For many people, pickles add a delicious flavor and a crunchy texture to a variety of different burgers and sandwiches.
A ketogenic diet replaces most of your carbs with fat, meaning your carb intake is very limited on a day to day basis. So, if you’re following a strict ketogenic diet you might be wondering: Are pickles keto?
In this article, I will cover some key information about pickles, including whether they are keto and a step-by-step guide on how to make your own keto-friendly pickles at home.
Keep reading to find out more.
What are pickles?
Pickling is an ancient food preservation technique that has been used for generations. In the US, pickles are usually cucumbers that have been submerged in a saltwater brine and left to ferment. This brine is usually made out of vinegar and salt, as well as several other ingredients depending on the variety of pickles.
For instance, sweet pickles are usually placed in a brine made out of water, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, and sweet onions. However, this can vary depending on the recipe that you’re using.
Are pickles good for you?
The answer to this question depends on the pickles in question. Typically speaking, pickles are fat-free and low in calories, but they are also low in most other nutrients, except for sodium.
The majority of pickles are high in sodium, so it’s important to limit how many pickles you eat and only eat them within moderation.
Fermented brine contains good bacteria that may improve health. Fermented pickles have been known to act like probiotics, protecting the body’s microbiome and supporting the growth of healthful bacteria in the gut. That being said, only certain brines go through the fermentation process.
It is also worth noting that some pickles contain high levels of sugar, which increases their carb content. This isn’t suitable for people following a ketogenic diet, as the keto diet severely limits your intake of particular fruits and vegetables that are high in carbs.
Are pickles keto?
This depends on the pickles in question! Pickles can be keto-friendly as long as they don’t contain added sugar. The issue with pickles that are made with sugar is that they increase the carb content of the pickles. When you are following a keto diet, your carb intake is already limited.
Generally speaking, if you follow a ketogenic diet you should select dill or sour pickles but avoid sweet, candied, and bread and butter pickles as these are made with high volumes of sugar and are not suitable.
Is it acceptable to eat pickles following the ketogenic diet?
While some pickles are keto-friendly, some are not. Whether pickles are acceptable to eat while following a keto diet depends on how they’re made and how many you’re eating.
A keto diet generally allows for 20–50 grams of carbs per day. A ⅔ cup serving of sweet pickles contains around 20-32 grams of net carbs. Bearing this in mind, a single serving of these pickles might exceed your daily allowance and therefore wouldn’t be a suitable choice.
That being said, you could either opt for a sugar free alternative, or limit your pickle intake.
Pickles can vary hugely depending on the pickling process that they have been through. You should also always make sure that you are reading the back of the pickle jar to see their nutritional content and weigh up whether you can eat those specific pickles.
What is the carb content of pickles?
As someone following a keto diet has to be mindful of their carb-intake, then it is important to consider the carb content of pickles.
Typically speaking, raw cucumbers are very low in carbs. 3/4 cup (100 grams) of sliced cucumbers contains only 2 grams of carbs. With 1 gram of fiber, this amount provides about 1 gram of net carbs (number of carbs your body absorbs per serving).
It’s important to recognize that depending on the type of pickle and the brand, the pickling process can significantly increase the number of carbs in the pickles – particularly if you add sugar to the brine.
Generally, the brine that dill and sour pickles are added to doesn’t usually contain sugar. A 2/3-cup portion of these pickles usually contains 2–2.5 grams of carbs. By contrast, sweet pickles are made with sugar and thus tend to be higher in carbs.
A Guide On How To Make Keto-Friendly Pickles
- 6 mini cucumbers
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 1 cup of cold water
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon of dill seeds
Step One – Wash And Prepare The Cucumbers
To begin, you will need to wash the mini cucumbers. Once the cucumbers are clean, slice them into thin rounds and set them aside until you need them later.
Step Two – Make The Pickling Brine
Now it’s time to make the pickling brine. Start off by adding the vinegar, water, and salt to a saucepan. Warm the saucepan over medium heat, being careful to gently stir the mixture until all of the salt has dissolved.
Step Three – Allow The Brine To Cool
Once all of the salt has dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Once the mixture has cooled, add the dill and the two cloves of garlic.
Step Four – Divide The Cucumber Slices
Divide the cucumber slices into two large jars. Pour the pickling brine over them and place them into the refrigerator.
Step Five – Refrigerate The Pickles
Refrigerate your pickles overnight, and enjoy as early as the next day!
While some varieties of pickles such as sour and dill are suitable for the keto diet, types with added sugar – such as candied, sweet, and bread and butter pickles are not suitable.
If you’re following a ketogenic diet, always be sure to check the ingredients list to see if the pickles in question are suitable for you to eat.