Do Pickles Have Calories: Interesting Health Benefits, Where to Buy & More

Do pickles have calories? Yes, pickles do have calories. Continue reading to find out why they are labelled as 0 calories. Pickles are generally recognized as a “zero calorie” food since they are just cucumbers in a brine, vinegar, or other solution that is left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation. 

Cucumbers are native to India, where they’ve been eaten for over two decades now. People began pickling them as a way to preserve them and to extend their shelf life for transport.


So, do pickles have calories? To give a straight-forward response, pickles do have calories, but their calories are so minute or small that they are considered zero-calorie foods because the amount of calories in one serving portion is usually below the regulatory threshold of calories that can be rounded down to zero. In addition, their fat content is also 0g per serving, and they are also known to possess negligible amounts of protein.  

There is a seemingly endless debate among nutritionists and pickle lovers on whether eating pickled foods gives you zero calories or negative calories. This argument is quite understandable as the pickle diet has been hyped for decades as the best for weight loss and healthy living. But do pickles really have zero calories, as some nutritionists claim? Yes, pickles do have calories, but their calories are so small and therefore considered negligible as the amount of calories in one serving portion is usually below the regulatory threshold of calories that can be rounded down to zero. 

Although pickles are generally cucumbers in brine (salt water), if you eat too many pickles, you may find yourself gaining weight, especially in the form of retained water from all the sodium contained in the pickles.

Do Pickles Have Calories
Photo Credit: Food Network (Do Pickles Have Calories)


Pickles do more than add a crunchy bite to your favorite burger or sandwich. These salty, sour snacks are purported to have a number of health benefits. Pickled cucumbers are also enriched with  vitamins and minerals in their vinegary brine.

1. Helps digestion: Fermented pickles are full of good bacteria called probiotics, which can help increase the good bacteria in your gut when eaten. 

2. It fights diseases: Cucumbers are high in antioxidants and are also known to contain beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a powerful compound that the body converts into vitamin A, which has been shown to help lower your chances of dying of stroke, cancer, respiratory diseases, heart disease and lower the risk of many other chronic conditions.

3. Remedies for sugar spike: Pickle juice contains vinegar, which is beneficial for people with diabetes. Specifically, pickle juice, with vinegar in it, may help keep your blood sugar levels even as they do not cause a spike in blood sugar.

4. Aid Weight Loss: Cucumber pickles are a low-calorie food, and especially because of their high water content, they may help you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Pickles contain vinegar, which performs powerful functions, which include reducing insulin spikes, keeping energy levels stable and has been linked to reducing appetite.

5. Eating a pickle with a meal can boost the probiotic content of any meal you eat


The label probably says zero calories per serving and defines a “serving” as a very small quantity (e.g., 20 grams). Pickles are, indeed, a low-calorie snack, but not completely calorie free. It is also important to note that since cucumbers are mostly water, they’re very low in calories.

However, pickles really have calories, and no, the brine used to make them (salt and water) does not. The calories come from the protein, fat, and carbohydrate content of whatever it is that is being pickled. The reason why most labels tag pickles as low-calorie foods is because their calories are so small and they do not meet the FDA’s calorie standard. The FDA says manufacturers can label a food calorie-free if it contains less than 5 calories.


Depending on the pickle brand, at 3.5 ounces, pickle juice contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrates, about 23 mg of calcium, about 500 mg of sodium, and 170 mg of potassium. The low level of sugar and carbohydrates in most of these pickles makes most of these pickles a great choice for people living with diabetes as they do not cause a spike in blood sugar. Pickles also contain vinegar, which is beneficial for people with diabetes.


There are plenty of options out there when it comes to pickle varieties, for the purpose of this article, we’ll go with the classic Kosher Dills. They’re the ones that likely come to mind when most people think of pickles. “Kosher” in the name really just signifies that there’s garlic in the brine, which was the traditional way of making them. Let’s take a look at some of the must-have pickles from the Dills.

1. Best Fresh Pickles: Grillo’s Pickles Classic Dill Pickle Spears: Unlike many pickles, Grillo’s manages to retain a lot of that fresh cucumber taste. Also, layered on top of the cucumber is the taste of fresh dill. If you’re looking for a pickle brand that balances the salty, sour, and vinegary tastes that are associated with pickles, then Grillo’s pickles are a great option.

2. Most Complex Flavor: Boar’s Head Kosher Dill Pickles: This pickle jar was packed with generously sized pickles as well as pickled carrots, peppercorns, dill sprigs, garlic, mustard seeds, and other spices. 

3. Crunchiest Pickles: Milwaukee’s Kosher Dill Pickles: Milwaukee’s Kosher Dill Pickles are absolutely the crispiest and crunchiest pickles and are perfect for a pickle picnic. Along with its satisfying crunch, Milwaukee’s dills also have a pleasant vinegar taste with a nice balance of dill and other pickling spices.

4.Best Pickles for Garlic Lovers: Mt. Olive Kosher Dill Spears: Mt. Olive Kosher Dill Spears are bright green pickles that contain major garlic flavor, even though they have slight hints of mustard and dill too.


Cucumber pickles are by far the most common type in the U.S., and they’re easily found in every retail store, grocery store, and many restaurants. 

P.S: To choose the right pickles, choose those that are in the refrigerated section of your supermarket since cooler temperatures help keep and maintain the good bacteria intact. 


Pickles are generally cucumbers in brine (salt water). They are considered zero-calorie foods because the amount of calories in one serving portion is usually below the regulatory threshold of calories that can be rounded down to zero. Today, you can pickle cucumbers yourself. Grocers sell lots of varieties, including whole dill pickles, sliced sweet pickles, and sour spears. Whenever you want to add a salty, briny kick to a dish, reach for that pickle jar.