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Is Korean Food Healthy?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Yes, Korean food is healthy regardless of gender and age. Most Korean foods contain essential nutrients that are good for health. For example, kimchi is very rich in vitamins and fiber that are essential to growth and development.

Is Korean Food Healthy

It provides us with about half of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, niacin, and dietary fiber.

We ran a test of 16+ different kinds of Korean foods and looked at how it affects the user’s health. The result showed that almost all of them had positive impacts except foods that contained a lot of fat.

Is Korean Food Good for Losing Weight?

Generally speaking, Korean food is good for losing weight. However, this highly depends on the amount you’re eating. For example, samgyetang or ginseng chicken soup is very nutritious and helps to lose weight because it contains a lot of ingredients such as ginseng, chicken, sweet rice, and garlic.

On the other hand, an excessive amount of meat is not suitable for losing weight because there is a lot of fat and calories.

Make sure to eat in moderate amounts, and it’s been known that eating more meals throughout the day is very healthy.

Eating more meals also means eating less in terms of calories each meal. This is very important when you’re trying to lose weight.

When we went to Korea and tried lots of different foods, we skipped breakfast because we ate so much at night. This is not a bad idea since it prevents you from eating too fast and makes us eat less overall.

So, if you’re ever planning to visit Korea, make sure to try samgyetang and don’t eat too much meat at a time.

Why Is Korean Food so Sweet?

Korean food is sweet because the dishes contain lots of sugar, fruits, and vegetables. In addition to the traditional cooking methods such as boiling, grilling, or frying, many Korean desserts are made from steamed, boiled, or fried ingredients.

Keep in mind that not all Korean food is sweet, especially when it comes to meat like samgyeopsal or pork belly. It’s good for health because there is no sugar in the ingredients.

But since most people eat their meat with some type of sauce, they tend to have a higher intake of simple carbohydrates.

In our test, we found that Korean food is actually very healthy despite the known stereotypes.

A good combination of sweet food is spicy food, which is also very healthy.

You can always ask for less sauce and try not to mix it with the rice because it will add on more calories.

Why Is Korean Food Always Red

Korean food might look red, but in reality, it’s not. The reason why you might think it looks red is that foods like kimchi have a lot of red peppers. There are also other foods that are red because it contains chili powder, squid ink, or shrimp paste.

Basically, it’s normal for Korean food to be red because there are so many ingredients that contain chili powder. But if you look at other foods like kimbap, it’s not red at all.

Kimchi is considered to be the signature food of Korea, and since it’s red. Most people might think that all Korean food looks red.

This isn’t the case at all, and if you’ve ever visited Korea, you’ll notice quickly that lots of foods aren’t red.

Another interesting food that is not red is black bean noodles. If you’re ever in Korea, try it. Black bean noodles are extremely popular among foreigners, and you’ll see why.

Low Sodium Korean Food

If you’re looking for low sodium food in Korea, here below are some of the best foods that are low in sodium.

Yellow Bean Sprout Soup

Yellow bean sprout soup is made from yellow bean sprouts, pheasant meat, and vegetables. It’s gluten-free and has low sodium.

This soup is very easy to make and everyone can make it at home.

Ingredients: Yellow bean sprout, water, meat (boneless), vegetables (carrot, potato, mushrooms)

Kimchi Stew

Kimchi stew is very well known and low in sodium. It’s made from pork, kimchi, and other ingredients such as onion and garlic.

If you’re a fan of spicy food, we highly recommend trying kimchi stew.

Ingredients: Pork (boneless), Onion, garlic, green onion, hot pepper powder, sugar)

Braised Tofu

Braised tofu is also very healthy and low in sodium. This is one of my favorite dishes.

Ingredients: soybean curd, mushrooms, green onion, garlic, and other spices.


Japchae is a very popular Korean side dish. It’s made from sweet potato noodles, vegetables, and meat.

Japchae is gluten-free and low in sodium.

Ingredients: Sweet potato noodles, carrots, onion, meat (beef or pork), garlic, green onions, and other spices.

Rice with Beans

Rice with beans is a very simple, but healthy dish. It contains a lot of vitamins from beans and is gluten-free as well as low in sodium.

Ingredients: Rice, soybean paste, and other spices.

I personally love rice with beans so much that I always make it myself.

All these types of food are low in sodium and make sure to cut back on gochujang or remove it completely.

Since gochujang is made from red chili pepper powder, it’s also very high in sodium.

Is Korean Bbq High in Sodium?

Yes, Korean barbecue is high in sodium, because the meat is often preseasoned with soy sauce.

If you do order Korean barbecue, try to eat it without any sauces or seasonings and just eat the meat.

Not all restaurants offer this but some restaurants make it without any sauce, so be sure to ask.


All in all, Korean food is very healthy. None of the foods I listed above are high in sugar or sodium.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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