Salty or sweet, crisp or buttery—no matter which way you slice them, pickles are a staple we love. It’s amazing how simple this beloved burger topping is; it’s just a cucumber that has soaked up the briny goodness it bobbed around in for about a week. But as basic as they are, are pickles good for you? Let’s find out.
Are pickles good for you?
Despite being high in sodium, pickles are totally good for you—unless you’re chowing down on the whole jar. “You can definitely have too many because of how much salt is in them, so stick to one or two pickles at a time,” says nutritionist Lisa Young, Ph.D., author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, who also notes that if you have high blood pressure and need to stick to a low-sodium diet, pickles may not be for you, so be sure to check with your doc before crunching away on a dill spear. Salt aside, pickles have only eight calories each and are a good source of fiber and vitamin K.
Do pickles have any health benefits?
They absolutely do! Young says that pickles and other fermented foods (think kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut) are great for gut health because the fermentation process loads them up with good bacteria that helps support a healthy microbiome. It’s a bit of a stretch to say this makes pickles good for weight loss, but anything that helps with the general upkeep of your gut is going to help. So the next time you whip up a fancy lunch, toss a pickle on the side for a crunch and a boost for your gut health.