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Can You Eat Pickles on a Carnivore Diet? Is It Healthy?

Can you eat pickles on a Carnivore diet? I know Carnivore excludes all plant-based foods, but what harm can come from delicious, tiny pickles? Can pickles stop ketosis or may even bring some benefits? This article is to answer all these questions and more about pickles on a Carnivore diet. Let’s read!

Can You Eat Pickles on a Carnivore Diet? Is It Healthy?
  • The Carnivore diet focuses on consuming animal products while avoiding all plant-based foods to lead to ketosis by minimizing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat and protein consumption.
  • Pickles are generally not allowed on a strict Carnivore diet due to their carbohydrate and fiber content.
  • Some individuals may choose to include pickles occasionally, but it can deviate from the diet's goals and hinder results.
  • If you decide to eat pickles on a Carnivore diet, it's important to limit consumption, check ingredients, avoid sugary pickles, and use them for flavor.

What Is the Carnivore Diet?

To decide if you can eat pickles on a Carnivore diet, you need to know how this diet works and if there are some ways to ditch the strict rules. But the important point is whether it’s worth it or not.

Let’s start with the principles of the strict Carnivore diet. The original version of the Carnivore welcomes all kinds of animal products, from meat and poultry to fish and eggs and even limited dairy.

The diet’s main focus is consuming high amounts of fat and protein and minimizing carbohydrate intake to induce ketosis, where the body burns fat instead of carbs.

However, it accepts no plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and similar products, including pickles because they are rich in carbohydrates and fiber, which are not welcome in a Carnivorous lifestyle.

If followed properly, the Carnivore diet can bring various health benefits, including weight loss, better mental clarity, reduced inflammation, and relief from certain health conditions like autoimmune diseases.

The important point is that the benefits of the Carnivore diet can only be achieved if you stick to the diet and don’t cheat! Yet again, it may be hard for beginners to forget all their favorite foods and only dine on animal products.

So, does this mean we’re allowed to include some of our favorite foods at the beginning of a Carnivore diet?

Learn More: What Is The Carnivore Diet? Myth vs Fact

Dr. Paul Saladino, Author of "The Carnivore Code":

"The strict carnivore diet excludes all plant foods, including pickles. However, some individuals may find that incorporating small amounts of fermented foods like pickles can be beneficial, as long as they don't cause any negative symptoms."

Can You Eat Pickles on a Carnivore Diet?

Well, to be honest, we need to remember that the Carnivore diet doesn’t allow fruits and vegetables, so pickles are generally not allowed. Emotional damage!

I know that the rules say you can’t eat pickles on a strict Carnivore diet, but avoiding all the foods we used to eat before may make it difficult to continue the diet, and some individuals may find it too hard and quit.

Some individuals prefer a less restrictive version of the Carnivore diet where eating pickles occasionally is not too bad. If you decide to eat pickles sometimes, you must note that it’s a deviation from the diet and may even hinder the results.

So including pickles on a Carnivore diet is a personal choice with some consequences. Pickles are not so high in carbs or fiber, but they contain some, which may negatively affect the Carnivore diet results.

Learn More: How to Start a Carnivore Diet? When Should I Start? [Expert Guide]

How to Eat Pickles on a Carnivore Diet?

Since pickles are not allowed on a strict Carnivore diet, you need to gradually minimize your consumption. If you prefer to include pickles on a Carnivore diet or can’t avoid them altogether at once, you need to know how to add them to the Carnivore diet meals.

  • Limit Consumption: Small portions of pickles as a condiment or side dish can be good for Carnivores.
  • Check Ingredients: When buying pickles, check the label and choose those with minimal additives or preservatives. Traditional dill pickles made with cucumbers, vinegar, water, and salt are better for Carnivore dieters.
  • Avoid Sugary Pickles: Some pickles may contain added sugars and sweeteners, which you need to steer clear of.
  • Consider Sodium: Pickles contain high levels of sodium, gained in the brining process. Be careful about your consumption and sodium intake, especially if you’re sensitive to sodium.
  • Use as a Condiment: Do not add pickles to all meals and take them as a condiment or flavor enhancer for your meat-based dishes. For example, you can slice them thinly and add them to a meat and cheese plate or use them to add a tangy crunch to a Carnivore-friendly burger.
  • Homemade Pickles: Homemade pickles usually contain fewer additives and unwanted ingredients. You can even make your own pickles with cucumbers, vinegar, water, and salt at home.

Learn More: The 20 Best Carnivore Diet Websites [Free Carnivore Sources + Blogs]

Shawn Baker, Author of "The Carnivore Diet":

"While the pure Carnivore Diet avoids all plant-based foods, some followers find that small amounts of pickles, particularly if they're low in sugar and additives, can add variety and flavor without significant negative effects."

The Benefits of Having Pickles on a Carnivore Diet

While pickles are not allowed in the strict Carnivore diet, some individuals may want to include them occasionally. So, let’s see if there are any benefits to consuming pickles.

Flavor and Variety

Adding pickles to Carnivore meals can bring flavor and variety.

Low in Carbohydrates

Pickles do not contain high levels of carbohydrates, which is good for those on a low-carb or ketogenic version of the Carnivore diet.


Pickles are made with cucumbers and brine (water and salt), so they help you stay hydrated.


Pickles contain sodium and can be a source of electrolytes, which can be helpful in alleviating the symptoms of the "keto flu" that some dieters face when transitioning to a low-carb or ketogenic diet. But consume them in moderation, as too much salt is associated with increased blood pressure and risk of heart disease [1].

Learn More: How to Get Vitamin C on a Carnivore Diet? [Best Meat to Avoid Scurvy]

Dr. Ken Berry, Family Physician and Author:

"Incorporating foods like pickles in moderation may work for some people on a Carnivore Diet. It's about finding a balance that maintains the diet's benefits while adding a bit of variety."

Pickles Nutrition

Pickles can have different nutritional values depending on their brand or how they are made. Here are the nutrients found in a dill pickle (1 medium-sized pickle, about 4 inches long and 1 inch in diameter):

  • Calories: 4-5 cal
  • Carbohydrates: 1-2 g
  • Fiber: Less than 1 g
  • Protein: Less than 1 g
  • Fat: None
  • Sodium: 300-400 mg
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins K and A, calcium, and potassium

Learn More: Can I Use Coconut Oil on a Carnivore Diet?

Do Pickles Stop Ketosis?

Pickles do not generally affect ketosis. Pickles contain low levels of carbohydrates coming from fiber and some sugar naturally found in cucumbers. Low levels of carbs in pickles make them somehow suitable for those on low-carb diets like Carnivore and Ketogenic.

However, an important factor here is the amount of pickles consumed. Overeating pickles can increase the overall carbohydrate content and negatively impact ketosis.


So answering the question, “Can you eat pickles on a Carnivore diet?”, depends on the version of the Carnivore diet you follow and your personal goals and preferences.

Eating too many pickles can negatively affect ketosis and hinder the Carnivore results. So, it’s better to avoid pickles or minimize them gradually to make the most of the diet and achieve your health and fitness goals.

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