Do Pickles Break A Fast?

The short answer is, yes, pickles and/or dill pickles for that matter will break a fast.

We know this might not be the answer you wanted to hear, but it’s our goal to help inform you so that you make the best decisions when it comes to your diet and nutrition.

Are There Calories In Pickles?

Many people tend to consume pickles while fasting under the impression that they are calorie free, and that they help to blunt hunger for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, this is from from the truth.

A 100g serving of fermented pickles yields just about 11 calories, or about 2 to 3g of carbohydrates, which is largely insignificant if you’re trying to lose weight. However, when it comes to a strict fast, it does cause you to break it.

Dill pickles on the other hand, may contain up to 4 to 5g of carbohydrates per similar serving size.

Contrary to popular belief, dill pickles are not a 0 cal food. Yes, they are primarily composed of water, but even a small amount can cause your fast to break because it does contain calories – around 4 to 5 for a spear. Given the fact that during your fast you want to remain at 0 cal consumed (most often, depending on your fasting reasons), you can see how this can be a problem.

What’s The Difference Between A Pickle And A Dill Pickle?

Many people tend to use the words interchangeably, but there are differences. For one, a pickle is basically a cucumber that is soaked in brine, vinegar, or a similar solution and allowed to sit and ferment.

Dill pickles are also pickled cucumbers, but this time containing dill weed and dill seeds. Dill also has its own calorie count, which even though low, contributes to increasing the calorie load of the finished product.

Can You Drink Pickle Juice While Fasting?

Pickle juice might seem like an okay alternative, but the fact is it retains all of the calories contained in the actual pickle. However, it can actually be much worse since a single glass of the juice might consist of much more than 100g worth of pickles, since there is no guarantee you’ll be able to extract as much liquid as needed from that quantity.

It also depends on if you’re ACTUALLY even drinking pickles or the brine/vinegar solution it is soaked in. If that’s the case, a lot rides on the nutrition facts of the liquid you are consuming.

Even the presence of a small amount of carbohydrates can trigger insulin release, shutting down lipolysis and autophagy.

There’s also actually a commercially available pickle juice made by The Pickle Juice Company.

Bottles of pickle juice from The Pickle Juice Company

Their pickle juice claims to contain 0 calories. This is due to the ingredients that they used which consist only of water, vinegar, salt, and natural dill flavor – all of which register 0 calories.

While 0 cal beverages are generally allowed while fasting, it is worth noting that they may still trigger insulin and other endocrine responses after consumption, making water the only real option that can be taken in with 100% certainty while fasting.

Can You Have Dill Pickles On Fasting Days?

Dill pickles can be successfully consumed on fasting days, but generally outside of your explicit fasting window. A good idea might be to have them shortly before your fasting time starts so that the high fiber content will help to keep you satisfied for many hours before hunger pangs kick in.

They can help to promote satiety without a significant calorie load, making them a useful adjuvant when trying to lose weight.

Conclusion

While the pickles are delicious, healthy, low-calorie, and loved by virtually every human being on the planet (expect probably by kids!), they are not suitable for consumption while actively fasting. Retain them for pre-fasting consumption or as a general healthy snack to satisfy cravings.

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Mike Julom

Mike is an ACE Certified PT and a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. He is an avid lover of all sports. Basketball, tennis, athletics, volleyball, soccer, squash, golf, table tennis, even darts, you name it! He's a very active CrossFit athlete and has been WOD'ing for over 7 years. With such an intense fitness regime, Mike has learned to take care of his body physically, nutritionally, and spiritually. Mike founded ThisIsWhyImFit as a way to share his vast knowledge of exercises, diets, and general fitness advice.

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