A recent study conducted by researchers has revealed that consuming kimchi, a traditional Korean fermented dish, is associated with a reduced risk of obesity. The researchers investigated the relationship between kimchi consumption and obesity by analyzing the intake of different types of kimchi and measuring the participants’ height, weight, and waist circumference.
The study categorized kimchi into various types, including baechu kimchi (cabbage kimchi), kkakdugi (radish kimchi), nabak kimchi or dongchimi (watery kimchi), and other kimchi such as green onion kimchi or mustard greens kimchi. One serving of baechu kimchi, kkakdugi, and other kimchi was considered to be 50g, while one serving of nabak kimchi and dongchimi was 95g.
The results indicated that men who consumed one to three servings of kimchi per day had an 11-12% lower risk of obesity compared to those who consumed less than one serving per day. The risk of obesity and abdominal obesity was further reduced by approximately 10% in men who had a higher intake of cabbage kimchi (over three servings per day) and by 8% in women. Additionally, both men and women who consumed radish kimchi had around a 9% lower risk of fat accumulation around the abdomen. However, the researchers noted that there was no additional benefit observed in consuming more than three servings of kimchi per day.
The study also found that individuals who consumed more than three servings of kimchi tended to have higher overall food intake and higher chances of being obese. It is important to note that kimchi is made using different vegetables such as cabbage, radish, and onion, along with spices like red pepper powder, garlic, and ginger.
Previous studies have suggested that fermented foods, including kimchi, contain beneficial bacteria that promote gut health and could potentially influence weight. However, the researchers cautioned about the high sodium content in kimchi, as excessive sodium intake may have negative health effects. They recommended consuming kimchi in moderate amounts to reap the health benefits of its other components.
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