Are Pickles Good For Weight Loss?

Are Pickles Good For Weight Loss?

Staff Writer
5 minute read

Are Pickles Good For Weight Loss?

What are Pickles?

Pickles are cucumbers that have been pickled in brine containing vinegar, salt, and other flavors. The process of pickling involves soaking cucumbers or other veggies in a mixture of vinegar, water, and salt for a long period of time. 

Types of Pickles

Since eating different types of pickles might have a different effect on the body, it is essential for us to understand what makes each type unique. Listed below are some of the most popular types of pickles:

  • Kosher (Dill) Pickles. This is the most popular type of pickles made with vinegar, water, salt, and the herb dill. 

  • Gherkins. These are just like pickles except they are made with bay cucumbers that are only a few centimeters long. 

  • Bread and butter/Sweet and sour/Sweetened pickles. This type of pickles is made with added sweeteners, particularly sugar, to give them a slightly sweet flavor. 

Are Pickles Good For Weight Loss? 

Yes, pickles are good for weight loss. The main reason pickles are good for weight loss is their low-calorie content. 100 grams of pickles contain only 11 calories. On a normal 2000 calorie diet, this is less than 1% of your daily calorie intake. Even on a low-calorie diet such as a 1200 calorie diet 11 calories is only about 1% of your calorie intake. 

The second reason pickles are good for weight loss is because they contain vinegar. Some research shows that vinegar can act as a weight loss aid. While the true mechanism through which vinegar aids weight loss is not fully understood, some scientists suspect that it slows down the absorption of sugar in the gut.

By slowing down the absorption of sugar in the gut, vinegar can also slow down its conversion to fat.  

Health Benefits of pickles 

  • Low in calories. Like we saw before, pickles are very low in calories with a serving contributing about 1% of the total calorie intake even on a weight loss diet. 

  • Source of vitamins and minerals. Since they are made from micronutrient rich cucumbers, pickles provide a variety of vitamins and minerals. In fact, pickles tend to have a higher concentration of micronutrients because they have a lower water content. 

  • Source of probiotics. Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and pickles are rich in good bacteria that support gut health. It is important to note that many of the store-bought pickles may not contain probiotics because they aren’t always fermented. Instead of fermentation, some store bought pickles are simply brined in vinegar and salt. If you are eating pickles for their probiotics, you should always check the labels to see if it says ‘fermented.’

  • Rich in healthy phytochemicals. Being a plant food, pickles supply a variety of healthy phytochemicals such as beta carotene which have a protective effect on the body against chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and stroke. 

How to Eat Pickles for Weight Loss 

If you are a true fan, you should have no problem eating pickles plain right out of the jar. However, if you’re looking to make pickles more interesting consider adding them to the following dishes. 

  • Salads 

  • Sandwiches 

  • Burgers 

The Sodium Content of Pickles 

When eating pickles, you must be aware of their incredibly high sodium content. Pickles are very high in sodium because they are soaked in a salt solution for a long time. A single 30 gram pickle has about 360 mg of sodium, about 15.6% of your daily sodium requirements. 

In the context of weight loss, this can be a problem since high sodium foods can cause water retention in the body. When your body retains water, it appears to be heavier than it actually is due to the water weight. For this reason, you should take precaution when adding pickles to your weight loss diet. 

To minimize the effect of pickles on your weight, opt for low-sodium pickles which have a much lower sodium content than regular pickles. 

The sodium content of pickles is a much bigger concern for those living with high blood pressure and kidney problems. If you are living with any of these conditions, you should speak to your doctor about adding pickles to your diet. 

FAQs

Does pickle juice burn belly fat?

No, pickle juice doesn’t burn belly fat. As a matter of fact, there is no food that targets belly fat. In order to lose belly fat, you must lose weight all over your body. 

Drinking pickle juice may in fact have the opposite effect on your belly. The high salt content of pickles might cause water retention which might make your belly appear larger. 

Which pickles are best for weight loss?

Unsweetened pickles are the best pickles for weight loss. This is because they don’t contain empty calories from sweeteners. 

What happens if you eat pickles everyday?

Depending on how much you eat, eating pickles everyday should have no significant effect on you. However, if you over indulge, the salt content of pickles might cause your body to retain excess water causing you to feel bloated. 

Are pickles fattening for you?

No, pickles aren’t fattening for you. This is because they are very low in calories with about 11 calories per 100 gram serving. 

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