Why You Shouldn’t Eat Pickles and Salted Cucumbers? Are Sour Pickles Better?

Pickles made with dangerous ingredients can increase the risk of cancer.


Pickled cucumbers are a favorite dish of many people, and they are also a great way to enhance the taste buds and prevent nausea. However, experts recommend that we should eat pickled cucumbers when they are sufficiently sour, and not when they are ripe or too salty.

When fruits and vegetables are pickled, they naturally contain bacteria including lactic acid bacteria, putrefactive bacteria, and disease-causing bacteria. Under suitable conditions, lactic acid bacteria naturally present in fruits and vegetables will ferment the starch to produce acidity, while other harmful bacteria cannot survive and are destroyed after 9-10 hours.

green cucumbers

Eating partially pickled cucumbers, overly salty ones, or unripe cucumbers only provides taste without the health benefits of sour pickled cucumbers. The beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacillus, acidophilus, and plantarum, form a beneficial microflora in sour pickled cucumbers. These bacteria help in the digestion of starchy and proteinaceous foods, leading to better nutrient absorption.

On the other hand, overly salty or unripe pickled cucumbers cannot suppress the growth of harmful bacteria, which increases the risk of infection with parasites, harmful bacteria, and putrefactive bacteria. Eating overly salty pickled cucumbers can cause stomach discomfort and indigestion.

Partially pickled cucumbers also pose a higher risk of cancer due to the conversion of nitrate into nitrite. Nitrate levels are higher in the early stage of pickling and gradually decrease over time as the cucumbers become sour. Nowadays, fruits and vegetables are often heavily fertilized with nitrogen, leading to higher nitrite levels. Nitrite is a known carcinogen and increases the risk of cancer. Nitrite reacts with amino acids in food to form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic compounds.

sour pickled cucumbers

Eating pickled cucumbers safely

Choose fresh and clean fruits and vegetables for pickling. Avoid excessively green ones, as they may contain excessive nitrogen and produce more nitrite.

Limit consumption of overly salty pickled cucumbers or unripe ones that are still green, not turning yellow, and have a biting taste.

“Dưa muối nén” is a type of pickled cucumbers that can be stored for a long time, but they have a high salt content. Pay attention to the amount of salt intake when consuming them to avoid excessive sodium intake.

compressed pickled cucumbers

Pickled cucumbers that have been pickled for a long time can become mushy, so it is also advisable to limit consumption.

This dish is delicious, but it is best not to consume it excessively. After eating, rinse your mouth with clean water to reduce the salt content in the cucumbers.

Avoid using plastic containers to store pickled cucumbers. Use glass or ceramic jars instead to prevent the harmful effects of plastic leaching into the pickled cucumbers.

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