Japanese medical experts recommend eating cabbage before meals to lose weight and better control diabetes

In Japan, many medical experts and renowned health institutions recommend that people suffering from diabetes or obesity from eating cabbage before a meal to promote weight loss and reduce blood sugar.

Professor Koichiro Fujita, a leading figure in immunology, eats a small portion of pickled cabbage before each meal, which has helped him improve body weight, gout and severe diabetes.

Furthermore, thanks to this regular consumption of cabbage before meals, a respiratory disease specialist reported losing 20 kg in three months.

According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, 100 g of raw cabbage contains about 30 calories, 0.96 g of protein and several minerals, including 42 mg of calcium, 13.9 mg of magnesium, 27 mg of phosphorus, 207 mg of potassium, 16 mg of sodium, 0.21 mg of zinc, as well as 40.3 mg of vitamin C.

A doctor heals

Fujita initially worked as a plastic surgeon before switching to immunology, in which he became a specialist. However, despite his expertise in immunology, he did not prioritize his own health. As he reached his fifties, he did not restrict his diet, eating whatever he wanted and drinking alcohol freely. As a result, he developed diabetes, gout and was losing his hair.

Professor Fujita suffered two diabetic emergencies. The first occurred in 2000; His condition improved after insulin treatment. However, in 2010, his health deteriorated again and his blood sugar level reached 4.5 g/l, four times the maximum healthy level of 1.2 g/l. He is 1.77 m tall and weighs 88 kg.

Diabetes is a chronic, multifactorial disease that arises from genetic and lifestyle factors. The number of patients with type 2 diabetes is increasing around the world. According to data from the International Diabetes Federation, 537 million adults (20 to 79 years old) live with diabetes. This number is expected to reach 643 million in 2030 and 783 million in 2045. In 2021 alone, diabetes caused 6.7 million deaths, or one death every 5 seconds.

To get healthy, Mr. Fujita decided to lose weight. After trying several methods and doing research, he chose to eat more cabbage to limit his sugar intake. He ate a small bowl of cabbage, about 100g, before meals. Sometimes he ate it raw, sometimes marinated in vinegar.

After eating cabbage for two weeks, my blood sugar dropped to 0.9 g/l. Two months later, his triglyceride level went from 3 g/l to 1.5 g/l (the standard value is less than 1.5 g/l). After four months, the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level dropped from almost 11% to 6%.

In the process, he also lost up to 15 kg. Additionally, he received relief from several chronic illnesses such as gout and fatty liver, leading to a remarkable improvement in his overall health.

Fight “greasy bacteria”

In his book titled Eradicate fatty bacteria and lose weight with cabbage and vinegar diet before meals (ndt. Eradicate certain bacteria and lose weight with a cabbage diet before meals). Fujita says that Karina Maruyama, a former player for the Japanese women’s national football team, tried the weight loss method by eating cabbage soaked in vinegar. She lost 2.2 kg in two weeks and saw her waist circumference decrease by 7.6 cm.

Fujita explained on a Japanese television program that some people, despite their best efforts, have difficulty losing weight, which may be due to excess intestinal bacteria. These bacteria called Bacillota are known for storing fats and sugars. If they are in excess in the intestine, they absorb a significant amount of energy, which leads to weight gain. On the other hand, the intestine also hosts “lean bacteria” belonging to a group called Bacteroidota, which have the particularity of burning fat.
According to Fujita, “fat” bacteria and “skinny” bacteria have a competitive relationship in the intestine. As the population of “fat” bacteria increases, the number of “skinny” bacteria decreases and, conversely, an increase in “lean” bacteria leads to a reduction in “fat” bacteria.

To lose weight, it is essential to reduce the number of “fat” bacteria in the intestine and create an environment conducive to an increase in the population of “skinny” bacteria. “Fat” bacteria feed on foods low in dietary fiber, rich in fat and sugar, while lean bacteria prefer foods rich in dietary fiber, low in fat and sugar.

Fujita explains that cabbage – a cruciferous vegetable – is rich in dietary fiber, which can increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the intestine. Additionally, the acetic acid in vinegar increases the acidity of the intestine, creating an environment conducive to the growth of beneficial bacteria. Both cabbage and vinegar are low in fat and sugar, making them an ideal combination for reducing “fatty” bacteria and increasing “lean” bacteria.

