Do Pickles Break A Fast? Can You Eat Pickles While Fasting?

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Do Pickles Break A Fast

Do Pickles Break A Fast | Nutritional Value | Can Dill Pickles Break A Fast | Pickles And Fasting Goals | Pickle Juice and fast | Pickles on Keto | A word from our Nutrition Expert

During a fasting period, it’s essential to avoid consuming any such food or drink that may break the fast and negate the expected health benefits.

Certain foods and beverages can trigger an insulin response, affect blood sugar levels, or interrupt the process of autophagy (cellular repair). Therefore, understanding what can be consumed during a fast is crucial for achieving desired fasting goals. 

Here we will be disclosing the details of one such debated food item – Pickles. Should one consume pickles or pickle juice on a fast (intermittent fasting) or not?

Do pickles break a fast?

The answer is yes; pickles break a fast. Pickles contain calories, which can stimulate insulin production, breaking the fast. 

Pickles are made by preserving cucumbers in a solution of vinegar, salt, and various spices.

The calories in a pickle come from the type of vinegar, spices, and sugar used during the pickling process.

Nutritional Value of Different Types of Pickles

As per USDA[1]U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: Pickles, cucumber, dill or kosher dill , a 100-gram of pickle contains 14 kilo calories with 1.99 grams of carbs, 0.48 grams of protein, and 808 mg of sodium as compared to other types of pickles.

Below is the table representing the nutritional values of different types of pickles for quick reference:

Nutritional Value of Different Types of Pickles
NutrientCucumber pickle [2]U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: Pickles, cucumber, sourDill Pickle [3]U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: DILL PICKLEKosher Dill Pickle [4]U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: KOSHER DILL PICKLE SPEARSSweet cucumber pickle [5]U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: Pickles, cucumber, sweet (includes bread and butter pickles) Pickle Juice [6]U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: PICKLE JUICE, SPORT DRINK
Energy11 kcal12 kcal18 kcal91 kcal0 kcal
Carbohydrate2.26 g2.5 g3.57 g21.2 g0 g
Protein0.33 g0 g0 g0.58 g0 g
Fiber1.2 g1.2 g0 g1 g0 g
Sodium, Na1210 mg800 mg929 mg457 mg342 mg
Sugar1.06 g0 g0 g18.3 g0 g
Total lipid (fat)0.2 g0 g0 g0.41 g0 g

Can dill pickles break a fast?

Yes, even dill pickles can break a fast. They are not completely zero-calorie pickles or calorie-free pickles. 

The main ingredient of dill pickles is cucumber, which contains some amount of carbohydrates, sodium, and fiber that have their own calorie count. 

The other important ingredients in dill pickles are vinegar, salt, and spices. 

If you’re following a strict fasting protocol, it’s best to avoid dill pickles and other such foods until your fasting window ends. 

During your eating window, you can consume dill pickles, and being high in fiber, they will keep you full for longer, which can further aid in your weight loss goals.

How Pickles Can Affect Fasting Goals?

Pickles can have an impact on fasting goals in different ways. Let’s delve into the potential effects they may have on your fasting journey:

1. Weight loss or maintenance

If your fasting goal is to lose weight, you must consider the number of pickles you are consuming. As long as pickles are consumed in moderation and do not exceed the calorie limit for the fasting period, they should not significantly impact weight loss or maintenance efforts.

2. Autophagy and cellular repair

One of the prime goals of fasting is autophagy. Autophagy is a natural cellular process that helps remove damaged components and recycle them for cellular repair and regeneration. While there is still much to learn about autophagy, some studies suggest that consuming any food or calories may interrupt the process.

Since pickles contain calories and nutrients, it is possible that they could disrupt autophagy. However, the impact would likely be minimal due to their low-calorie content. 

3. Insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control

Pickles, particularly dill pickles, have a low glycemic index and are low in carbohydrates, which means they are unlikely to cause a significant insulin spike. 

However, sweet pickles, which contain added sugar, may have a more considerable effect on insulin levels due to their higher carbohydrate content.

It’s important to note that individual responses to foods can vary, and other factors such as portion size and combinations of foods consumed can also influence insulin response. 

Note: If you have concerns about how pickles or other foods may affect your autophagy or insulin levels, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist.

Does pickle juice break a fast?

Whether pickle juice breaks a fast depends on the type of fasting you’re following and your fasting goals. Pickle juice contains small amounts of calories, electrolytes [7]National Library of Medicine: Electrolyte and Plasma Changes After Ingestion of Pickle Juice, Water, and a Common Carbohydrate-Electrolyte Solution, and sometimes vinegar, which may or may not affect your fast.

Following are the scenarios to be considered before deciding on whether or not to drink pickle juice while fasting:

  1. Type of fasting: Different fasting protocols have different rules regarding what is allowed during the fasting window. For example, some may permit low-calorie liquids like pickle juice, while others may require complete abstinence from any form of calories.
  2. Fasting goals: If your primary goal is weight loss, consuming a small amount of pickle juice may not significantly impact your progress. However, if you’re aiming for autophagy or other metabolic benefits, even a small number of calories could potentially interfere with those processes.
  3. Individual response: People’s bodies react differently to fasting and the consumption of certain liquids. Some individuals may be more sensitive to small amounts of calories during a fast, while others might not experience any issues.

Note: It’s essential to understand the specific guidelines of your chosen fasting method and consult with your healthcare professional if you have concerns about how pickle juice or other liquids may affect your fast.

Can you eat pickles on keto?

Yes, you can eat pickles on a keto diet. Pickles are low in carbohydrates and calories, making them a suitable snack option for those following a ketogenic diet. However, it’s essential to choose pickles that are not made with added sugars or sweeteners, as these can disrupt the process of ketosis. 

Opt for dill pickles or other sugar-free varieties, and be mindful of the sodium content, as some pickles can be high in salt. Always check the nutrition label to ensure the pickles align with your keto goals.

A word from our Nutrition Expert

As a nutritionist, I recommend incorporating pickles into your fasting diet with caution and based on your fasting goal. While they provide essential nutrients, their high sodium content can be detrimental if consumed excessively. Ideally, limit your intake to 1-2 small pickles per day in general. 

To reap the benefits of probiotics and antioxidants, opt for fermented varieties. Get creative by adding pickles to salads or using them as a low-calorie topping. 

Remember, moderation is key to enjoying the nutritional advantages of pickles without compromising your health.


Whether drinking pickle juice or eating pickles breaks a fast depends on several factors, including calorie intake, sodium content, and the type of fast being practiced. 

Ultimately, it’s essential to personalize fasting routines to meet individual goals and preferences. While consuming a small number of low-calorie, low-sodium pickles may not break a fast for some individuals; others may prefer not to eat pickles altogether during fasting periods to maximize potential benefits.


1 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: Pickles, cucumber, dill or kosher dill
2 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: Pickles, cucumber, sour
5 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE: Pickles, cucumber, sweet (includes bread and butter pickles)
7 National Library of Medicine: Electrolyte and Plasma Changes After Ingestion of Pickle Juice, Water, and a Common Carbohydrate-Electrolyte Solution

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