This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT
Creating your weight loss diet can be confusing with all the different options. What about cucumber, is it good for weight loss?
Cucumber is a widely consumed food. Cucumbers are technically a fruit, not a vegetable although in cooking they are often used similar to most vegetables.
Like the majority of vegetables, most people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more cucumber. Find out just how good it is and what the best ways are to add cucumbers to your diet for weight loss.
Micronutrients in cucumber
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in cucumber.
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 cucumber with peel provides you with approximately (1):
- Vitamin K: 21% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Vitamin C: 5% of the DV
And a few other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. These are not very large amounts of vitamins and minerals compared to most whole foods.
If you want to add a lot more vitamins and minerals to your diet, cucumber is not your best food choice.
Cucumber also contains certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage.
Fiber in cucumber for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Cucumbers with peel contain around 0.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a low amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many other 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 cucumber you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a small amount.
Do cucumbers help you lose weight?
You still need a final piece of the puzzle. The amount of calories in cucumbers.
Cucumbers with peel contain 15 calories per 100 grams. 12.5 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (3.6 g per 100 grams of which 0.5 g fiber).
Cucumbers should easiliy fit in low carb diets like the keto diet.
The amount of calories in cucumbers is extremely low. You won’t be able to find many, if any, foods that are lower in calories.
So if 100 grams cucumber doesn’t contain a lot of calories, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein what does it contain? The answer is mostly water.
This means that cucumbers will benefit your weight loss by helping you burn more calories and feel fuller without adding too many calories to your diet. This can help you consume less of calorie-rich foods. In turn, this will most likely help you lose weight.
Do cucumbers 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 cucumbers 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.
Different ways to eat cucumber for weight loss
There are many ways you can implement more cucumbers in your diet for weight loss. Here are a few examples to get you started:
- On their own as a snack: Cucumbers make for a great snack on their own. They don’t require a lot of preparation effort. You just wash them, possibly cut them, and you’re good to go.
- In their pickled form: Pickles are actually cucumbers “prepared” in a particular way. They are very similar to regular cucumbers. The main difference is that pickles are higher in salt. Some people even drink pickle juice to consume more salt.
- A cucumber smoothie: Smoothies are basically the ingredients you use mashed together. So depending on the other ingredients you use a cucumber smoothie can certainly benefit your weight loss.
- As an ingredient in other meals: The soft taste of cucumbers makes it so they fit in a lot of recipes. They can be a great addition to a weight loss salad or something like a sandwich.
- To flavor water: There are many water drinks people consume to lose more weight. While the water in them certainly benefits weight loss, any possible “detox effects” are not likely to exist and/or help weight loss. A popular combination is cucumber and lemon water.
Besides these examples cucumbers can be combined with many other recipes. Your imagination is the limit.
Best way to use cucumber for weight loss
All of these ways include cucumber in a basically unprocessed way into your diet. That means that how much each option helps you lose weight depends on the other ingredients of the dish or combination.
Is the cucumber diet a step too far?
There is also something called the cucumber diet. The exact guidelines of this diet are not entirely clear but the main message is replacing as many foods as possible with cucumbers. And adding some lean protein sources.
Eating cucumbers every day combined with a healthy diet is most likely not a problem for most people. If you remove the healthy diet part you will most likely encounter many problems when it comes to weight loss and health.
The cucumber diet will most likely leave you with nutrient deficiencies which are not good for health and weight loss. You will also likely consume an extremely low amount of calories on the cucumber diet.
Losing weight too fast can slow down weight loss in the long run. In general, a healthy calorie deficit is something along the lines of 500-1000 calories a day.
Mostly or only eating cucumbers to lose weight is not adviced. It will probably damage your health and long-term weight loss.