Following a low FODMAP diet takes a lot of restraint and dedication. You have to be aware of all the food you’re consuming and its nutritional value, as well as whether it contains FODMAPs.
For example, many vegetables tend to contain some FODMAPs. So, they either have to be avoided or consumed in small amounts.
Let’s take a lot at pickles, for instance. Are they high in FODMAPs? Or can they be a part of a low FODMAP diet?
Are Pickles Low FODMAP?
Considering all the basic ingredients that go into making pickles, this food is considered to be low in FODMAPs. Because of that, it can be included in a low FODMAP diet as long as you do so in moderation.
Pickles are a great source of various nutrients too. For example, they provide you with vitamin K, calcium, and sodium.
All of these nutrients are important for your health. So eating some pickles every once in a while can be good for you.
How low in FODMAPs are pickles?
If you buy or make pickles with basic ingredients like salt, water, and vinegar, you can safely incorporate them into your low FODMAP diet.
This is because these ingredients are low in indigestible, fermented carbs, so they don’t cause any unpleasant IBS symptoms.
But even though these ingredients are safe for you, you should still limit yourself to a certain serving to avoid digestive system issues.
It’s best to consume a few thin slices in one serving. That way, you can ensure your IBS symptoms won’t become more severe.
Should you eat pickles on a low FODMAP diet?
Pickles can be a safe food for people on a low FODMAP diet as long as you make sure to practice moderation.
Dill pickles don’t contain any ingredients that are bad for a low FODMAP diet, but they’re still high in sodium.
This mineral is crucial for your health, but consuming too much of it can raise your blood pressure. This, in turn, can increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes. So, make sure to keep that in mind.
Also, pickles aren’t as filling as other fiber-rich foods. So, make sure to consume a healthy, balanced diet.
That way, you can have some pickles from time to time without worry.
Are sour pickles low FODMAP?
Unlike dill pickles, sour pickles aren’t low FODMAP. In fact, they should be avoided by people who suffer from IBS as they contain a lot of garlic.
Garlic is used as part of the brine in sour cucumbers. This ingredient is high in FODMAPs, so it can trigger a lot of IBS-related symptoms.
While some people might be able to tolerate small amounts of sour cucumbers, it’s best to start out small if you want to include them in your diet.
Then, wait a couple of days to check how your digestive system is reacting.
If you see no unpleasant symptoms, you can try including more. But be careful and do so in moderation.
Are sweet pickles low FODMAP?
Just like other kinds of pickles, sweet pickles are low FODMAP. So, what affects whether they’re suitable for a low FODMAP diet is the brine they’re pickled or fermented in.
Generally, if the brine doesn’t contain high-FODMAP ingredients like garlic or onions, you should be perfectly fine having a moderate amount of sweet pickles, even if you follow a low FODMAP diet.
But always listen to your body and adjust your diet accordingly.
Are pickles good for you?
Pickles are rather low in calories, containing only about 8 calories in a single medium-sized pickle. Luckily, they contain a lot of nutrients.
For example, the same serving provides you with 32% of your daily recommended need for vitamin K.
This fat-soluble nutrient is required for blood clotting and bone metabolism. Because of that, eating a lot of vitamin K-rich foods can lower your risk of extensive bleeding and osteoporosis.
Since vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient, it’s important to consume foods containing it with a source of healthy fats.
So, eating pickles with red meat or fatty fish can improve the absorption of this vitamin.
What’s more, pickles contain some calcium as well. Your body needs this mineral to maintain strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also crucial for the health of your immune system.
In addition, some studies state that a diet high in calcium-rich foods can even protect you against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Pickles also provide you with a lot of powerful plant compounds and antioxidants. These substances help flush out free radicals from your body, preventing oxidative stress and damage to your cells.
Thanks to that, you’re less likely to develop various chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
So, as you can see, getting a lot of antioxidant-rich foods from your diet is beneficial for your health as well as disease prevention.
If you consume fermented pickles (and remember that not all pickles are fermented), you’ll also be reaping a lot of benefits from the healthy bacteria that break out.
These bacteria are great for your digestive tract as well as insulin resistance and inflammation.
Other studies also show that fermented foods, including pickles, may have anti-cancer properties.
So, if you’re going to indulge in pickles, it’s best to choose the fermented kind.
The juice from fermented pickles is also rich in electrolytes. These minerals are important for maintaining fluid balance in your body, which prevents dehydration and other health issues.
As a result, it can be beneficial to drink some pickle juice right after an intense workout. But make sure to drink just a little bit or dilute it with water, as it’s very high in sodium.
As long as they only include the basic ingredients, pickles can be a good food to include on a low FODMAP diet.
If they don’t contain triggering additives like onions and garlic, they shouldn’t cause any unpleasant symptoms.
What’s more, eating pickles in moderation can help you load up on some important nutrients as well as antioxidants that help you stay healthy.
These also prevent diseases from developing, so you can be in the best health possible.
Alicia is the senior content editor and writer here at Food FAQ. She has extensive experience with acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and various supplements. When not eating food for “research”, she’s watching “Friends” for the 100th time.