Can You Eat Kimchi on Keto?

bowl of kimchi and sides

Kimchi is a popular Korean side dish that has grown in popularity over the last few years. It’s primarily made with vegetables and spices which raises the following question: can you eat kimchi on keto?

Yes, you can eat kimchi on keto, because it’s made with low carb ingredients. Kimchi is generally made with fresh cabbage, which is very low in carbohydrates. That makes it the perfect dish if you’re following a keto diet.

In this article you will learn what kimchi is, how it’s made and the nutritional facts. So if you’re looking for a low carb and keto friendly snack, continue reading!

Is Kimchi Low Carb?

Kimchi is considered to be a keto safe food, because it has very little carbs per serving. Every recipe is different, but you can expect to find cabbage and a variety of onions in this Korean dish.

Even though vegetables are labeled as healthy, they are not always low carb and good for people on keto. Some examples of high carb vegetables are potatoes, corn, peas, and squash.

bowl of kimchi and sides

The most important thing when sticking to a keto diet is understanding food labels and nutrition facts. Just because vegetables and fruits are considered to be healthy foods, doesn’t mean they are low carb foods.

Keto beginners can unknowingly break their bodies out of ketosis. And if this happens on a regular basis, you can get stuck in a plateau and fail to achieve your weight loss goals.

What is Kimchi Made of?

As we briefly talked about in the introduction, kimchi is a popular type of Korean cuisine. It can be eaten by itself, as a side dish, on salads, and even as soup. But what is kimchi made of?

Traditional kimchi is generally made from cabbage and a variety of spices. As it ferments in a jar, the cabbage begins to soften and the amount of flavor becomes more robust.

With that being said, there are many different kimchi recipes you can find on the internet. They range from simple, to very complicated. Here’s some common ingredients you might find in kimchi.

  • Napa cabbage
  • Onion
  • Chili pepper
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Chili powder
  • Scallions
  • Ginger
  • Fish sauce
  • Radishes
  • Minced garlic
  • Minced ginger

How Many Carbs are in Kimchi?

Most of the carbohydrates in kimchi come from vegetables. And because cabbage is the main ingredient, we included a nutritional table.

You can see below that one serving of cabbage only has 1.3 grams of carbs. The following tables shows the nutrition facts in a medium leaf of cabbage (roughly 23 grams).

Cabbage Nutrition

Calories6
Total Fat0 g
Saturated Fat0 g
Cholesterol0 g
Sodium4 mg
Potassium39 mg
Carbohydrates1.3 g
Fiber0.6 g
Sugar0.7 g
Protein0.3 g

Source: USDA

Other sources of carbs found in kimchi will come from onions and scallions. But again, there’s no need to worry about them. Just like cabbage, onions are also low in carbohydrates.

That means you won’t have to worry about your body coming out of ketosis.

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