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10 Of The Best Fermented Foods For Weight Loss

10 Of The Best Fermented Foods For Weight Loss

You likely know that fermented foods may offer some extra help with weight loss. But do you know these 10 of the best fermented foods for weight loss?

Fermentation is a way to process food that involves converting some of the carbohydrates in the food into other substances. Fermented foods offer health benefits that may include weight loss for a few reasons.

Fermented foods contain something called “probiotics”. Eating more probiotics, both in food and supplements, may help you with weight loss (1, 2, 3).

A potential reason for this is that probiotics may reduce the amount of calories you absorb from other foods (4, 5).

For now, the claims about the potential of probiotics for weight loss are not waterproof (6, 7). More studies are required to make statements with more confidence.

In any case, many of the fermented foods on this list will help you lose weight just because of their weight loss friendly nutritional composition. Make sure you check out these values to know which fermented foods fit into your daily diet.

Also keep in mind that some brands add sugar and other sweeteners to their fermented foods. This is generally not helpful when trying to lose weight.

1. Pickles

Pickles are actually a type of cucumbers that have been pickled in a brine vinegar or other solution. They are then often left to ferment for a period of time.

However, not all pickles are fermented, some are just pickled. So if you want the extra health benefits that come with the fermentation process you have to pick your pickles wisely.

100 grams of pickles contains (8):

  • Calories: 11
  • Protein: 0.3 grams
  • Carbs: 2.3 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 1.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Vitamin K: 59% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Sodium: 50% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 4% of the DV
  • Copper: 4% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. Keep in mind that consuming too much sodium may cause negative side effects like increased blood pressure because of excess water retention. If your diet is already high in sodium it may not be smart to add a lot of pickles.

You can eat pickles raw on their own or as an addition to healthy recipes. Some people even drink pickle juice to replenish electrolyte stores.

Pickles to eat as fermented food for weight loss

2. Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish of salted and fermented vegetables. There is not one right way to make kimchi.

This makes it so the nutritional values of different types of kimchi will vary. In any case the commonly used ingredients are generally weight loss friendly.

100 grams of this example of kimchi contains (9):

  • Calories: 15
  • Protein: 1.1 grams
  • Carbs: 2.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 1.6 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Vitamin K: 55% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Sodium: 21% of the DV
  • Iron: 14% of the DV
  • Folate: 13% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 12% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 11% of the DV
  • Niacin: 6% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. Like with many of the fermented foods on this list you want to keep an eye on your sodium intake when it comes to kimchi.

3. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is the name for fermented cabbage. This food has a distinct sour flavor which makes the opinions on sauerkraut vary a lot.

Pasteurization, which is a heating process meant to eliminate pathogens and extend shelf life, is common for store-bought saurekraut. This process can destroy and/or reduce the probiotics which is likely not something you want.

Some sauerkraut brands also add sugar to soften the taste. This is again something that is likely not helpful for your weight loss.

100 grams of sauerkraut contains (10):

  • Calories: 22
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Carbs: 4.3 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Vitamin C: 24% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K: 16% of the DV
  • Sodium: 13% of the DV
  • Iron: 8% of the DV
  • Manganese: 8% of the DV
  • Folate: 6% of the DV
  • Potassium: 5% of the DV
  • Copper: 5% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

When preparing sauerkraut you want to avoid heating it up too much since this can reduce the amount of probiotics.

4. Kombucha

Kombucha is a type of fermented tea, often made from green tea and black tea. This means you get the weight loss benefits of drinking green tea combined with the benefits of fermenting food.

You do have to keep in mind that this fermented drink can contain alcohol and caffeine. For this and other reasons some groups of people may want to stay away from kombucha.

100 grams of kombucha contains (11):

  • Calories: 19
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 4.6 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

In theory you can prepare kombucha at home but this process is easy to do in a suboptimal way. It may be smarter to stick to store-bought kombucha which has to pass dietary guidelines.

Jar of kombucha

5. Vinegar

Vinegar is a category of fermented liquids which are mainly used for culinary purposes.

100 grams of cider vinegar contains (12):

  • Calories: 21
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 0.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Manganese: 12% of the DV (Daily Value)

And some other vitamins and minerals in tiny amounts.

Some people even drink small amounts of vinegar on its own but you can also use it as an ingredient in for example salad dressing.

6. Kefir

Kefir is a type of fermented milk drink. You can compare it to very thin yogurt. While the calorie count per 100 grams is a bit higher than the previous options on the list, kefir is still generally a weight loss friendly food option.

100 grams of kefir contains (13):

  • Calories: 52
  • Protein: 3.6 grams
  • Carbs: 7.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Calcium: 12% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Riboflavin: 10% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 10% of the DV
  • Folate: 5% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 5% of the DV
  • Potassium: 5% of the DV
  • Selenium: 5% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

7. Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the most popular milk products. The exact nutritional values will vary from brand to brand but in general yogurt is helpful when trying to lose weight.

Yogurt is one of those foods that does not alway contain probiotics so choose the right brand if you want the benefits associated with them.

100 grams of whole-milk yogurt contains (14):

  • Calories: 61
  • Protein: 3.5 grams
  • Carbs: 4.7 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 3.3 grams
  • Calcium: 12% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 9% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 8% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 6% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Yogurt is especially great because you can easily add other tasty and healthy ingredients to make a snack or meal. Some example additions are oatmeal, berries, fruit,…

Yogurt to eat for weight loss

8. Miso

Miso is a type of paste especially popular in Japan made by fermenting soybeans. Sometimes other ingredients like barley and rice are added too.

Depending on what other ingredients are used miso can both contain gluten and be gluten-free. Make sure to check the food label if this is relevant for you.

100 grams of miso contains (15):

  • Calories: 199
  • Protein: 11.7 grams
  • Carbs: 26.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 5.4 grams
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Sodium: 155% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 43% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 37% of the DV
  • Copper: 21% of the DV
  • Zinc: 17% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 16% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 14% of the DV
  • Iron: 14% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 12% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 10% of the DV
  • Selenium: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. Make sure you keep the relatively high amount of sodium in miso in mind.

One of the most popular ways to implement more miso is by eating miso soup. Miso soup is basically soup that uses miso and dashi stock, a Japanese kind of fish stock.

9. Natto

Natto is again a fermented food popular in Japan made with soybeans. Many people who are not used to it have a problem with the taste of natto but if you like it, natto may be a helpful addition to your weight loss diet.

100 grams of natto contains (16):

  • Calories: 212
  • Protein: 17.7 grams
  • Carbs: 14.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 5.4 grams
  • Fat: 11 grams
  • Manganese: 76% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Iron: 48% of the DV
  • Copper: 33% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 29% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 29% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 22% of the DV
  • Calcium: 22% of the DV
  • Potassium: 21% of the DV
  • Zinc: 20% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 17% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

10. Tempeh

Tempeh is a traditionally Indonesian fermented food made from soybeans. It’s relatively high protein content can help you build and preserve muscle which is in turn beneficial for weight loss.

100 grams of cooked tempeh contains (17):

  • Calories: 196
  • Protein: 18.2 grams
  • Carbs: 9.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 11.4 grams
  • Manganese: 64% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Copper: 27% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 25% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 21% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 19% of the DV
  • Iron: 12% of the DV
  • Niacin: 11% of the DV
  • Potassium: 11% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 10% of the DV
  • Calcium: 10% of the DV
  • Zinc: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.