Eating this Korean food moderately could lower obesity risk in men

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A recent study published in the BMJ Open journal brings to light the potential health benefits of kimchi, a traditional Korean dish, in reducing obesity risk.

This research, focusing on the effects of consuming up to three servings of kimchi daily, shows interesting findings, particularly in the context of men’s health and abdominal obesity in both sexes.

Kimchi, known for its unique preparation method involving the salting and fermenting of vegetables with various flavorings like onion, garlic, and fish sauce, is a staple in Korean cuisine.

Cabbage and radish are the primary vegetables used, making kimchi a low-calorie food rich in dietary fiber, beneficial lactic acid bacteria, vitamins, and polyphenols.

Previous studies have highlighted the anti-obesity effects of Lactobacillus brevis and L. plantarum found in kimchi.

The study analysed data from 115,726 participants (36,756 men and 78,970 women, average age 51) enrolled in the Health Examinees (HEXA) study.

This study aims to examine the risk factors for common long-term conditions among Korean adults over 40.

Participants’ dietary intake over the past year was assessed using a 106-item food frequency questionnaire.

They reported their consumption frequency of various types of kimchi, including baechu (cabbage kimchi), kkakdugi (radish kimchi), nabak, dongchimi (watery kimchi), and others, such as mustard greens kimchi.

Body measurements, including height, weight, and waist circumference, were taken to calculate the body mass index (BMI) and identify abdominal obesity.

Obesity was defined as a BMI above 25, and abdominal obesity was identified as a waist circumference of at least 90 cm for men and 85 cm for women.

The study found a J-shaped curve in the link between kimchi consumption and obesity. Interestingly, those who ate five or more servings of kimchi daily were more likely to be obese, likely due to higher overall intake of energy and other nutrients.

However, consuming up to three servings of kimchi daily was linked to an 11% lower prevalence of obesity compared to those who ate less than one serving per day.

For men, particularly, eating three or more daily servings of baechu kimchi was linked to a 10% lower prevalence of both overall and abdominal obesity.

The study suggests that moderate consumption of kimchi, especially radish kimchi, may be beneficial in managing weight and reducing the risk of obesity.

These findings show that traditional fermented foods like kimchi can be part of a healthy diet, emphasizing their possible benefits beyond just flavor.

Moderate eating of kimchi could be an enjoyable and natural way to help manage weight and reduce obesity risk.

If you care about weight loss, please read studies that hop extract could reduce belly fat in overweight people, and early time-restricted eating could help lose weight .

For more information about weight loss, please see recent studies about a simple path to weight loss, and results showing a non-invasive treatment for obesity and diabetes.

The research findings can be found in BMJ Open.