Pickles are indeed a healthy food that is loved by many and makes a great snack; however, are pickles a healthy snack food for a keto diet?
Read this article to find out more about their nutritional value, the types; fermented pickles and unfermented pickles, and whether you should still eat them while on a ketogenic diet.
This article also covers how pickles are made and whether they are allowed on the keto diet.
If you have never had pickles before, read on to find out whether they are an excellent addition to your diet!
Keto Pickles: You Can Enjoy Some Ketogenic Pickle Brands?
What are Pickles?
Pickles are a low-carb snack that is delicious and relatively healthy for your body. They can be made from just about any vegetable, but cucumber is the most popular.
Pickles, particularly fermented pickles, are high in sodium, but they’re rich in antioxidants that are linked to numerous health benefits.
Generally, pickles have a tangy crunch that packs an intense flavor.
Different Types of Pickles
There are several different kinds of pickles. Here are a few of the most common types.
1) Refrigerator pickles
Refrigerator pickles contain all of the usual suspects. The most common refrigerator pickle in the US is Claussen’s.
2) Sour pickles
Sour pickles, on the other hand, ferment solely in salt water. Sour pickles are available in half-sour and full-sour varieties.
They ferment for two months or longer, but they’re significantly sourer than regular pickles.
Cornichons are commonly known as gherkins, but in France, they’re called cornichons.
These little cucumbers are pickled at an early stage and often eaten with sandwiches or eggs. Although cornichons resemble cucumbers, they’re not actual cucumbers.
4) Bread and butter pickles
Bread and butter pickles are another favorite.
They are made with various ingredients, including salt, white vinegar, coriander seeds, and celery seeds, bread and butter pickles have a distinctly sweet flavor.
5) Dill pickles
Dill pickles are a popular addition to sandwiches and salads. They are made with pickled cucumbers.
They are typically pickled in vinegar or brine, then left to ferment.
6) Sweet pickles
Sweetened pickles can contain up to eight grams of net carbs per ounce, which are primarily added sugars.
You can also have pickles made of lime, carrots, onions, sweet and hot peppers, grapefruit, cauliflower, and much more.
How are Pickles Made?
Many fruits and vegetables can be used to make pickles and they are all made basically using the same technique for the cucumber pickles.
First, the cucumbers are washed and sliced, then placed in a liquid mixture of slightly boiled garlic, fresh dill, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and other spices into a pickling jar.
If you have made your own keto-friendly pickles, they can last up to two months.
Nutritional Value of Pickles
Although the nutritional value of pickles may vary, they are generally low-carb and low-calorie foods.
The carb content of pickles is dependent on the pickling process, so read the label carefully to know the exact amount.
Raw cucumbers contain only 2 grams of carbs per cup, while sliced cucumbers contain about 1 gram of net carbs.
Pickles containing added sugars should be avoided.
Sweet pickles are the most carb-dense type.
They generally contain a fair amount of sugar, and some varieties contain over 30 grams of carbohydrates per serving! This type of pickle is not suitable for those on a low-carb diet.
Another important consideration for pickles is their sodium content. A couple of small spears contain about 600 milligrams of sodium.
Most people should avoid pickles with more than 2000mg of sodium per day, but a handful of keto-friendly pickles should be a good option for beginners to practice watching their sodium intake.
3) Vitamins and minerals
Although pickles contain hidden sugars and lectins, they are still a healthy snack.
While some keto-ers worry about their potential for causing keto flu, pickles can also have benefits for your health.
Pickles contain vitamin C and other essential vitamins and minerals that will help you burn fat, reduce cholesterol, improve gut health, and regulate insulin levels.
They can even aid in weight loss if you drink the pickle juice that comes from them.
4) Rich in electrolytes
Dill pickle does not have much sugar and is rich in electrolytes.
They are also helpful for athletes who are dehydrated or depleted.
5) high in probiotics
Homemade pickles are also high in probiotics, which are known to promote good bacteria.
These healthy bacteria will aid in digestion and in the prevention of gastrointestinal conditions.
Can I Have Pickles on a Keto Diet?
The answer is yes, pickles are allowed on the low-carb diet, but they must be kept in mind that they contain carbs, and not all pickles have a low carb content.
For example, this is the number of net carbs you would get from a 2/3-cup (100-gram) serving of different types of sliced pickles:
- Candied: 39 grams
- Bread and butter: 20 grams
- Sweet: 20 grams
- Dill: 1.5 grams
- Sour: 1 gram
Whether you choose sweet or sour pickles, your carb count will depend on what type you purchase.
Conventional fried pickles, for example, contain up to 60 grams of net carbs per serving.
Bread and butter pickles are also not allowed on the keto diet because they contain added sugar. However, if you’re looking for a keto-friendly snack, these can be the way to go.
Depending on the variety, pickles may have a few grams or a lot of carbs, depending on the amount.
Low-carb pickles can have as little as 1g of carbs per ounce.
However, spicy pickles may have more than this amount.
If you are on a strict carb-counting diet, you may want to limit your pickle intake to one ounce per day.
Keto-ers often add pickles to other recipes, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Pickles are also low-calorie and high-flavor snacks that can be enjoyed without compromising your goals.
However, always remember to check the labels for the net carb content.
Pickles come in many shapes and forms and can be a great addition to your ketogenic diet.
If you decide to eat pickles, be mindful that not all types of pickles are suitable for the best low-carb life.
As such, you purchase or make keto-friendly pickles.
Read the product labels well to check for carbs content, and you should also pay attention to how much sugar and sodium are in each serving.
Eating pickles with high sugar and salt content or even drinking pickle juice can cause weight gain and other chronic conditions.
Most pickles are filled with health benefits, like being rich in antioxidants; just choose wisely the next time you go shopping for your keto diet.