Not all pickles are created equal.
Fermented foods are more popular than ever. But people are still confused about how to spot real ones.
We know this because each and every Saturday at the farmer’s market, people ask us:
“How do I know whether the pickles in my fridge are healthy?”
Below are the 4 types of pickles out there and what you need to know.
Pickle Type #1
The Neon Yellow Toxic Avenger
Pickles that contain Yellow Dye 5 (tartrazine) are NOT healthy.
They are dead cucumbers, floating in cheap, high acid vinegar and contain tartrazine, a food dye that has been researched to cause hyperactivity in kids.
Chemically enhanced, mass produced pickles are an industrialized food-like relic of a former era and have no place in any 21st century fridge.
Action Step: If your pickles are Toxic Avenger pickles, they need to go into the garbage right now.
Pickle Type #2
Slightly Less Bad For You Sugar Pickles
If the pickles in your fridge contain vinegar but no Yellow Dye 5, they are likely a heat-canned and pasteurized, shelf stable brand.
They may or may not contain high fructose corn syrup—either way they’re full of sugar and not serving your health.
If you just can’t let go of these sweet gherkins, bread and butter pickles and sweet pickle relish—opt for healthier versions (see type #3) that don’t have high fructose corn syrup and eat them sparingly.
Pickle Type #3
The Just Fine Vinegar Pickle
There are vinegar pickles on the shelves at your store that are fine to eat. Just fine.
They have a net-neutral effect on your health and won’t damage your health the way pickles #1 and #2 will.
Treat these heat-canned and pasteurized pickles like the condiments they are. Just don’t mistake them for #4 pickles.
Pickle Type #4
Fermented + Probiotic Pickles - Gold
The trending “healthy pickles” you keep hearing about are lactic-acid fermented pickles, or simply fermented pickles.
These are the gut healthy, microbiome-boosting superfood pickles that you should be consuming everyday, three times a day.
This is the pickle brine you should be drinking, both for its electrolytes and its probiotic load (more on that in our Ulitmate Guide to Healthy Pickle Juice). These raw, live and probiotic pickles actively serve your health.
So where can I find these wonderful pickles, you ask?
Real fermented foods are hard to find - that's where we come in. Here at Olive My Pickle, we ferment over 35 varieties of pickles, olives, kraut, kimchi, veggies, and brine and ship them right to your door. 📦🥒
Start optimizing your family's gut health today - grab a bundle below or build your own box of delicious ferments here.
How do I eat fermented foods for my gut health?
Our quick guide has the answers. Get 20+ meal ideas, tips, hacks and snacks for your best gut ever.