Kimchi or Yogurt: Which Traditional Probiotic Will Be Better for You?

Rohit Panwar

What would you choose if you had to pick between two fermented foods- kimchi vs yogurt? Are you well informed about their specific properties?

As a nutritionist, I will help you understand everything you need to know about kimchi and yogurt. Let’s explore their origin, nutrition and health benefits to decide which is better for you. 

Kimchi vs Yogurt: Unravelling Nutrition & Benefit Differences

Before we delve in, let’s take a brief look at the different aspects of kimchi vs yogurt:


Vegetables, Spices & Brine


Milk & Yogurt Culture


2-6 Weeks


8-12 Hours


Spicy, Salty & Sugary


Sweet & Sour


50-100 grams


1-2 Cups






4.7 g*


4.75 g*


0 g*


3.3 g*


1.17 g*


3.5 g*


47 mg*


123.3 mg*


341 mg*


47 mg*


1.2 g*


0 g*


Very Good


Very Good




Morning or Noon


Very Good


Very Good




Very Good










Very Good


Very Good


3-6 Months


2-3 Days

*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100 grams

How Are Kimchi vs Yogurt Made?

Kimchi is a traditional staple food of Korea. The main ingredients of kimchi are chili powder, garlic and napa cabbage. Besides that, scallions, fish sauce and shrimp paste are also used to enhance the flavor. 

To prepare kimchi, vegetables are soaked in a brine which is made with salt and water. After that, chili and garlic powder are added along with other ingredients. 

Originated in Middle East Asia, yogurt has been part of human civilization for thousands of years. Yogurt is a mix of lukewarm milk and yogurt culture. This culture is basically live friendly bacteria and easily available in the store. 

Kimchi vs Yogurt: Difference in the Taste and Texture

In recent years kimchi became widely known throughout the world due to its flavorful combination of spicy, salty and sour taste. It has a crunchy and slightly chewy texture.

However, garlic and shrimp sauce gives it a strong smell which can be off putting for some. 

Yogurt has a thick consistency which depends on the variety of milk you are using. it. Whole milk yogurt is thicker than low fat milk yogurt.

Its mild taste allows you to add many different kinds of flavors in it. You can add fruits, honey or salt according to your preferences.

What Is the Daily Recommended Quantity of Kimchi vs Yogurt?

You can have 50-100 grams of kimchi a day. Remember it is a spicy and salty food so stick with the suggested intake. Also, if you are having kimchi for the first time then start with a small amount to get adjusted with flavor.  

It is absolutely fine to add 1 cup of yogurt to your regular diet. However, in the hot weather you can consume up to 2 cups of it. It refreshes you and keeps you hydrated. 

How Do Kimchi & Yogurt Fare Against Dairy Kombucha, A Popular Probiotic Drink?

| Kimchi Vs Kombucha |

| Yogurt Vs Kombucha |

Which Has More Calories: Kimchi vs Yogurt?

Your body needs constant energy to work which we get from the food. The energy in the food is called calorie. Each individual’s caloric needs are different depending on various aspects such as age, gender and how active they are. 

If you are highly active throughout the day then you need more energy. In that case yogurt will be a better option for you, since it has more calories than kimchi. 

The Lower Carbs Option: Kimchi or Yogurt

Kimchi and yogurt have the same amount of carbs. If you are looking for a low carb option between kimchi and yogurt, then you can pick any.  

However, kimchi’s daily intake recommendation is much lower than yogurt. 50-100 grams of kimchi a day won’t add much to your daily carbs intake.  

Kimchi or Yogurt: Which Contains Less Fat?

When it comes to lower fat content, then go for kimchi. Kimchi doesn’t contain any fat, hence it is a better option for the people who are looking for zero fat fermented foods. 

Fat in yogurt depends on which kind of milk is used to make it. If you want to reduce your fat intake then opt for low fat milk for your homemade yogurt.  

Kimchi or Yogurt: A Better Source of Protein 

Most of the plant based products contain less protein compared to dairy products. If you want to increase your protein intake or want to make some muscles then opt yogurt over kimchi. 

Not only yogurt is a good source of protein, it also has a good amount of whey protein, which is consumed to gain muscles. 

Kimchi or Yogurt: A Sodium Rich Option

It is recommended that you consume sodium between 2300-1500 mg a day. Your body needs very less amount of sodium to work efficiently, hence less is better in terms of sodium intake. 

Kimchi is a sodium rich food, and that’s the reason it is necessary to consume it in moderation. If you are adding kimchi in your food then don’t put extra salt in it otherwise your recipe can be too salty. 

What to Choose for Higher Calcium Intake: Kimchi or Yogurt?

In terms of calcium, kimchi and yogurt have a significant difference. Yogurt has much more calcium compared to kimchi. 

Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, buttermilk etc are excellent sources of calcium. Besides that, the body absorbs dairy calcium more efficiently compared to plant based products’ calcium

Is Kimchi Better Than Yogurt for Fiber?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate which the body can’t digest. It is needed to maintain a healthy bowel movement, lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases and some types of cancer. 

Vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes are the rich sources of dietary fiber. Since kimchi is made of vegetables, it is a fiber rich product. On the contrary yogurt doesn’t contain any fiber. 

Kimchi vs Yogurt: Which Is Nutritionally Superior?

Since a variety of ingredients are used to prepare kimchi, it provides you with many nutrients. Besides being a low carbs and fiber rich, kimchi is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, niacin, iron, riboflavin and folate. 

Yogurt contains more calcium and protein than kimchi. It also has many other micronutrients such as vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorus, riboflavin etc. 

This shows that both the products are quite diverse in terms of nutrition. However, kimchi is comparatively more diverse and yogurt is more nutrient dense. 

Right Time of the Day to Have Kimchi vs Yogurt 

You can have kimchi in the morning or in the afternoon. However, its pungent ingredients such as garlic and shrimp paste may not motivate you to have it with your first meal of the day.

I will suggest adding kimchi with your lunch as a side dish. 

Yogurt is a great add on to your breakfast and lunch. You can start your day with a yogurt based smoothie or bowl of yogurt with rolled oats or muesli. 

Adding yogurt with your lunch will give you freshness to be active during the day. 

Compare Probiotics in Kimchi vs Yogurt for Your Gut Health

Probiotic foods such as kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, kefir etc. enhances the diversity of gut microbes. These gut microbes not only help to promote your gut health but improve your immunity. 

For easy digestion, kimchi is slightly better than yogurt since it is a fiber rich food. Fiber prevents constipation and keeps your stomach happy. 

Better Option for Oral and Bone Health: Kimchi or Yogurt

Kimchi is a rich source of vitamin K2 which is an important micronutrient for your bone density and teeth.  Kimchi also contains garlic, which is known for its antibacterial properties and helps to reduce plaque and gingivitis. 

On the other side, yogurt is a rich source of protein and calcium which are essential nutrients for bones and teeth. Yogurt also has a good amount of potassium and phosphorus which are helpful to enhance your overall oral health. 

How Kimchi vs Yogurt Impact Mother Earth?

Kimchi is a plant based product whereas yogurt is a dairy product. Plant based foods are a better option for the ecosystem compared to dairy products. 

Dairy production consumes a big chunk of natural resources such as water and land. Dairy also has a higher carbon footprint compared to plant based food industry.  This makes kimchi a more sustainable option compared to yogurt. 

A Vegan Friendly Choice: Kimchi or Yogurt

If you follow veganism then it is important to see the ingredients of the kimchi. Make sure you buy a brand which doesn’t use animal based products.

I recommend making your own kimchi at home in that case because most packed kimchi contains shrimp and fish sauces. Yogurt is a dairy product, hence can’t be added to a vegan platter. 

How Differently Kimchi vs Yogurt Can Be Used in the Kitchen?

Having kimchi in your fridge can be really helpful to add lots of flavor to any dish. You can add it to fried rice, fried noodles, soups or stews.

Sprinkle kimchi on top of your salads to give them extra flavor.  Kimchi can be added as a side dish with your meal or you can have it as a snack or appetizer. 

Yogurt is my all time favorite dairy product which has a fixed spot in my refridgrator. It is an excellent alternative to milk for smoothies or shakes.

You can also use yogurt for baking to give extra softness and to add a pinch of sourness to your breads or cookies. You can also add it to your pancake mix.

Which Can Be Stored Longer: Kimchi or Yogurt?

Compared to yogurt, kimchi has a longer shelf life. Kimchi can be stored for up to 6 months whereas yogurt can stay fresh just for 2-3 days. Use a container with a tight lid to store kimchi in your fridge to avoid any smell in the fridge. 

It is best to consume yogurt as fresh as possible. Once the fermentation is over, put it in the fridge otherwise it will become too sour to use. 

Kimchi and yogurt both have their own properties and they fit into different nutritional needs and personal preferences. So, I will suggest picking which suits you best.

Hope you are now much informed about kimchi vs yogurt to choose the right one for yourself.  Awaiting your feedback. 

Rohit Panwar

Hi! I'm Integrated Nutrition Coach Rohit Panwar. I hold twin Certifications from IIN, New York & SAFM, Massachusetts. I am a passionate vocalist of holistic lifestyle and have fully committed the past several years to educate & empower people towards their wellbeing. Despite a successful yet hectic corporate stint of 21+ years, I have prioritised nutriment in my life. I truly hope my personal journey from illness to wellness helps everybody reading this forge their own path.