Health Benefits of Bibimbap – Korea’s Best Diet Food

What is Bibimbap?

Bibimbap is very popular in Korea, but many foreigners are more familiar with Kalbi, another popular Korean dish. Let’s learn about bibimbap first before learning about its dietary benefits.

Dolsot Bibimbap.  (© abex, Wikimedia Commons)

Bibimbap (pronounced Bee-peem-bahp) describes a type of mixed rice dish topped with Korean style vegetables (called namul), lean meat, and other food items. Bibimbap is cheap and easy to make, only requiring a short preparation time and few ingredients. Most ingredients are available in your kitchen.

There are several types of bibimbap. Regular bibimbap includes sliced vegetables, lean meat, and hot pepper paste spread on a bed of short grain rice, served in a cool, shallow bowl. A egg is placed on top.

Dolsot bibimbap includes more vegetables and meat in a thick stoneware bowl. The bowl is extremely hot and people are advised not to touch it. A raw egg is placed on top to finish off the dish.

Hweodopbap is another version of bibimbap that uses fish instead of meat. Fresher food, such as cucumbers, lettuce, and a milder paste are used. Hweodopbap is typically enjoyed in the summer because of its refreshing, cool taste.

Bibimbap rarely uses any sauces, besides hot pepper paste, when prepared. Some people opt to add sesame oil to the bottom of the dish to make it crunchier.

Many Koreans believe bibimbap is based on a similar royal dish from the Middle Ages. It is strikingly similar to royal cuisine prepared in that time, using fresh, elaborate ingredients to make a visually appealing meal. Koreans believe this dish also heals the body, gives off energy, and helps ward off illness during the winter. Recently, science has proven it is a beneficial Korean food–especially if you want to lose weight.

Why Bibimbap Is a Great Diet Food

Why is bibimbap a great diet food? Although it is a high caloric diet food, the portions are enormous, meaning you stay full longer. Bibimbap never uses any artificial ingredients–natural, organic ingredients make the bulk of this diet dish. Green leafy vegetables, lean meat, and shredded seaweed provide numerous health and dietary benefits to people who want to lose weight fast, so make sure to fill up. A healthy diet ensures a slimmer waistline.

Calories in Bibimbap

Bibimbap is slightly higher in calories compared to other diet food choices. According to Calorie King, expect 560 calories in a single serving. Other variations, like Dolsot Bibimbap, are higher in calories due to the oils used to prepare it.

You can easily reduce the calories, however. As with most Korean food, most of the calories are from the rice and meat, and the best way to trim the fat is by getting rid of the meat. You can also divide portions in half (expect four cups in a single serving). Bibimbap is a very filling food, however, so you probably won’t eat as much if you add it to your diet.

Nutritional Benefits of Bibimbap

Bibimbap is also very nutritious. According to Calorie King, bibimbap packs an overwhelming 18g of protein, 83mg of calcium, and 572mg of potassium per serving, making it an extremely healthy diet food. Several studies show that calcium boosts weight loss, including one study reported by the Journal of Nutrition. According to the study, women who consumed over 1,000mg of calcium per day lost up to 20% more weight, increased their lean mass tissue, and ate significantly less calories.

Protein is also essential for weight loss because it promotes lean muscle tissue, which increases the metabolism. Your body is able to burn more calories if you have more lean muscle tissue, so make sure to eat plenty of this diet food.

This post is part of the series: Dietary Benefits of Korean Food

Korean food is filling, nutritious, and probably Korea’s best kept secret. Let’s explore the hidden benefits of Korean food — both for your health and your waistline.
  1. Why Kimchi Prevents Obesity
  2. Bibimbap, Korea’s Best Diet Food
  3. Why Korean BBQ (Kalbi) is Great for Any Diet
  4. Bokkeumbap: A Look At Healthy Korean Fried Rice
  5. How to Lose Weight With Kimchi Stew
  6. Gochujang, Korea’s Healthiest Diet Condiment