Eating a small amount of cucumber during fasting periods is generally considered acceptable as it contains very few calories and negligible amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
However, consuming large quantities or adding high-calorie toppings such as dressings or dips will break your fast.
Does Cucumber Spike Insulin?
Contrary to popular belief, cucumbers don’t cause a significant insulin spike. This is mainly due to their low calorie count — just 10 calories per 99g or about 3.5 ounces according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Keeping your serving size small helps prevent any possible impact on your blood sugar levels during fasting. In fact, many fasting experts including Dr. Jason Fung believe that as long as you keep your calorie intake below 50 while fasting, it’s unlikely to affect your insulin sensitivity significantly or sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Other experts claim that you can stay in a fasted state if you consume less than 1 gram of carbohydrates and protein. That means if you want to follow this rule, you should consume no more than 1/8 of a medium sized cucumber.
Can I Eat Cucumbers During A Dirty Fast?
Cucumbers are indeed acceptable during a dirty fast, thanks to their low calorie content.
According to experts like Dr. Axe, a dirty fast allows small amounts of calories (usually up to 100) through liquids or minimally impactful foods like cucumbers.
Drinking cucumber water is another practical way to incorporate these low-calorie veggies into your fasting period without breaking the rules of a dirty fast.
Cucumber water, which is made by infusing slices of cucumber in water, is generally allowed during fasting as long as no sweeteners or additives are added. It provides hydration and a subtle flavor without significant caloric content. For more information, check out my “Does Cucumber Water Break A Fast?” article.
Will Cucumber Break An Intermittent Fast?
Yes, technically cucumbers will break an intermittent fast. This is because any food carrying calories can interrupt a fasting period. However, the calorie content of cucumbers is incredibly low.
In fact, cucumbers can be a beneficial addition to your intermittent fasting diet. According to Cleveland Clinic, they are hydrating and packed with nutrients like vitamin K and potassium, which can help support overall health during fasting periods.
So, unless you are on a strict water fast, here are some recommendations for incorporating cucumber into your fasting routine:
- Enjoy cucumber slices as a refreshing snack.
- Wrap sliced cucumbers in lettuce for a low-calorie, hydrating meal.
- Infuse water with cucumber slices for a flavorful and refreshing drink.
- Use cucumber as a base for homemade gazpacho or cucumber soup.
- Blend cucumber with herbs and spices to make a refreshing green smoothie.
- Experiment with marinating cucumbers in vinegar or lemon juice for added flavor.
Are There Drawbacks To Eating Cucumbers While Fasting?
While cucumbers are generally well-tolerated during fasting, some individuals may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort due to their fiber content. Additionally, if consumed in excess with other foods or beverages containing calories, it can interfere with the desired metabolic state of fasting.