Does adding pickles to your diet help in weight loss?

Does adding pickles to your diet  help in weight loss?

The beloved Indian pickles have various health benefits. Packed with nutrients and Vitamin-C, these pickles are also rich in antioxidants. Pickles are also proven to help in weight loss. They contain various ingredients that help reduce the excess fat inside the body and convert that fat into energy. 

Their extremely low-calorie count makes them the perfect option for you. They can spice up any everyday meal and fit perfectly into any weight loss diet. 

Understanding Pickles

The art of pickle making is an age-old Indian tradition, passed down from generations of mothers to their daughters like a family heirloom. They can be made with almost any fruit or vegetable and are an excellent way to preserve them. In fact, thousands of years ago, when there was an abundance of a fruit or vegetable, they were preserved in oil or salt. 

The tradition may have started as a way to conserve food in times of scarcity, but at this point, pickles are a huge part of Indian culture and cuisine. 

Every summer, Indian households bring out their barnis or pickle jars and lay them out in the sun to dry. The process of making pickles also starts with dehydrating or saturating a fruit in salt. Indian pickles have two primary ingredients- oil and salt. 

The other ingredients include turmeric, fenugreek, chilli, and other spices. 

Every region in the country has its own way of making pickles; they can be sweet, spicy or sour. The different types of pickles are all equally beloved in the country. They are all consumed in different combinations with various dishes. 

Nutritional Profile of Pickles

Pickles are very low in calories and carbohydrates, so they fit perfectly into calorie-deficit diets. They also have hepatoprotective properties that protect your liver. When consumed regularly, they also reduce existing damage to the liver.

They also contain antioxidants and beneficial bacteria that contribute to improved digestion and gut health. Pickles have been found to reduce bloating effectively. Indian pickles, in particular, incorporate various ingredients such as coriander, curry leaves, fenugreek, and mint. These ingredients are packed with essential vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K, as well as minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium. These nutrients are often not adequately provided in our regular diets, making Indian pickles a valuable addition to enhancing our nutritional intake.

High vitamin C helps in cell rejuvenation, keeps your skin healthy, and fights infections. It improves blood flow, thus reducing the chances of high blood pressure. 

Pickles also improve iron absorption from food by up to 3 times the standard amount. 

Vitamin K supports bone health by regulating the calcium levels in the body. It maintains proper blood clotting function and aids wound healing. When paired with vitamin D3 and magnesium, it prevents osteoporosis. 

Probiotic Content and Digestive Health

Pickles are perfect for you if you're looking for a source of probiotics and good bacteria. Pickling is a fermentation process that uses salt and sometimes sugar to produce lactic acid. This lactic acid creates the perfect environment for good bacteria to thrive, which means pickles are packed with probiotics. 

People who consume pickles regularly also have a lower risk of depression and anxiety compared to those who do not consume foods with probiotics. There is a link between consuming fermented foods and our mental health. The good bacteria found in pickles soothes and relaxes our mind, thus avoiding anxiety attacks and stress. 

Pickles keep your digestive system healthy while also improving your immune system. The spices used in pickles also speed up the digestion process and reduce gut inflammation. 

Sodium Content and Considerations

Aside from all of their health benefits, pickles are also very high in sodium due to their high salt content. This is a concern many people have because not only does high sodium diminish weight loss efforts, but it can also raise blood pressure, which increases the chances of heart disease. 

However, today, there are hundreds of options of low sodium pickles that still have all of the great nutrients without the high salt content. Homemade pickles are also found to have less sodium as compared to mass-produced ones. 

Incorporating Pickles in a Weight Loss Diet

Aside from being rich in nutrients, pickles are also very low in calories. The spices in pickles also help in breaking down the body's fats. Fermented food also contains fibre that allows a person to feel full longer- again aiding in weight loss.

When in a caloric deficit, most people hate saying goodbye to their favourite foods. Diets are usually reduced to meals that no one enjoys. Incorporating pickles into your diet doesn't just help you through your weight loss journey; it also adds flavour and spice to healthy meals that are just too boring otherwise. 

Pickles are also a healthy addition to the diet of a diabetic person. Their low calories and carbs assist in lowering HbA1c levels in the blood, which means better blood sugar control. 


It is advisable to enjoy these spicy condiments in moderation. Indian pickles offer more than just a burst of flavour; they also provide potential health benefits and can support weight loss efforts. These traditional condiments, often made with various vegetables and spices, have been a part of Indian cuisine for centuries and are known for their diverse flavours and textures.

It's important to note that the potential weight loss benefits of Indian pickles are contingent on several factors. The overall diet, portion sizes, and individual metabolism all play significant roles in weight management. Consuming pickles as part of a balanced and varied diet, alongside regular physical activity, is vital to achieving sustainable weight loss goals.

Soumya Chavaraddi

Soumya Chavaraddi

Food Technologist

I love making healthy food taste good. I enjoy talking about food and nutrition. Developing new healthy recipes is my passion, since I am a firm believer in the philosophy "Food is the best medicine".

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