Pickles are a condiment or snack that combines the cucumber with salt, vinegar and spices. People have been eating pickles since ancient Egyptian times. Pickles themselves make a low-calorie addition to your diet, although they are high in sodium, but frying them significantly increases their calorie and fat content. Knowing the nutrition information for a fried pickle may make you think twice before indulging in this snack food.
A deep-fried pickle is significantly higher in calories than a regular pickle. One deep-fried pickle spear contains 174 calories, while a regular pickle spear has only 5 calories.
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Many of the calories in a deep-fried pickle come from fat. One deep-fried pickle spear contains 4 grams of total fat and 36 milligrams of cholesterol. Regular pickles are fat free. Fat is an important nutrient your body needs to make cell membranes and help you absorb vitamins, and it's also a source of energy. However, fat is a concentrated source of calories compared to carbohydrates, and high intakes can lead to weight gain. You should aim to limit your daily intake of fat to 20 to 35 percent of your calories.
Carbohydrates and Protein
Deep fried pickles are first dipped in batter, and most of the additional calories in the fried pickle come from the carbohydrates in the batter. One deep-fried pickle spear has 30 grams of carbohydrates; that's the same amount of carbs as in two slices of bread. Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient, but most of your carbs should come from healthy sources such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
While pickles are a high-sodium food item, the deep-fried pickle is significantly higher. One deep-fried pickle spear contains 1,220 milligrams of sodium, versus 210 milligrams in a regular spear. One deep-fried pickle gives you more than half of the daily recommended intake, which is 2,300 milligrams a day. A high-sodium diet increases your risk of developing high blood pressure, and limiting your intake reduces your risk.
Don't Forget the Dip
If you dip your deep-fried pickle in dressing, you need to consider those nutrients when calculating your daily intake. For example, if you dip in a 1-tablespoon serving of ranch dressing, you are adding 63 calories, 135 milligrams of sodium and an additional 7 grams of fat, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. If you have your choice, opt for low-fat or low-sodium dressings.
- MyFitnessPal: Calories in Deep Fried Pickle Spears
- Dave's Garden: In Such a Pickle! Pickle History and Instructions on Making Pickles
- Coheso: Nutrition Information for Vlasic Pickle Spears
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Low-Energy Dense Foods and Weight Management
- McKinley Health Center: Macronutrients: The Importance of Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat
- University of Arkansas Family and Consumer Sciences: The Exchange List System For Diabetic Meal Planning
- Food Network: Deep Fried Pickles
- Colorado State University Extension: Sodium in the Diet
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Ranch Dressing