Are Pickles Good For Weight Loss? Should You Be Snacking On Them 2024?

are pickles good for weight loss
Pickles in moderation can support weight loss efforts. Photo: Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock

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A pickle spear with your favorite sandwich or burger is a staple, right? You might also know that these beloved pickles have some health benefits. They come with various nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin C.

But are pickles good for weight loss?

This is an important question for people interested in keeping their weight down. Suppose you participate in food-restricting diets, for example, or take keto supplements. In that case, you might be interested to know that, like most fermented foods, fermented pickles contain ingredients that may reduce the excess fat inside your body.

Overall, pickles are tasty, low-calorie treats that add flavor to simple meals and don’t typically disrupt popular weight loss programs.

Do Pickles Help You Lose Weight?

Yes, pickles can help you lose weight. Because pickles only contain ten calories each, they are considered a weight loss-friendly food and can be enjoyed regularly in moderation. Additionally, pickles – a good fiber source – are a probiotic.

Are Pickles Good For Weight Loss?

are pickles good for weight loss
Pickles in moderation can support weight loss. Photo: Julia Kuznetsova/Shutterstock

Yes, pickles are good to eat when trying to lose weight. They don’t make popular lists warning about foods to avoid to lose weight.

Remember that effective weight loss programs help you burn more calories than you consume. 

Unfortunately, eating any kind of food won’t magically melt away fat. You must choose foods low in calories that contribute to your goals and don’t add on any extra fat. Considering this, low-sodium pickles are a great choice.

What are pickles exactly? They’re cucumbers that undergo a pickling process.

Like many foods, they’re preserved in a salty brine or acetic acid solution. The idea behind pickling[1] is to keep food from spoiling over a long period. People pickle cucumbers for other reasons, too.

For example, they love the taste. The tangy, sour taste of pickles makes them a popular snack alone or complementing certain dishes. This isn’t just true for those of you who enjoy sour foods.

Many people use different ingredients when pickling depending on their tastes, cultures, and backgrounds.[2] There is no such thing as weight loss pickles. However, in moderation, these tangy, crunchy snacks can be a part of a weight loss diet.

Try combining them with healthy lifestyle choices. For example, you can walk three miles per day to lose weight. You can add them to your diet while using other exercise routines to support your weight loss goals further.

The Nutritional Value Of Pickles

At their core, pickles are vegetables. Therefore, they mostly contain water with little fat or protein. You’ll consume essential vitamins when eating pickles because they’re produced with a salty brine that brings out the water and lets them be easily absorbed.

Every pickle is different, so the overall nutritional values[3] will vary. Typically, plain cucumber pickles have about ten calories each and give adults the following:

  • 6% of the calcium recommended for healthy bones, teeth, and nerves.
  • 20% of daily vitamin K allowances for strong bones.
  • 2% of potassium, which prevents cramps and helps nerves properly function.
  • 3%-4% of vitamin C, protecting your cells from damage.
  • 1% of needed vitamin A to preserve your vision and immune system.
  • 1 gram of fiber.

Pickles also contain folate, phosphorus, and less than one gram of carbohydrates. They’re a great source of beta-carotene. This is a helpful anti-oxidant linked to reducing the risk of macular degeneration, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions.[4]

Is Pickle Juice Good For Weight Loss?

Yes, combined with other lifestyle factors, pickle juice is good for weight loss. You should still consult your physician, dietician, and nutritionist to benefit from a healthy diet that includes pickles fully.

For example, combine plant-based, low-fat meals with exercise, such as cardio, to lose weight. Therefore, you can safely add pickles to your lunch and enjoy them guilt-free.

Another tip when enjoying the benefits of pickles? Save the juice.

Drinking it straight, even if you love the resulting pucker, might be a stretch for any pickle enthusiast. However, you can combine the juice with other ingredients to benefit from it.

Also, be sure to read the labels of your favorite pickles. What kind of health benefit are you looking for? Find pickle makers who use different kinds of ingredients and limit salts, dyes, and preservatives.

Ways To Include Pickles In Your Diet

are pickles good for weight loss
Pickles – and even their juice – are healthy snacks while dieting. Photo: siamionau pavel/Shutterstock

Are pickles a good snack for weight loss? Yes, periodically try these tasty snacks or drinks without fear that you’ll be sabotaging your weight loss goals. 


Any sandwich benefits from a slice of pickle, either in the sandwich itself or on the side. Spears go great with healthy sandwiches made with low-sodium or lean turkey slices, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard. Make vegetarian burgers or hot dogs with pickle slices in between the other accouterments.

Something a bit less healthy but just as delicious might include pickles with BLT sandwiches, beef hotdogs, and burgers. If you don’t like pickles with sandwiches but want the taste, try low-fat dill pickle-flavored chips instead.

