Can you eat pickles on keto?

In this essay, I will answer the question: “Can you eat pickles on keto?” and explain how pickles are made and whether they are keto-friendly.

Can you eat pickles on keto?

Yes, you can eat pickles on keto. Pickles can be keto-friendly if they are free of added sugar. In general, choose dill or sour pickles over sweet, candied, or bread-and-butter pickles.

Eating pickles on a keto-diet depends on how they’re prepared and how many you consume.

On average, 20–50 grams of carbohydrates per day are allowed on the ketogenic diet. With 20–32 grams of net carbs per 2/3 cup (100 grams) of sliced, sweetened pickles, you might meet or surpass your daily carb requirement with only one serving.

Those without added sugar, on the other hand, contribute significantly fewer carbs to your daily intake.

Try to stick to pickles that have less than 15 grams of carbohydrates per 2/3 cup in general (100 grams).

This means you’ll have to read food labels carefully to find mildly sweetened versions — or avoid sweetened pickles entirely and stick to dill and sour variants.

How are pickles made?

Cucumbers are pickled using a method known as pickling, which has been used to preserve a variety of foods since at least 2,000 BCE. Pickling preserves foods by fermenting them with helpful bacteria for flavor and preserving them in an acidic brine solution to prevent them from spoiling. 

When treated properly, pickled foods can last up to a year and can be used in a variety of recipes, usually as condiments.

Pickling requires immaculately clean conditions as well as very fresh fruit. Pickling should be done within 24 hours after harvesting the fruit, and not before it has been well washed and, in the case of cucumbers, trimmed. Cucumber pickles are made utilizing a particular cucumber cultivar rather than conventional cucumbers. Consumers of entire pickles may be familiar with this cultivar’s uniform size and knobby texture.

The traditional pickling method, which begins with anaerobic fermentation, is the original method for making cucumber pickles. The cucumbers are completely submerged in a brine solution with pickling salt and additional whole fresh spices including mustard seeds, cumin, and dill. 

The cucumbers are usually weighted so that they stay completely immersed, and the brine is skimmed and topped off on a regular basis. After the pickles have finished fermenting, they are soaked several times in fresh, clean water to extract the salt. If the pickles are going to be sliced, slicing is performed after the fermentation process.

The pickles are then preserved in an acidic vinegar solution to prevent them from spoiling. This is the final step in the process of turning cucumbers into pickles. Pickling vinegar contains at least 5% acid, which inhibits bacterial growth. 

Cucumbers are pickled in sterile jars that have been pasteurized by the hot water canning process to prevent the condiment from spoiling. These jars should be refrigerated after opening and kept in a cool, dry area for about a year.

Which pickle type is the healthiest?

The largest health benefits come from fermented pickles, although not all pickles are fermented.

Healthy bacteria break down carbohydrates when fruits or vegetables are fermented. The sour flavor comes from the entire process. During fermentation, lactose sugar is broken down by beneficial microorganisms.

Pickles that haven’t been fermented employ vinegar to impart a sour flavor.

The majority of pickles sold in grocery shops are vinegar pickles that have not been fermented. Fermented pickles are better for your gut microbiome because they contain healthy bacteria, often known as probiotics.

What are the health benefits of pickles?

Incorporating fermented foods into your diet can benefit you in a variety of ways, including reducing inflammation, enhancing skin clarity, and boosting insulin sensitivity.

However, this does not rule out the possibility of unfermented pickles being beneficial to your health. They still have vinegar, spices, and cucumbers, which have health advantages. Pickle juice is currently a craze since it can aid with cramps, weight loss, and even diabetes.

Pickle juice is very popular in the ketogenic diet community because it contains vital minerals that can help you avoid the keto flu and keep your electrolyte balance in check.

Antioxidants can also be found in pickles. These natural antioxidants, which can be found in all fruits and vegetables, can help the body scavenge free radicals, which are unstable substances found in the body that have been related to diseases including cancer and heart disease.

What are the downsides of pickles?

The salt concentration in pickles is the most intriguing component of eating them on keto. Many individuals are concerned about the high sodium content in pickles.

However, salt intake should be increased on the ketogenic diet.

Due to a shortage of salt, newcomers to the low-carb lifestyle may experience flu-like symptoms. Pickles, fortunately, have a high salt content. More than 600mg of sodium is included in just two tiny spears.

On keto, you should aim for a salt intake of 2,000 mg to 4,000 mg. Because ketosis has diuretic effects and requires increased salt intake, this is more than the recommended amount for carbohydrate-based diets.

How to make keto pickles at home?

Making your own pickles is the finest (and healthiest) way to begin adding pickles into your diet.

Homemade pickles will not have any unwanted sugars or flavoring ingredients that may cause you to lose ketosis. In addition, fermenting cucumbers will supply your body with a boost of probiotics, which will help your gut bacteria thrive.

Pickling recipes are also quite easy to make. All you need to ferment cucumbers is salt, white vinegar, and your favorite seasonings. Then, on top of the cucumbers, pour boiling water and hot salted vinegar, and let them soak for two or three days in the refrigerator. Your delicious fermented pickles are now ready to eat.


In this paper, I answered the question: “Can you eat pickles on keto?”  and described the pickling process. On the other hand, I offered important information about the health advantages of pickles as well as the best approach to prepare this delightful condiment at home.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information on this topic.


[1] Can You Eat Pickles on the Keto Diet?

[2] How do Cucumbers Become Pickles? (with pictures) 

[3] Guide to Keto Pickles: What You Can and Can’t Eat | Chomps 

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.