Pickles are undoubtedly delicious, aren’t they? Just the very thought of them makes us salivate and how! It’s not just us, but several other celebs from B-town who swear by pickles for their taste and health. Recently, De De Pyar De actress Rakul Preet Singh posted a video on her Insta account, sharing the goodness of homemade pickles. That’s not all — even Padmavat star Deepika Padukone has confessed to being in love with pickled mango. Now, the big question is — are eating pickles really bad or is it just a myth?
Come let’s find out!
Pickling is an ancient food preservation technique. You can make pickles from almost any food, including carrots, tomatoes, lemons, mangoes, red and green chilies, cucumber, fish, chicken and spices. It is an accompaniment that goes with almost every Indian meal.
According to dietician Ms Priya Palan from Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Mumbai pickles have a high concentration of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium and sodium, because the salty brine draws out the water from the pickles.
“As every coin has two sides, pickles have a downside to them. Preserving any kind of food requires the addition of salt, and salt makes up about five percent of most pickling recipes. The high sodium content of pickles is a concern for people, especially those who are suffering from hypertension and other chronic conditions such as kidney disease, cardiac problems, diabetes and liver problems. The addition of simple sugars and fat, when added in excess, can lead to many health issues. Spices added to pickles can cause irritation to people with a weak gastroIntestinal tract,” says Ms Palan.
She adds, “To get the most out of pickles, it is important to know what it is made of. People should carefully read the nutrition label and look for the sugar and sodium content, vinegar and fermented pickle.”
Ms Palan points out that eating pickles is not unhealthy. But there are so many myths that prevail. Let’s find out!
Myth 1: Most of the pickles are packed with salt and oil
Fact: If you fail to add proper salt and oil to the pickle, there could be chances of spoilage. It is essential to take the help of the expert, and add salt and oil to the quantity suggested by an expert. Thus, a healthier version of a pickle can be made by using less salt and oil.
Myth 2: Pickles are totally unhealthy
Fact: Pickles contain a lot of minerals and vitamins. The method of preparation decides the nutritional value of pickles. Eating pickles can help with faster relief from muscle cramps. Addition of spices to the pickle makes them a good source of antioxidants that can help to boost the immune system.
Myth 3: Vinegar in the pickle can affect the blood sugar levels
Fact: Vinegar-based pickles help to lower blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. Vinegar is produced through a fermentation process, which provides good bacteria. Meanwhile, the acetic acid present in the vinegar can help to normalize one’s blood sugar levels.
Myth 4: Oil in the pickle is not at all good for your health and well-being
Fact: Having oil itself will not raise your risk of heart disease. Other poor lifestyle choices like not exercising, consuming junk food, unhealthy fats, and eating late in the night can trigger heart disease. You can choose mustard or peanut oil.
Myth 5: Salt in the pickle raises blood pressure levels
Fact: Many people have a notion that excessive consumption of salt is the only factor that causes hypertension. This is not true at all. Not staying physically active, eating processed and packaged food, stress, and lack of sleep are also the culprits. There are several alternatives to salt including lemon zest or pepper. However, you can also take the help of an expert regarding the salt content.
“One must always remember that moderation is the key to good health. Those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, acidity, and obesity need to limit their intake of pickles,” she concludes.