People who should not eat pickles, no matter how much they crave them

Pickled vegetables are a common dish in every Vietnamese household. Despite their many benefits, pickled vegetables can also pose health risks, especially for certain individuals who should avoid consuming them.


Pickled cucumbers, apart from being a tasty culinary function, have been shown by numerous studies to have health benefits in aiding digestion, assisting with weight loss due to their abundance of powerful antioxidants, and potentially fighting certain types of cancer.

Eating pickles in a meal can boost beneficial probiotic levels for good health. Pickled cucumbers provide a variety of beneficial microorganisms for the digestive system, stimulating digestion and enhancing immunity and immune function for the body.

However, other studies mention health drawbacks because of their high sodium (salt) content, which negatively affects the kidneys, cardiovascular system, and increases the risk of stomach cancer…

Those who should not eat pickled cucumbers:

1. Individuals with kidney conditions

When the kidneys are weak, the toxin elimination function in the body is also compromised. Consuming excessive salt will cause patients to have high blood pressure, water retention resulting in edema, artificial weight gain, and interfere with medication. Therefore, kidney patients should avoid salty foods in general, and pickles in particular.

2. Individuals with gastrointestinal diseases

Individuals with weak stomachs who consume pickled, fermented foods are more prone to gastrointestinal diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, bacterial dysentery, and dyspepsia… Patients with stomach pain should also exercise caution in consuming this food when there is irritation in the upper stomach region. This is because the high acid concentration in pickled, fermented foods can damage the gastric mucosa, causing gastric inflammation and ulcers.

3. Individuals with high blood pressure

This is a type of food that has a high sodium content. When ingested, salt increases the permeability of cell membranes to sodium, causing increased water retention in cells, constricting blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure and potential complications for patients.

4. Individuals recovering from illness, with weakened bodies

In traditional medicine, pickles are believed to have cooling properties, so they should not be used for individuals with cold bodies. Caution is also advised when combining them with cold foods and should be paired with spices that have warming properties (garlic, chili, lemongrass, etc.). Especially for those recovering from illness, it is not advisable to eat pickled cucumbers.

5. Pregnant women

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Frequently asked questions

While pickles are a tasty treat for many, there are some individuals who should avoid consuming them. These include people with kidney disease, as the high sodium content in pickles can be harmful. Those with GERD or acid reflux may also want to steer clear, as the acidity of pickles can trigger symptoms. Pregnant women are advised to limit their pickle intake due to the potential risk of food poisoning from the bacteria sometimes found in pickles, which can lead to miscarriage or preterm labor.

Pickles are high in sodium, which can be dangerous for individuals with kidney disease. A healthy kidney can process and remove excess sodium from the body, but a diseased kidney may struggle to do so. This can lead to a build-up of sodium in the body, causing fluid retention and potentially raising blood pressure to unsafe levels.

The high acidity of pickles can trigger symptoms in people with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or acid reflux. The acid in pickles can irritate the esophagus and stomach, causing discomfort and potentially leading to more serious complications.

Pregnant women are generally advised to limit their intake of pickles due to the potential risk of food poisoning. Pickles can sometimes contain harmful bacteria, such as Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause listeriosis. This infection can lead to miscarriage, preterm labor, or serious health issues for the newborn.

While pickles should be consumed in moderation, especially for those with the aforementioned health conditions, they do offer some nutritional benefits. Pickles are a source of probiotics, which can support digestive health. They also contain antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage caused by free radicals.