly And Not That Difficult As You Think 

 June 17, 2020

By  Ahmed Abdoulaye

For years, people have asked why we eat, and although a few theories exist, no one knows for sure. It could be because Korean cuisine is so healthy that, combined with the other benefits of the ketogenic diet, it just makes sense. Or maybe it is just another fad diet.

As ketogenic dieters, we always look for keto-friendly meals to add to our repertoire. However, finding meals that fit the bill can be tricky. So when we came across kimchi, we were intrigued. We know what you’re thinking: “Kimchi? Yuck!” But once you try it, you might wonder why you didn’t make it a staple in your fridge before. Kimchi is super versatile, so it can work in so many different dishes. It’s easy to throw some in your lunch box or reheat it for dinner. Even better, it’s very low-carbohydrate, gluten-free, and free from trans fats, so you won’t miss any of the good things about the traditional kimchi taste.  

If you haven’t tried it yet, I hope you get a chance to do so soon because it’s tasty and fun Korean food.

What are low carb and keto?

Low carb and keto are popular diets focusing on low carbohydrate intake. The primary sources of carbohydrates are rice, pasta, bread, and candy. 

Both diets are effective for weight loss and improving health markers. However, they differ in their macronutrient composition and approach to carbohydrate restriction.

The ketogenic diet (KD) restricts carbohydrates to less than 50 grams daily. The low-carbohydrate diet allows up to 57 grams daily while keeping blood sugar levels stable.

The keto diet focuses more on moderate amounts of protein and healthy fats to keep insulin levels steady and promote satiety.

Both diets also encourage eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables and lean meats. Low carbohydrate diets emphasize whole foods over processed ones.

Nutrition Facts of Kimchi

Here’s a sample of the nutrition facts of kimchi so you will have an idea of what you will be getting from eating it as your side dish.

100 grams of Cabbage Kimchi Contents:

  • Calories – 33.9
  • Carbohydrates—7g
  • Fats – 0.4g
  • Protein – 1.1g
  • Fibre – 0.3g

Aside from all these nutrients, kimchi is also rich in essential nutrients your body needs. It has vitamins A, C, K, E, folate, potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, etc. Kimchi has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and probiotic properties. It’s also great for reducing cholesterol levels and has anti-aging properties that will make you look and feel young.

What exactly are fermented foods?

Fermented foods are an ancient tradition that dates back thousands of years. They form the basis of most cuisines around the world. Some people think that fermentation is just about preserving food, while others believe that it is a form of alchemy. But what exactly are fermented foods?

Fermentation can take numerous forms, including pickling, salting, smoking, drying, and fermenting. Fermented foods include pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt.

Pickles are one of the oldest forms of preserved foods known to man. In fact, there are records of pickle recipes dating back to 2700 BC. These days, pickles are eaten all over the world. However, the process of making pickles is very similar across cultures. This includes washing the vegetables, soaking them in saltwater brine, packing them into jars or crocks, covering them with vinegar, and storing them in a cool place.

Salted foods like olives, anchovies, capers, and cheese are other types of fermented foods. Salting is used to preserve food because salt draws out moisture from the surface of the food. Salt is added to food early in the processing stage to prevent spoilage. For example, olives are often soaked in salty water before being packed into glass bottles.

Smoked foods include bacon, ham, prosciutto, sausage, and jerky. Smoking is done to add flavour and improve preservation. Smoke is added to meat during the curing process.

Dried foods include fruits, nuts, and grains. Drying is used to make food easier to transport and store. When you buy fruit, look for items that say “sun-dried,” “air-dried” or “dehydrated.” Nuts and seeds are often sun-dried. Grains such as oats and wheat are air-dried.

Finally, fermentation is simply the addition of bacteria to food. Common types of bacteria used in fermentation include lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, and acetic acid bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria are found naturally in milk. Yeast is commonly used to make bread rise. Acetic acid bacteria are responsible for producing vinegar.

Why you should include fermented foods on a keto diet?

The benefits of eating kimchi are numerous. They are rich in good bacteria, which have multiple health benefits. These benefits include improved digestion, better immune system function, and reduced inflammation. Fermented kimchi with the fermentation also helps to break down the carbs in these foods, making them more keto friendly.

Fermented foods contain live cultures. These beneficial microbes feed on the natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables, helping to break down food into usable energy. This process produces short chain fatty acids called SCFAs, which are vital for good health.

How Many Carbs Does Kimchi Have?

It depends on the recipe, but a typical serving of kimchi contains about 5 grams of carbohydrates. Although kimchi usually comes in small portions, it has relatively few carbs per serving. One cup of kimchi (175 grams) has about 7 grams of carbohydrates from its vegetables.

Health Benefits Of Kimchi

Since kimchi is a Korean side dish containing bacteria, it may promote gut health.

Weight Loss

It’s an excellent addition to your diet since it will make you lose weight faster. Because of the source of probiotics and other nutrients it possesses, you can also prevent obesity. Because kimchi contains pretty low in calories can also help with weight loss. Spicy foods can also increase your metabolism, making you slimmer even if you’re eating more than you should.

