Are Pickles Low FODMAP?

When we talk about pickles there are actually a wide variety of foods that are included within this broad term. You might be considering pickled onions, cucumbers, gherkins, cabbage, beetroot or even pickled mixed vegetables and that’s before we even get into whether or not fermented and pickled foods can be eaten on a low FODMAP diet! So let’s get started, are pickles low FODMAP?

The Quick Answer

The short answer is no, pickles of any kind are not low FODMAP. However, it is a little more complicated than this and you may want to read on to find out more. However, if in doubt don’t risk eating those pickles and ending up with an upset stomach.

Pickles on a FODMAP Diet

Unfortunately, as with many foods, there is no simple yes or no answer to whether or not you can eat pickles on a low FODMAP diet.

As mentioned above the term pickle can actually apply to any vegetable that has been pickled in vinegar which can make it difficult because you have to consider the vegetable on its own and work out if that is low FODMAP and then work out how pickling the veg will affect it.

Another problem is that a lot of pickles simply haven’t been tested yet so we can’t know for sure which means that if you aren’t sure then you should avoid pickles.  You may find that there are some types of pickles that you can eat.

Pickled onions and pickled beetroot for example are lower in FODMAP’s so you may be able to eat small servings of these with your meal. Just be careful of shop-bought pickles because they may have popped in some extra ingredients that are not low FODMAP. Always check the ingredients carefully if you do plan to try some pickles on your diet.

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Low FODMAP Alternatives to Pickles

The obvious alternative to pickles you buy in a store is to make your own! This way you can at least control the ingredients and serving sizes of the pickles. Make sure you pick low FODMAP vegetables and pickle them as normal or find a low FODMAP pickle recipe to follow.

Luckily, vinegar is FODMAP free so in theory, you can pickle your own veggies successfully.

If you don’t have the time for picking at home then the next alternative to try is unfortunately just to eat the vegetables fresh. Then you can ensure you only eat low FODMAP vegetables that won’t upset your stomach and if you are looking for that vinegary flavour sprinkle a little low FODMAP vinegar or dressing over the vegetables.

It won’t be quite the same but it is delicious in its own way.

Pickled gherkins on a burger are the best part for many people. A shame if you are following a low FODMAP diet. However, the thing the gherkin adds to the burger is actually texture rather than flavour. You can get this crunch into your burger by thinly slicing some cucumber. If you want a little of the bitterness too then you could swap out the cucumber for radish. You may be surprised at how delicious this is!

Quick Summary

Pickles, in general, are not considered low FODMAP so you should use them sparingly and only if you know your digestive system can cope. You may be able to eat some pickles such as pickled onions or beetroot but not others like gherkins or cabbage.

If in doubt avoid them entirely and try alternatives to add to your meals.