Cabbage is a member of the mustard family, a group of plants which contain both healthy and low-caloric foods such as broccoli. Its low calorie count fueled some of the claims behind the formation of a fad diet, claiming to promise quick weight loss. From a nutritional standpoint, cabbage is an excellent addition to your diet. Its low calories and low carbohydrate content may have some merit for lowering your weight.
As an addition to your diet, cabbage has a lot to offer. It is low in calories, with only 17 calories in a half cup of boiled cabbage. It will also provide an excellent source of dietary vitamin C, potassium and manganese. It also contains good amounts of nutrients which support metabolism including vitamins A, B1, B2 and B6. These nutrients maintain tissue health as you lose weight, and the B-complex vitamins also support your metabolism.
Effect on Appetite
One way in which cabbage can help your control your weight exists in its effects on blood sugar. Drops in blood sugar can trigger cravings and hunger pangs which can lead to overeating. Research on humans is limited. However, testing on animals has yielded some compelling evidence. A 2009 study by Seoul National University in South Korea found that feeding diabetic rats cabbage stabilized blood sugar and improved glucose tolerance. Blood sugar stabilization is a key component of a diabetic meal plan. The value of including cabbage in your diet may lie in its effects to prevent overeating rather than stimulating weight loss. You may find however, that you can lose weight if you substitute cabbage for foods with higher calorie counts.
Restrictive Cabbage-Based Diets
A solely cabbage-based diet is one of many fad diets which revolved around a particular food. The premise of the diet claims you can achieve significant weight loss by consuming unlimited amounts of cabbage soup with select foods for seven days. Because it involves extreme food restriction and a very low calorie intake, it is not unlike fasting. Any dietary restriction will bring about weight loss, especially when accompanied by exercise. However, restricting your diet to one type of food will likely lead to diet boredom, and also leaves you vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies.
Other Diet Plans
While a diet built around cabbage may not be the best choice, you can certainly incorporate cabbage into your diet as part of a healthy eating plan which can help you control your weight. Several diet plans include plenty of fresh vegetables, such as the Mediterranean diet. Some low-carbohdrate diets, for example, specify cabbage along with other vegetables and salad greens because of its low carbohydrate content. A half cup of boiled cabbage contains only 4 grams of carbohydrates.
- Organic Facts: Nutritional Value of Cabbage and Iceberg Lettuce
- University of Wisconsin-Madison: Fad Diets
- "Atkins for Life : The Complete Controlled Carb Program for Permanent Weight Loss"; R. Atkins; 2004
- "Journal of Medicinal Food"; Antidiabetic Effect of Korean Traditional Baechu (Chinese Cabbage) Kimchi in a Type 2 Diabetes Model of Rats; M. Islam and H. Choi; April 2009
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.