Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the possibilities. What about cabbage, is it good for weight loss or fattening?
Cabbage is a popular kind of vegetable available all around the world. You can eat cabbage raw on its own, pickled, in a salad, or as an ingredient in the infamous cabbage soup.
Like most vegetables, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more cabbage. Find out just how good it is for weight loss and how you can implement this food in your diet.
Micronutrients in cabbage
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in cabbage.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of cabbage provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin K: 95% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin C: 61% of the DV
- Folate: 11% of the DV
- Manganese: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 6% of the DV
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. That’s a good amount of certain vitamins and minerals.
Cabbage alone will likely not be enough to hit your daily vitamin and mineral goals but it can contribute a certain amount to a balanced diet.
Cabbage does contain certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in cabbage for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Cabbage contains around 2.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in cabbage you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a good amount.
Does cabbage help you lose weight?
Before knowing whether or not cabbage deserves a spot in your weight loss diet you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in cabbage.
Cabbage contains 25 calories per 100 grams. 21 of these calories come from carbohydrates (5.8 g per 100 grams of which 2.5 g fiber).
You should definitely be able to fit in cabbage in low-carb diets like the keto diet.
The amount of calories in cabbage is even low compared to many other vegetables. Fruits, legumes, meats, and everything in between are usually higher in calories than cabbage.
Cabbage is a very low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its fiber content. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. For most people that, and thus eating more cabbage, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like cabbage you don’t have to go out of your way to force it into your daily eating habits, cabbage is not a unique weight loss food. Other foods can be better for weight loss.
If you are gaining weight while eating cabbage, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Cabbage is generally not fattening.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that cabbage contains relatively high amounts of vitamin K. This may interfere with certain blood-thinning medications (2). If you take these kinds of medications you want to consult with your doctor before implementing large amounts of cabbage in your diet.
How much cabbage should you eat to lose weight?
Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.
Consuming enough vitamins and minerals is important for both your short and long-term health and weight loss. Cabbage can help you reach your daily vitamin and mineral goals to some extent but you will need other nutritious foods as well.
That’s why something like a cabbage diet, mostly eating cabbage, is just plain bad for your health and long term weight loss.
If you have consumed enough micronutrients, or you are close to your daily goal, you can see how much cabbage still fits within your daily calories. The amount will be different from individual to individual from day to day, it can be 0 too.
Does cabbage help you burn belly fat?
Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To burn belly fat you have to lose weight overall.
Since cabbage can help you lose weight in general this food can also help you lose belly fat once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.
How to eat cabbage for weight loss
Cabbage makes for a great snack on its own but it also combines great with other healthy foods. Here are some healthy dishes you can combine with cabbage:
Cabbage soup is a popular dish in the dieting world. It is a dish that fills you up without adding too many calories to your diet. Just keep in mind that not eating enough calories can slow down your metabolism. This is not helpful when trying to lose weight.
Another specific way you can eat cabbage is pickled and fermented. This is known as sauerkraut. On top of being a low-calorie food, sauerkraut may offer some additional weight loss benefits because of the probiotics it can contain (3, 4, 5).
Cabbage vs other popular vegetables for weight loss
You now know how good cabbage is for weight loss but how does it compare to certain other vegetables? Find out how good cabbage is for weight loss vs kale, spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
Cabbage vs kale
A popular comparison is cabbage vs kale. If you look at the calorie numbers you can see that kale contains a relatively high amount more. Cabbage contains around 25 calories per 100 grams vs the 50 calories per 100 grams of kale (6).
Kale contains around 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams, cabbage 2.5 grams. Kale does contain bigger amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Cabbage will likely be better for weight loss than kale. Even with that in mind kale is still a good food when trying to lose weight.
Cabbage vs spinach
The difference in fiber in these vegetables is also not that big. Cabbage has about 2.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams vs spinach with 2.2 grams. Spinach contains bigger amounts of vitamins and minerals than cabbage.
All in all cabbage and spinach will have a very similar effect on weight loss.
Cabbage vs broccoli
Broccoli is slightly higher in fiber, 2.6 grams per 100 grams. In terms of vitamins and minerals, broccoli takes the lead.
The difference will not be very big but cabbage is likely better for weight loss than broccoli.
Cabbage vs Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts contain around 3.8 grams of fiber per 100 grams so a good amount higher than cabbage. Brussels sprouts has higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Brussels sprouts will likely be better for weight loss than cabbage.
Chart of cabbage vs other popular vegetables
All in all, the differences between these vegetables won’t make that much of a difference when it comes to losing weight. If you like all these vegetables equally you might as well choose the ones that are slightly better for weight loss.
The amount of vitamins and minerals in the foods does matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for cabbage (1), kale (6), spinach (7), broccoli (8), and Brussels sprouts (9) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Cabbage||Kale||Spinach||Broccoli||Brussels Sprouts|
|Calories||25 calories||50 calories||22 calories||35 calories||30 calories|
|Fiber||2.5 g||2 g||2.2 g||2.6 g||3.6 g|