Additionally, Koichiro Fujita says that vinegar can also inhibit the rapid rise in blood sugar levels after meals, soften blood vessels, and reduce blood pressure. Cabbage also has strong antioxidant properties, capable of eliminating free radicals, which are one of the main causes of disease and aging.

Last February, the magazine Diabetes care published a complete search in which researchers analyzed 54,793 participants aged between 50 and 64 years, with an average follow-up of 16.3 years. The results showed that higher total vegetable intake, especially green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables, was significantly associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. In particular, participants in the highest vegetable intake group had a higher total vegetable intake 21% lower. risk of type 2 diabetes than participants in the lower consumption group.

The Cabbage Weight Loss Diet Favored by Japanese Medical Experts

Yoshinori Terashi, renowned specialist at the Japanese Society of Allergology and director of the Terashi Clinic, ate a sixth of cabbage before each meal, which allowed him to lose 20 kg in just three months. Another hospital director in Japan used the same method and lost almost 42 kg.

In his article, Dr. Terashi states that eating cabbage is a weight loss method that does not require dieting and promotes overall health.

More than ten years ago, Dr. Terashi was overweight: at 1.67 m, he weighed 90 kg. His waist was almost 96 cm and he had high triglyceride and blood glucose levels. He also suffered from sleep apnea.

To lose weight, Dr. Terashi got into the habit of eating a sixth or a quarter of a cabbage before each meal. He usually blanched the cabbage or prepared it into a salad and chewed it well to achieve a feeling of satiety before the main meal, thus naturally reducing his overall food intake. In the first month he lost 10 kg, then 6 kg in the second month and 4 kg in the third month, a total weight loss of 20 kg. His waist also decreased by 15 cm. All of his blood tests came back normal and his sleep apnea symptoms disappeared, allowing him to enjoy uninterrupted sleep throughout the night.

Dr. Terashi also noticed that, in addition to the substantial weight loss, her skin became radiant, without wrinkles or sagging. Since then, he has frequently recommended the cabbage-based weight loss diet to his patients. For elderly people and people with dental problems, it is suggested to blanch the cabbage or briefly soak it in hot water to soften it.

He also explained that the phytochemicals and dietary fiber in cabbage are naturally heat resistant, meaning they do not break down even when boiled. Therefore, there is no need to worry about nutrient loss due to heat.

Kiyoshi Uchiba, director of Ooka Hospital in Nagano, who was 6 feet tall and weighed 122 kg in 2005, lost 14 kg in two weeks and 41.5 kg in six months. Dr. Uchiba also believes that eating vegetables slowly before meals stimulates the satiety center in the brain, preventing overeating. Additionally, according to Dr. Uchiba, the dietary fiber in cabbage can protect the intestinal lining.

Dr. Nina Ishihara, deputy director of the Ishihara Clinic, incorporated 100 g of cabbage into her daily diet and managed to lose 5 kg in just four months. She replaced the main dish with cabbage and supplemented it with appropriate side dishes. Even when her weight fluctuated slightly, she maintained control by adjusting the amount of cabbage in her meals.

She believes that the main health problem among middle-aged and elderly people is hypertension, the main cause of which is excess salt. Cabbage is rich in potassium, which makes it easier to eliminate salt.

Cabbage not only offers weight loss benefits but also contributes to overall beauty and health. Ishihara suggests soaking cabbage in vinegar, noting that the vinegar’s acetic acid can help relieve fatigue and has been shown to effectively improve liver function by aiding the breakdown of alcohol.

Dr. Ishihara’s recommended method for preparing vinegar-soaked cabbage:


– 1/2 cabbage (500g)

– 500 ml vinegar (grain or rice)

– 2 to 3 fresh red peppers


Sterilize a glass jar by rinsing it with boiling water and letting it dry.
Cut the cabbage into thin strips or whatever shape you want and place it in the jar.
Add red pepper (optional for those who don’t like spicy foods).
Pour the vinegar until it completely covers the cabbage.
Close the jar with a lid and refrigerate.
The cabbage will be ready to serve in 12 to 24 hours, when it softens.

Note: Although the cabbage weight loss method is simple and healthy, it is not suitable for everyone. People with thyroid disorders or a tendency to bloating should not consume large amounts of cabbage. Additionally, people with digestive disorders should avoid eating raw cabbage to avoid stomach discomfort.

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