Good for Your Gut

The probiotics this side dish contains can help the lining of your digestive tract be in a healthy proportion. It’s good bacteria that line your intestines for more protection. This dish will prevent inflammation in your gut and other issues in your intestine.

Anti-Atherosclerotic Effect

It has an anti-atherosclerotic effect that can lower lipids, prevent organ inflammation, and is also an excellent antioxidant. This dish can help to avoid some types of cancers and even strengthen your immune system.

Prevents Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease

Because of the anti-inflammatory effect of this dish, it will prevent you from developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Eating this can help lower your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, keeping you healthier.

Various studies have found that kimchi may lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

How to Make Keto Kimchi?

If you want to make your own homemade kimchi, it’s pretty easy. You’ll need a few key ingredients: napa cabbage, fish sauce, low-carb radish, etc. Start by shredding the cabbage and slicing the radish into thin strips. Combine the cabbage, radish, pepper flakes, and fish sauce in a large bowl. Then, make your kimchi by massaging the ingredients together with your hands. Let the kimchi sit for at least 20-30 minutes so the flavours can meld together. Once it’s ready, enjoy!

Ingredients in Kimchi:

  • Large Napa cabbage
  • A cup of Korean coarse sea salt
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1/2 kg Korean radish
  • Four scallions

For Seasoning:

  • 1 tbsp glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup of Korean red pepper
  • ¼ cup minced salted shrimp
  • Four raw shrimps (minced)
  • 3 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp ginger 9 (minced)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup of water


  1. Mix the glutinous rice powder with a half cup of water to simmer and set aside.
  2. Bathe the cabbage in salty water in a large bowl. You will need to rub more salt and let it soak for about 3 hours.
  3. Rinse the cabbage thoroughly about three times and leave it to drain the excess water.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the glutinous paste and all of the seasoning ingredients.
  5. Dip in the Napa cabbage and mix it with your hand thoroughly.
  6. Place the mix in a big jar or airtight container and leave for two days at room temperature.
  7. You can start to enjoy it! Keep in mind kimchi should be refrigerated for safety reasons.


So, is kimchi keto? The answer is yes, so you can go ahead and add this keto kimchi recipe. It’s great when it comes to its weight loss properties. It protects your body and makes you healthy because it contains probiotics. It may appear hazy because the majority of the calories come from carbs.
But don’t worry because it’s one of the low-carbohydrate recipes. This dish will not knock you out of ketosis.
Now is the time to make kimchi so you may enjoy the delectable flavour of this Korean cuisine while remaining low-carb.

Kimchi FAQs

Is kimchi low carb?

It’s complicated to answer this question. Kimchi, a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, is usually considered a healthy food because of its high fibre content. But not all kimchi is made from vegetables. Some versions of the dish contain meat or fish products such as squid, octopus, or dried anchovies.

One ounce of kimchi, however, contains about 4 grams of carbohydrates. This amount is equivalent to four slices of bread. So, if you make kimchi regularly, you could easily consume 200 grams of carbohydrates per day.

Is kimchi healthy?

Kimchi is not just delicious; it’s healthy. It’s one of the healthier condiments and side dishes you can add to your keto diet. Eating it can help keep your digestive system in shape and your skin glowing. Evidence suggests that consuming fermented food, such as kimchi can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Is fermented cabbage good for you?

Yes! It is a food which contains beneficial bacteria that can help improve your gut health. It can also help boost your immune system and fight off harmful pathogens. Cancers such as ovarian and breast cancer may also be reduced by it. In addition, it can help improve your cardiovascular health by lowering harmful cholesterol levels and inflammation.

Is kimchi good for weight loss?

Kimchi is rich in B vitamins, which help us produce energy and improve metabolism. It also contains the spice ginger, which reduces inflammation in our bodies. Ginger may help reduce belly fat, which is a major cause of bloating and weight gain. A cup of kimchi can boost a healthy metabolism by as much as 5 percent.

Is kimchi good for diabetics?

The nutrient content of kimchi includes vitamins C, E, and K, folate, calcium, and a rich source of fiber. Many people with type II diabetes consume kimchi as part of their daily diet. Many studies suggest that the consumption of kimchi may help reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, and aid in managing diabetes. Speak to your doctor or dietitian before adding kimchi to your diet.

Does kimchi have sugar?

It contains less sugar than other ferments. In fermentation, the added sugar comes from vegetables, not from processing or storage.

Is sauerkraut keto friendly?

The combination of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics in sauerkraut makes it a keto-friendly food.

However, the way sauerkraut is processed and packed makes it high in sodium, which can be a problem for people with high blood pressure.

The amount of vinegar used in some varieties of sauerkraut can affect its carbohydrate content. Therefore, it is vital to check the label for a safe intake.

What are the benefits of eating kimchi?

The benefits of this food go beyond being a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.


Ahmed Abdoulaye

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