Putting together your weight loss diet can be a challenge with all the possibilities. What about miso, is it good for weight loss or fattening?
Miso is a type of paste 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.
While there are more helpful foods many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more whole miso. This is due to the nutrition composition of miso and fermented foods having the ability to increase weight loss.
You do have to keep in mind the high sodium content in miso. If your diet is already high in sodium it might not be smart to eat more miso.
Find out just how good miso is and how to eat it when trying to lose weight.
Micronutrients in miso
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in miso.
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 miso provides you with approximately (1):
- 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 a few other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. That’s a good amount of vitamins and minerals per 100 grams compared to a lot of other foods.
If you have trouble reaching your daily vitamin and mineral goals miso can help you a nice amount with many vitamins and minerals.
You do have to keep in mind that overdoing it with certain vitamins and minerals is not good either. In the case of miso the main mineral to keep in mind is sodium.
Consuming too much sodium may have negative side effects. If you already get a lot of sodium from your current diet adding miso on top of that might not be a smart idea.
Fermented foods and weight loss
For now, the claims about the potential of probiotics for weight loss are not waterproof (7, 8). More studies are required to make statements with more confidence. In any case probiotics will likely not be bad for weight loss and good for health so you might as well include them.
Keep in mind that heating up miso too much destroys a lot of the bacteria. This is something you preferably want to avoid.
Fiber in miso for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Miso contains around 5.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a very good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods. For most people more fiber is a good thing for weight loss.
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 miso you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a very good amount.
Protein in miso for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Miso contains about 11.7 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, there are about 25.4 grams per 100 grams in salmon (9). Miso is a good source of plant-based protein but also a decent source of protein in general.
Protein is considered to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day which is very good for weight loss. Protein calories also take your body more calories to process than calories from carbs and fats.
The amount of protein in miso is good for a plant-based source of protein. You will however most likely also need protein from other foods. In any case, some miso can get you started towards your daily goals.
Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.
Is miso good for losing weight?
To know whether or not you can eat miso while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in miso.
Miso contains around 199 calories per 100 grams. 108 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (26.5 g per 100 grams of which 5.4 g fiber).
You may be able to fit some in but miso is generally not suited for low carb diets like the keto diet.
The number of calories in miso is higher than most vegetables and fruits. Even with that in mind this number is medium compared to many other foods and acceptable for a weight loss food.
Together with the amount of fiber and the amount of protein this means that miso can help you feel fuller without adding that many calories to your diet.
This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. And for most people that, and thus adding miso to their daily diet, is enough to help them lose weight. You do need to know that there are better foods that miso for losing weight.
In theory, you can overdo it with miso in terms of calories, in that case it could be fattening. In reality, you will likely feel too full before you reach that point with miso.
What is likely more important for you when deciding how much miso you want to eat is the levels of sodium in it. Consuming too much sodium may have negative side effects. If you already get a lot of sodium from your current diet adding miso on top of that might not be a smart idea.
Another thing you have to keep in mind is that miso contains relatively high amounts of vitamin K. This may interfere with certain blood-thinning medications (10). If you take these kinds of medications you want to consult with your doctor before implementing large amounts of miso in your diet.
How to eat miso for weight loss
You can implement miso in different ways into your diet.
The first and one of the most popular ways to eat miso is miso soup. Soup is generally helpful when trying to lose weight. It is filling without adding too many calories to your diet. The same goes for miso soup which makes it good for weight loss for most people.
Do keep in mind that you can also take this too far and not eat enough calories. This can have the opposite desired effect in the long term.
You can also use miso in combination with other healthy ingredients like vegetbales, fish, as a healthy dip,…
When choosing how to eat miso remember that heating it up can destroy bacteria that are helpful for weight loss and health.