Are Pickles Good For Weight Loss Or Fattening?

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This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT

Many people connect pickles to foods like hamburgers but that does not always mean they are unhealthy. Find out whether pickles are good for weight loss.

Pickles are very low in calories and contain a nice amount of fiber. Eating more of them will likely help you consume less of foods that are fattening.

In turn, it is fair to say that pickles are good for weight loss.

That being said, you still have to make the change above to lose weight. Just adding pickles to the other things you eat may not offer any results.

Additionally, you need to keep in mind that there are a variety of nutrients that are important for weight loss and health. Pickles do not really include these in significant amounts so you need other foods too.

Something else to note is that pickles are high in sodium. If your current diet is already high in salt you may want to stay away from pickles for health reasons.

How are pickles made?

Pickles are cucumbers that have been pickled in a brine vinegar or other solution. They are left to ferment for a period of time. Technically this makes pickles still a fruit.

The preparing process makes pickles taste more sour than regular cucumbers. It also causes the amount of salt in pickles. Some people even drink the pickle juice to take in more salt.

Calories in pickles

How many calories there are in foods like pickles is not the only important detail but it does offer some helpful information.

Sour pickles contain around 11 calories per 100 grams (1).

If you are not familiar with calorie counts in other foods, pickles are really low in this area which is generally a good thing.

8.5 of the calories above come from carbohydrates (2.3 g per 100 grams of which 1.2 g fiber).

This makes pickles good for low-carb weight loss diets like the ketogenic diet.

You do want to keep a few other things to keep in mind with pickles but so far they look relatively good for people who are trying to lose weight.

Micronutrients in pickles

The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in pickles.

Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.

100 grams of sour pickles provides you with approximately (1):

  • Vitamin K: 59% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Sodium: 50% of the DV

And a few other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. The amount of vitamin K in pickles is great. The amount of salt may be too much depending on your current diet. Consuming too much salt can be disadvantageous for your health.

For most vitamins and minerals, pickles are not the greatest source.

If the pickles are not made in vinegar they can also contain probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms present in some foods. The right probiotics may be beneficial for your health (2).

Micronutrients in pickles

Fiber in pickles for weight loss

Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.

Pickles contain around 1.2 grams of fiber per 100 grams (1).

That’s a medium to low amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.

Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.

Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.

With the amount of fiber in pickles you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a certain amount.

Do pickles help you lose weight?

By now it is clear that pickles are very low in calories and contain a nice amount of fiber.

This means eating more pickles can help you feel fuller and consume less of foods that could be fattening.

Since hunger and cravings are such a big stumble block when trying to get in shape, it is reasonable to say that pickles tend to be good for weight loss.

At the same time, you need to keep in mind that you still need to make these changes to lose weight. Just adding pickles to your current diet will likely not do anything.

Additionally, you also want to make sure you consume enough nutrients that are important for weight loss and health. Pickles do not help much in this area.

In fact, pickles are relatively high in sodium. Overdoing it with this nutrient is typically considered to be unhealthy.

If you already consume a lot of sodium, pickles may not be a good idea.

Is it bad to eat pickles every day?

Nutrition is always a bit of a puzzle in terms of what the perfect diet looks like. It’s a pretty individual thing.

The main worry with pickles is that they contain a lot of salt. If you already eat a lot of salt, eating pickles every day may be harmful for your health. If not eating pickles every day is most likely alright.

Do pickles help you burn belly fat?

Targetting fat loss in a specific area like your belly is generally not possible. Not by eating more of a specific food or by doing a specific exercise. To lose belly fat you have to lose weight overall.

Since pickles can help you lose weight in general this fruit can also help you lose belly fat once your body wants to lose fat in your abdominal area.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.