One of my favorite Korean foods is no other than kimchi. It is made from fermented cabbage with Korean red pepper and it is usually served as a side dish. It’s unique spicy and savory flavor has been loved by foodies, home chefs, and casual diners around the world.
I’m sure that I am not the only keto dieter who loves kimchi. So it made me wonder – “Can I eat kimchi on keto?”
Is Kimchi Keto?
A 100g serving of traditional Korean kimchi contains:
- 28 calories
- 3.8 g net carbs
- 0 g sugar
- 1.9 g protein
- 0 g fat
Since kimchi contains a fairly low amount of net carbs, then you can absolutely eat kimchi on keto. However, you would need to combine it with high-fat foods to make up for the lack of its fat content.
As with anything, there are a lot of different versions of kimchi out there. Store-bought kimchi tends to be loaded with sugar, which is disappointing because that takes a lot of the nutritional value out of it that I love so much. So, to make 100% sure that I’m eating the right kimchi, I follow one of my personal mottos:
“If you want something done right, do it yourself.”
To make sure you’re eating the right kind of kimchi, here is a Keto Kimchi recipe you can make right from home!
How To Make Your Own Keto Kimchi
2 lbs napa cabbage
½ cup Kosher salt
2 cups cold water
3 pcs carrots
⅓ cup gochugaru (pepper flakes)
¼ fish sauce
1 tbsp garlic paste
4 tbsp gochujang pepper paste
- Laying your cabbage down on the table, chop it up into good-sized portions. Whatever size you want is perfect, because regardless we’re using the whole cabbage.
- Place your chopped cabbage into a pan of shallow cold water, then sprinkle in some salt, and mix it all together.
- While you let that sit, start peeling the carrots. I recommend slicing them into circles, then cutting those circles into strips.
- Put the carrots into a pan (not the cabbage pan) and add the Gochugaru (pepper flakes), Gochujang paste, and fish sauce. Mix all these ingredients together, so that the carrots are coated evenly. Then, add some garlic paste, and mix again.
- You can let your carrot mixture sit for a minute, while you drain and rinse your cabbage.
- Combine your cabbage with your carrot mixture and voila you’ve made Keto Kimchi!
- Now just place your kimchi into a jar and let everything sit at room temperature for 1-3 days. (This is how it ferments.)
- Make sure to refrigerate when done.
And there you go! A healthy Keto Kimchi you can make at home!
Kimchi can last for a long time. Depending on your taste preferences, a batch of kimchi can last from 3 months to several years! So, if you don’t have time to make kimchi all the time, that’s no problem. Just make a big batch, and let it sit.
You can eat kimchi whenever you want, as long as you keep it refrigerated. Plus, as your kimchi sits in the fridge, it continues to ferment, which adds even more nutritional value to your kimchi, such as creating good bacteria (which prevents bloating) and helping your digestive system. How convenient is that?!
Health Benefits Of Eating Kimchi
- Nourishes Your Digestive System with Fiber and Good Bacteria
Kimchi helps soothe your digestive system, nourishing your body with fiber and healthy bacteria. I think we all know it’s not fun to have digestive problems, so just sit back and munch on some kimchi to have your digestive problems be as short as they possibly can.
- Stronger Immune System
Kimchi is filled with healthy probiotics that help build your body’s immunity. It’s important to protect yourself from getting sick, and that foundation all starts with a healthy diet.
- Aids in Weight Loss
Kimchi helps satisfy your cravings while still being packed with vitamins, probiotics, and antioxidants. It is proven to help people lose weight in a healthy way when incorporated into their diet.
- Lowers Cancer Risk
Another one of my personal mottos is: if you can lower your risk of getting cancer, why not do it? Kimchi has both anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that help lower your risk of getting cancer.
- Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Kimchi creates an acid that regulates the blood sugar levels in your body, making this food perfect for people with diabetes. Kimchi can also lower the amount of glucose in your body, which lowers your risk of getting diabetes significantly.
- Prevents Ulcers
Something I learned recently, which I think is actually quite amazing, is that kimchi produces a carbohydrate called dextrin, which is a chemical that helps to stop ulcers from occurring. Pretty neat, right?!
- Lowers Cholesterol
If your doctor has recently told you that you have high cholesterol, don’t stress. Studies have shown that kimchi helps drop cholesterol levels, helping your heart stay strong, and allowing you to take one thing off your list of worries.
- Can Help Reduce Inflammation
Kimchi has good bacteria called lactobacillus bacteria, which is known to help treat and soothe your skin. Eating kimchi can help with skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and can help reduce redness and inflammation in the skin.
- Makes You Look Younger
When you take the time to care for your body, your health will shine through for people to see too. Kimchi is rich with antioxidants and vitamin C, which are key ingredients to helping your skin look healthier and younger.
- Better Eye Sight
Another vitamin present in kimchi is vitamin A, which is important for your eyes to stay healthy. I know I often forget about my eyes, taking them for granted, which probably explains why I now wear glasses. By eating kimchi, you can help keep your eyes healthy, which in my ‘eyes’ is an extra bonus.
Eating anything every day isn’t good for you. It’s so important to give yourself a variety of different foods throughout the week. Otherwise, you’ll start to get bored, when eating is supposed to be fun and exciting! So no, please don’t eat kimchi every day. Space it out, so whenever you do eat it, it’s just as delicious as it was before.
Kimchi is great for weight loss! What’s so great about kimchi is that it satisfies your stomach’s desire to feel full, while still being low in calories. Essentially satisfying your cravings, while still being true to your diet.
Yes! Kimchi has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helping your body stay strong to fight diseases, ranging from cancer to the common cold.
Kimchi actually STOPS bloating. One of the top listed foods to help get rid of bloating is fermented food, which is exactly what kimchi is. Kimchi produces good bacteria that prevents you from bloating and helps you to digest gently with ease. Please just make sure not to eat too much kimchi at once, as that can cause bloating if you’re not careful.
Yes! People with diabetes can and SHOULD eat kimchi, as it has acids within it that regulate blood pressure. Kimchi is also great for reducing the risk of diabetes, for it lowers the amount of glucose in your body.
Kimchi lasts roughly up to 3 months. The ingredients will continue to ferment every day, and the taste will change too as time goes by. I personally like the taste up to three months, but if you like how it tastes long term, kimchi can last for years!
After the initial 1-3 days of fermenting at room temperature, kimchi should be refrigerated from that point on.
Alcohol is not an ingredient in kimchi, but kimchi does go through fermentation. So technically, kimchi does contain a small amount of alcohol, but not enough to have any effects. In other words, kimchi will not get you drunk.
Yes, kimchi contains a lot of probiotics, which help to boost your immune system to fight off sickness.
If your kimchi is fizzing, this is totally normal. This just means that it’s fermenting. Fermentation is a big part of what makes kimchi so beneficial to your health. It helps improve the health of your digestive system and helps with inflammation. In other words, if it’s fizzing, the more benefits you’ll get from it!
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