Does Kimchi Make You Lose Weight?

Spoiler: probably not

Gideon M-K; Health Nerd


Pictured: Yum. Probably not a weight loss tool. Photo by Portuguese Gravity on Unsplash

Kimchi is the name that, outside of Korea, is generally given to a dish made of spicy fermented cabbage — in Korea it refers to a wide variety of pickled and otherwise preserved vegetables. Much like sauerkraut and similar dishes, Kimchi is an acquired taste, but once you love it, you love it, and can’t do without.

And, according to a swathe of recent headlines, kimchi is also a fantastic tool for weight loss. Based on the headlines, eating up to three servings of kimchi a day is a great way to drop those pesky pounds and keep yourself as light as possible using nothing but a “fermented superfood”.

It’s worth remembering that there is no such thing as a “superfood” — it’s a marketing term made up by people who want to sell you things. Photo by Portuguese Gravity on Unsplash

Unfortunately for those of us who love kimchi, the reality is much less hopeful than the headlines. While kimchi is a pretty healthy thing to eat, there’s no good evidence that just eating the stuff will help you lose weight. The recent headlines are — hilariously — the work of Big Kimchi, trying to sell you more of the fermented cabbage than you’d otherwise eat.

Let’s look at the science.

The Science