If you have ever followed the keto diet or have been studying about it on the internet all this while, you know how strict it is. The controlled proportions of the high fat, low carb diet make dieters question everything. One of these questions is – Are Pickles Keto Friendly?
The internet seems torn between those in favor and those against using pickles while on keto.
They have their reasons.
But the short answer is: Pickles are keto-friendly – until you ensure you are eating the right ones, the right amount.
Are Pickles Keto Friendly? What Makes Them So?
The fundamentals of the keto diet are such – you eat low carbs, high fats, and moderate proteins. You should ensure that all you eat is whole foods, and nothing processed, refined, or with added sugars.
When you follow a keto diet plan, your body starts creating ketones as it goes into the phase of ketosis.
Ketosis is when your body converts fat into energy due to the lack of its regular fuel – the carbs. It’s the process of ketosis that brings about benefits of the keto diet like weight loss, better skin, and whatnot.
So, until your pickles let you reach and stay in ketosis and level up your health, they are keto-friendly.
Here’s how pickles support ketosis:
- Pickles Have Low Carbs.
Low carbs are the fundamental requirement of a keto diet, and pickles fulfill that.
The keto diet allows us to consume 20 to 50g of carbs. (1)
How many carbs are there in pickles? A 100g serving of dill pickles contains 1.99g of carbs. (2)
Considering the dietary fiber is 1g, the net carbs in pickles are just 0.99g. With such low amounts of carbs, pickles make a great keto-friendly snack.
(Read more: Difference Between Net Carbs and Total Carbs)
- They Help Avoid Keto Flu.
Do you know how pickles are made – what their key ingredients are?
Usually, we immerse fresh fruit or vegetables like cucumbers in saltwater brine, until they are no longer raw to make pickles. The primary ingredients here are cucumber and salt.
These two ingredients make pickles a weapon against conditions like keto diarrhea. That’s because they make pickles rich in sodium and other electrolytes that help your kidneys retain water.
While in other diets, pickles may appear salty, in keto they are no less than a boon. That’s because other foods that come under keto, lack the right amount of electrolytes your body needs. Without pickles, you may have to depend on electrolyte drinks to avoid dreadful keto flu symptoms.
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- They Add To Keto’s Health Benefits.
You know about the primary keto benefits. It helps lose weight, is fantastic for the skin, great for immunity, and may also prevent diabetes, among other things.
Pickles complement these gains with their own qualities. For instance:
- If your pickle is fermented, you get probiotic benefits. That means better gut health.
- Pickles have several minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium that prevent any electrolyte imbalance.
- They have components like lutein and zeaxanthin that have anti-inflammatory qualities. Inflamed tissues for a long time can damage the body’s organs and overwhelm its immune system. So pickles can help strengthen immunity.
- Pickles have vitamins A, C, and E. This means tons of nourishment for your body.
- The main ingredient of pickles is cucumber – a highly hydrating vegetable.
Bonus – they are a great snack option.
When dipped into other keto-friendly things, such as ranch, bleu cheddar, or salads, pickles are irresistible.
What Makes Pickles Not Keto Friendly?
Some believe that the lectins found in cucumbers – the primary ingredient of pickles – are not keto-friendly. Lectins – the plant-based proteins – may increase your weight and cause inflammation. Thus opposing the health benefits of keto.
However, there are different studies, and proper research in humans is lacking, so it’s difficult to understand the truth.
But lectin does have some toxicity, and it may make absorption of minerals difficult.
- What to do?
When it comes to pickles, lectins are primarily present in the seeds of cucumbers. To avoid its disadvantages, use seedless cucumbers in your pickle.
Pickles can be of many types. There’s the sour dill pickles you can enjoy or the sugary bread and butter pickles or candied pickles.
But keto doesn’t allow sugar, so the latter types may not work well.
Two-thirds of a cup of sweetened, sliced pickles contains about 32 grams of net carbs. This means that you could easily meet or exceed your daily carb intake with just one portion. (3)
- What to do?
Eat dill pickles, not the bread and butter or candied types. And read the labels first to make sure of your carb content.
The High Amount You Consume
Now, if you eat any sweetened pickles, there’s no way you can accommodate any other sources of carbs in your diet when following keto. The problem is – most other foods do have some amounts of carbs, so it’s necessary to accommodate.
But if you eat dill (unsweetened) pickles, you may not only enjoy them more but also have other foods enough to fulfill your nutritional needs and your belly.
- What to do?
See what other carbs you are eating, and make sure the carb content doesn’t go beyond 20 to 50g (recommended amount) in a day.
Home Made Pickle Recipe To Ensure It’s Keto Friendly
- Wash 5-6 mini cucumbers thoroughly.
- Slice them vertically and remove the seeds (if you care about the lectin content).
- Then, in a mason glass jar, combine them and season with salt to taste.
- Add 1 cup white vinegar, two garlic cloves, and 1 tablespoon dill seeds to the mix.
- Pour a cup of hot water over the cucumbers’ tops and place them in the refrigerator for two or three days to soak.
Your pickles will now be ready to cherish.
So, are pickles keto-friendly? Yes, they are! But you need to ensure that you eat the right kind of pickles and don’t overeat them.
The best way to know that you are eating the correct pickles with the right amount of carbs is to make your own batch at home. Since you now know the recipe, you know it’s easy too.
Have any other questions about pickles or the keto diet? Drop them in the comments below!
Are Pickles Keto FAQs
Can You Have Pickles On Keto?
Yes, you can have pickles on keto. But choose dill pickles and make sure you don’t overeat them. It’s better to eat homemade pickles to ensure this.
Are Dill Pickles Keto Friendly?
Yes, Dill pickles are keto-friendly. Just make sure they are seedless and that you don’t eat them excessively.