Tasty Drinks

Some people love briny drinks, with or without alcohol. Include pickle juice with your standard bloody marys, whiskey sours, martinis, or other favorite cocktails. Instead of garnishing the drink with lime, lemon, or celery, try a mini-gherkin instead.

A new trend is to pour a shot glass full of pickle juice and use it as a chaser, usually with whiskey. You can also mix it with your favorite tequila or vodka for a tasty treat. As always, drink responsibly. 

Of course, if you are trying to lose weight, then drinking in moderation is encouraged. If you’re cutting back on alcohol, you can simply omit the booze when making the above drinks. 

Other mocktails with pickle juice include combining it with other non-alcoholic ingredients. You can try pineapple juice, tonic water, grapefruit/lemon juice with simple syrup for a yummy, no-proof drink.

Pickle Hummus

Combining pickles and traditional hummus recipes is growing in popularity. Dill pickle hummus is delicious as a dip or a spread for sandwiches. The best recipes end with a hummus that holds a taste of sour pickles but just a taste, nothing overwhelming. 

You can purchase pickle hummus from several manufacturers, depending on where you live. Do you enjoy making homemade hummus? Then, simply add a half-cup of minced dill pickles to your favorite recipe. Additionally, add garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, and other flavors. 

If you’re on a plan to eat a specific amount of fiber per day to lose weight, give this idea a try. Hummus with pickled dill is a great source of dietary fiber.

Pickles & Peanut Butter

This isn’t just for pregnant people. Pickles, with a vinegar snap, temper the sometimes oily taste of peanut butter. These go great together between two slices of whole-wheat bread. Grill, toast, or eat plain, however you might enjoy it.

Get creative and add sriracha, low-salt potato chips, dried peppers, or hot sauce. Some people replace the peanut butter with mayo and butter. This can be a healthy and hearty snack that keeps you full for hours, thus helping you avoid overeating between meals. 


If you are eating in a calorie deficit to lose weight, staying on top of your food choices is essential. And if you are a fan of pickles, you are in luck.

As we mentioned, you can include pickles in your favorite meals, snacks, and drinks in numerous ways. They will hardly add any calories when you do.

Because there is an average of 10 calories per pickle spear, they are considered a weight-loss-friendly food. They also provide you with a boost of nutrients that can help support your body in many other ways, too.

Losing weight can be a long and challenging process. However, there are so many benefits to taking control of your health and feeling confident and energetic. Stick with the process, stay in a calorie deficit,[5] and enjoy a pickle now and again as you do.

As with any food, it is still important not to overconsume pickles, as the calories can still add up. Also, be aware of the amount of salt that may come per serving with pickles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I eat pickles to lose weight?

Adding pickles as a healthy snack to a well-balanced diet and other healthy lifestyle choices can help you lose weight. Low-sodium pickles have a low-calorie count and almost no fat. Enjoy them in moderation. 

Are pickles actually zero calories?

Pickles are not zero calories. Pickled cucumbers made with vinegar, salt, and spices are lower in calories but not zero. They typically contain 10 calories per spear.

Is it okay if I eat pickles every day?

Eating numerous pickles every day isn’t usually recommended. What does the rest of your diet contain? Avoid store-bought, processed foods and fast foods. Instead, stick with low-sodium choices. Then, a daily pickle might be fine.

Are pickles full of sugar?

Most manufacturers make dill and sour pickles without much sugar. If you’re looking for sweet pickles, like bread and butter varieties or candied pickles, those have higher sugar content. Always check the label to get accurate amounts.

+ 5 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Sawada, K., Hitoshi Koyano, Yamamoto, N. and Yamada, T. (2021). The effects of vegetable pickling conditions on the dynamics of microbiota and metabolites. PeerJ, [online] 9, pp.e11123–e11123. doi:
  2. Chakraborty, R. and Roy, S. (2018). Exploration of the diversity and associated health benefits of traditional pickles from the Himalayan and adjacent hilly regions of Indian subcontinent. Journal of Food Science and Technology, [online] 55(5), pp.1599–1613. doi:
  3. (2023). FoodData Central. [online] Available at:
  4. Cai, Y., Yang, X., Chen, S., Tian, K., Xu, S., Deng, R., Chen, M., Yan, Y. and Liu, T. (2023). Regular consumption of pickled vegetables and fermented bean curd reduces the risk of diabetes: a prospective cohort study. Frontiers in Public Health, [online] 11. doi:
  5. Ju Young Kim (2021). Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance. Journal of obesity & metabolic syndrome, [online] 30(1), pp.20–31. doi:


Christine is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist with an undergraduate degree from Missouri State University. Her passion is helping others learn how strong and healthy they can become by transforming their daily habits. Christine spends… See More