Are Pickles Keto-Friendly?
It's interesting to know that basically everything can be pickled. Green beans. Yellow squash. Cherries. Strawberries. The list goes on. But let's talk about a particular (perhaps, the most popular) pickle—cucumbers.
Keto-ers have debated whether pickles are ketogenic-friendly or not. On one side, they believe pickles have hidden sugar and other content that can bounce you out of ketosis.
On the other side, they rave about how pickles make a great keto-friendly snack as not only are they delicious but filled with essential vitamins and minerals as well.
Which could be correct? Are pickles welcome in the keto world?
Health Benefits of Pickles
There are two kinds of pickles: fermented and unfermented.
Fermented pickles offer the most health benefits, but that doesn't necessarily mean that unfermented pickles aren't healthy for you.
When fruits or veggies go fermentation, healthy bacteria break down sugar that produces the sour taste.
Fermented foods can clear your skin, reduce inflammation, and can even improve your insulin sensitivity, according to Health & Nutrition Letter.
Basically, fermented pickles are great because of their probiotics, which promote a healthy gut.
Unfermented pickles, on the other hand, use vinegar to give you that sour taste. They may not have probiotics, but you can still get the health benefits that come from the cucumbers, spices, and vinegar.
In fact, many people are obsessed with drinking pickle juice as it can relieve muscle cramps, lower blood sugar levels, and are packed with vitamins C and E.
Another great thing about pickles is that they have high sodium content. We've been taught how high-sodium foods can be bad for our health, but it's actually a good thing for keto-ers, especially for those who are new to the lifestyle.
Beginners on the keto diet may likely experience flu-like symptoms because of the lack of sodium intake.
That can be easily amended by pickles. Eat two small spears, and you'll fill up your body with 600 mg of sodium!
Are Pickles Keto-Friendly?
Pickles are no doubt healthy for the body, but are they keto-approved?
As mentioned in the beginning, there are two schools of thought whether pickles are ketogenic-friendly or not. The answer might surprise you...
Absolutely YES, and certainly NO!
Many believe that pickles contain lectins. If you don't know what lectins are, they are plant proteins that can cause weight gain and inflammation.
They can be found in cucumber seeds, and they don't just magically disappear when you pickle the veg.
Instead of buying pickles in the grocery, it's best to make your own pickles using seedless spears of cucumbers.
Some brands contain sugar. But this shouldn't be an issue, especially if it only has minimal carbs per serving.
In general, pickles are keto-friendly. They are low in carbs and have fewer calories. A 100 g serving of pickled cucumber yields only 2.3 g (1.2 g of which is dietary fiber).
Fermented and unfermented pickled cucumber taste the same, but fermented pickles are healthier because they contain probiotics, which can improve your digestive health.
Best Pickle Snacks
One of the best ways to enjoy pickles is to eat them straight from the jar.
Another way to enjoy them is by dipping them in ranch, thousand island dressings, or bleu cheese.
But if you don't want to try something new, then you can try these keto-friendly pickle snacks:
Wrap one large spear with an ounce of sliced deli meat and an ounce of sliced cheese.
Tuna Pickle Boats
In a small bowl, mix light flaked tuna (drained) and 1/4 cup sugar-free light mayo. Add salt and pepper.
Grab a pickle and cut it lengthwise in half.
Spoon the tuna into the pickles.
Are pickles keto-approved? Yes, as long as you choose the kind that has minimal carbs content.
Pickles are undeniably healthy. They offer a lot of benefits to the body.
We suggest making your own pickle using seedless cucumber, so you won't get lectins inside your system.
Again, lectins can cause you to gain weight, which is something you wouldn't want.