Kimchi is a staple side dish in Korean cuisine that has also exploded in popularity amongst the low carb diet crowd in recent years. It’s typically made with a wide variety of vegetables, which is why some people tend to get confused if it’s truly low carb or not.
So is kimchi keto? Let’s find out.
What Makes Kimchi Such a Popular Choice for Low Carb Diets?
Here are a handful of the main reasons why kimchi is so wildly popular amongst individuals following low carb diet plans like the keto diet:
- Kimchi is low in both calories and net carbs, with 100 grams of kimchi containing only 0.8 grams of net carbs.
- As kimchi is made from fermented cabbage, it offers up some outstanding health benefits – both from the cabbage and from the actual fermentation process itself.
- Kimchi can easily be paired with a variety of other low carb dishes, making it incredibly easy to incorporate into your keto diet plan.
Is Kimchi Keto?
Kimchi is about as keto-friendly a side dish as you’ll ever find.
Boasting both a low calorie count and a low net carb count (less than 1 gram of net carbs per 100 gram serving is fantastic), kimchi is also exceptionally nutrient-dense. It offers up several key micronutrients, beneficial probiotic bacteria, and more.
It’s also a surprisingly good source of electrolytes, which is particularly good for keto dieters.
As rapid water weight loss is quite common in novice keto dieters, it’s actually a pretty good idea to make sure you’re eating plenty of low carb foods that are rich in electrolytes like sodium and potassium like kimchi.
All of the above reasons are exactly why it’s easy to recommend kimchi to anybody following the keto diet.
Kimchi Nutrition Facts
Here is the approximate nutritional breakdown for a 100 gram serving size of cabbage kimchi:
- 15 calories
- 0.5 grams dietary fat
- 1.1 grams protein
- 2.4 grams carbs
- 1.6 grams dietary fiber
- 1.1 grams sugar
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 498 mg sodium
- 151 mg potassium
Health Benefits of Kimchi
Kimchi is a ridiculously nutrient-dense side dish option. With that in mind, here are three of the best health benefits that you can gain by including kimchi as part of your keto diet plan:
- Rich source of probiotics. As a fermented food, kimchi is an incredibly rich source of probiotics. Studies have found that these beneficial bacteria can help with everything from protecting against disease, to improving your overall digestive health, to even helping to improve the symptoms of various skin conditions. (1)(2)(3)
- May help relieve inflammation. Those same probiotics (along with various other active biocompounds) found in kimchi may also help to relieve chronic inflammation within the body. This in turn can help to significantly reduce your risk of developing various chronic inflammatory diseases, including heart disease. (4)
- May give your immune system a boost. Last but not least, the probiotics in kimchi may also help to strengthen your immune health. Studies have indeed shown that the specific type of probiotic bacteria found in kimchi (Lactobacillus plantarum) has demonstrated an immune enhancing effect. (5)
Keto Kimchi Alternatives
Here are a few of our favorite keto approved substitutes for kimchi:
- Pickled vegetables