Answer: At 1.4 g of net carbs per serving, pickles are generally keto-friendly, but there are some sugar-heavy brands you should avoid.
Low in everything but sodium, pickles are a great keto-friendly snack. But you need to be careful when choosing your pickles. While cucumbers, salt, and vinegar are all low-carb, some manufacturers add sugar to their brine, a keto no-go. Fortunately, a quick peek at the nutrition label will tell you if your gherkin is sugar-free of sugar-full.
|Pickle Variety||Keto-friendly Brands|
|Dill||Mt. Olive, Vlasic, Clausen, Boar's Head|
|Sours||Mt. Olive, Boar's Head, Vlasic|
|Bread and butter||Mt. Olive|
|Horseradish||Avoid, this variety typically contains added sugar|
A 100 g serving of dill pickles, roughly three spears, contains just 1.4 g of net carbs. But while the carb count is low, you don't want to pig out on pickles. Those three spears contain 809 mg of sodium, more than a third of the CDC’s recommended sodium intake of 2,300 mg per day.
Kosher pickles, which are fermented rather than brined, are a great source of probiotics. The microorganisms responsible for fermentation synergize well with the bacteria in your gut, boosting digestive health. To tell a fermented pickle from a brined one, look at the ingredient list: if it includes vinegar, it’s a brined pickle. You can taste the difference, too. Fermented pickles will tingle on your tongue, almost like they're carbonated.
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