Is Kimbap Healthy? (3 Tips For Weight Loss) 

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What is the next best thing or even comparable to the all-time favorite sushi? No doubt, it has to be Korea’s famous Kimbap: a Korean sushi roll that has its own unique twist and flavoring as a take on their version of the Japanese sushi. Wrapped in sushi and steamed rice, there are several different kimbap styles that can be enjoyed as a fulfilling snack or a delicious snack. 

Despite Kimbap being extremely tasty, if your goal is to lose weight, can you incorporate Kimbap into your weight loss plans? In other words, is Kimbap healthy?

Kimbap is a dish that is made from pickled vegetables and is, overall, a low calories dish that is great to eat while dieting. You can expect a lot of carbs in Kimbap, however, so some moderation will be required in order to stay in shape while eating this traditional Korean dish.

  1. What Type of Kimbap You Should Eat

  2. What to Eat with Kimbap 

  3. How to Make Your Own Healthy Kimbap 

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Tip 1: What Type of Kimbap You Should Eat

As mentioned earlier there are several different types of Kimbap that you can choose from! In this particular topic section, I will list out three popular kimbap from the least suiting for your diet to the best choice.

Beef and Egg Kimbap

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Beef and Egg Kimbap is made with bulgogi beef and eggs as the main ingredients, and is usually paired with vegetables like pickled radish, known as danmuji, carrots, or spinach. This is definitely my favorite type of Kimbap to eat because all the ingredients pair together to really highlight the flavorful meat and has a delicious sweet and smoky taste.

One roll of Beef and Egg Kimbap is 390 calories and contains 15 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbohydrates, and finally 21 grams of protein. This one roll of Beef and Egg Kimbap has just the perfect amount of macronutrients for one meal such as your lunch or dinner. It has a good amount of protein and not an overwhelming amount of carbohydrates and fats. 

However, it is hard to feel satiated after just eating one roll of Beef and Egg Kimbap so if there is other food on the table it might be easy to overeat. If you are still feeling hungry after eating one roll, try eating other vegetables on the table or another source of lean protein to keep you full.

Eating foods like kimchi, steamed vegetables, or a piece of grilled fish can keep your overall carbohydrate and fat intake low and you can eat a high voluminous meal without adding too much to your overall calorie count.

Kimchi and Pork Cutlet Kimbap

Next, we have the Kimchi and Pork Cutlet Kimbap which is another delicious roll that highlights the flavor of the kimchi, and is a great option if you really like the tangy, spicy flavor of pickled vegetables. Let us take a look at the nutritional facts of Kimchi and Pork Cutlet Kimbap:

One roll of Kimchi and Pork Cutlet Kimbap is 330 calories and contains 12 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbohydrates, and 20 grams of protein. That is not bad at all! With a low carbohydrate count and a good amount of protein, this is a great low-calorie option for someone trying to lose weight. 

Kimchi and Pork Cutlet Kimbap is a better option compared to the Beef and Egg Kimbap but similar to the tips from before one roll may not be a fulfilling option. 

Tuna Kimbap

Finally, we have the Tuna Kimbap, also known as the Chamchi Kimbap, which uses canned tuna as the main ingredient! This type of kimbap has recently become more popular since it is extremely easy to make and has a light flavor that tastes absolutely delicious.

One serving of Tuna Kimbap is 240 calories and contains 6 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbohydrates, and 16 grams of protein. Wow! This is a super low-calorie dish that barely has any fat or carbohydrates! There are 16 grams of protein which makes it a great source of protein as well and gives you room to eat other meats on the table.

Since Tuna Kimbap has much lower calories compared to the other two rolls we saw earlier, this gives you more options and flexibility to add more foods to your meal. Still, be sure that whatever you want to eat does not exceed your daily caloric intake.


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Tip 2: What to Eat with Kimbap

Now that you have an idea of the basic nutrition information of Kimbap, what type of foods are ideal to eat with Kimbap? What should you incorporate in your other meals of the day?

Since Kimbap is still a dish that leans more towards the carb-heavy side, it is important that your other meals of the day incorporate more sources of lean protein.

Foods such as grilled fish, chicken breast, or ground turkey are some of my favorite lean meats that help me easily hit my protein goals for the day and keeps me feeling full and energized for the rest of my activities for the day. 

One of Kimbap’s main ingredients is white rice, which is a simple carbohydrate that we need to make sure we do not over consume when we are trying to lose weight.

Not only that, usually the rice in Kimbap is sweetened making it have even more extra calories. The rice and sugar is what makes up the majority of the Kimbap’s overall calories. 

This means that you want to limit the amount of other carbohydrates you’re eating throughout the day, so if that means cutting that bowl of rice in half or swapping out your pasta with a big salad, it might be the best choice if you choose to eat Kimbap as one of your meals!

Tip 3: Tips on Making Your Own Healthy Kimbap

If you have some extra time or feel like preparing your own meal, Kimbap is a super fun dish to make and alternate according to your diet preferences. Here are some couple swaps and tips on how you can make your Kimbap lower in calories and higher in protein! 

My first tip would be to apply a thinner layer of rice. You don’t necessarily need to stack a huge amount of rice onto your Kimbap and by applying less rice it will also make your Kimbap easier to roll up and leave more room for the filling! 

Secondly, don’t be afraid to add different variations of vegetables in your Kimbap! Carrots, spinach, kimchi, and pickled radish are all low-calorie vegetables that you can stock up in your roll that also pack your roll with fiber and flavor. 

Next, whenever you search up Kimbap recipes, watch out for the sauces and sugars portion sizes. These are often known as hidden calories which are caloric dense liquids that can easily put you in a calorie surplus! 

Last, pick a lean source of protein, such as canned tuna or lean beef to incorporate into your Kimbap which will be the star of your roll! 

There you go! You have just built a healthier and more diet-friendly roll that is homemade and tastes absolutely delicious. 


Remember though, although nutrition is a huge factor that influences weight loss, it is important to pair this journey with exercise as well, especially strength training. Several years of research on the benefits of weight training have shown that individuals that do some sort of consistent resistance training at least 3-5 times a week have shown not only a great amount of weight loss but are also able to keep the weight off! 

The secret to this phenomena is that strength training leads to a build-up of muscle. Not only does your body recomposition into a more fitting and athletic-looking aesthetic, but having more muscle also increases your resting metabolic rate which essentially means you burn more calories at rest! 

We understand that not everyone has access to a gym membership or feel comfortable starting off in such an intimidating environment. Although I would strongly recommend that everyone should get a gym membership, don’t worry we got your back!

Here is a link to some of my favorite home workout equipment that I love to use whenever I am in a rush and need to fit in a quick workout for the day or I don’t feel like leaving the house. I highly recommend these at-home gym pieces of equipment that make sure I still get a good workout in for the day, leaving me feeling super satisfied and pumped for the rest of the day.



Phillip Pak is a fitness expert who has been training clients for 5 years. Throughout his fitness journey, Phill has done it all when it comes to diet and nutrition. He is now the owner of Aspire Fitness Walnut where his main goal is to help those who are seeking to find the best version of themselves. He’s been through the struggle of obtaining an good physique and knows how to share it with others.