Hey there, all you low carb/keto-curious folks out there! If you’ve ventured into the low-carb realm, you’ve probably had a few questions about one of life’s greatest carb-heavy pleasures: bread.
Well, today we’re tackling one particular bread variety that’s got everyone talking – sourdough! Is it a carb bomb waiting to ruin your keto party, or could it be the low-carb hero you’ve been dreaming of? Read on to find out, and at the end we’ll be giving you some great low-carb bread options to consider.
What is Sourdough Bread?
Sourdough Bread is made through a fermentation process. A starter is created by combining flour and water and left to ferment. Bacteria break down starches into sugars, which yeast ferments. This creates carbon dioxide gas, giving Sourdough its unique texture and flavor.
The sourdough making process is much slower and relies on natural processes and ingredients, in a way that ultra processed white breads don’t. This slow process and more complex set of yeasts give sourdough a much stronger flavour, and change it’s makeup of carbs etc.
It is usually lower in carbs compared to other breads. The fermentation process breaks down carbs into simpler sugars, making them easier to digest. Carb content can vary based on recipe and ingredients however so read the label!
If you’re on low-carb diet or managing blood sugar though, it should be consumed in moderation. Choose whole grain Sourdough Bread for added fiber and nutrients, but you will need to watch the carb count if you’re on a strict low carb or keto diet.
Is Sourdough Bread Low Carb?
The short answer is that no, sourdough bread isn’t what would be conventionally considered a low carb food, given its high carbohydrate count. That said, with its improved digestibility and nutritional value versus other bread types, its certainly a better choice than other breads, and can be integrated into a low carb diet if eaten in moderation.
To understand if sourdough bread can fit into a low-carb diet though, we need to understand its nutritional profile and weigh it against the benefits of low carb diets. As with most things, moderation is key, and a focus on eating a balanced diet with plenty of nutritional value. From this perspective, sourdough bread can fit somewhere into a low carb diet.
The Nutritional Profile of Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread is becoming increasingly popular for its unique taste and texture. People perceive it to be a healthy choice compared to other breads. But what about its nutrition?
Analyzing calories, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins is a great way to understand the nutritional profile of sourdough. Below is a table with nutritional information per 100 grams:
|Saturated Fat||0.4 g|
Sourdough has 44g of carbs per serving. But it also has a good amount of fiber, making it a low glycemic bread. Its complex carbs are broken down slowly by the body, helping you feel full for longer.
It’s not just low glycemic and high in fiber. Sourdough contains antioxidants and other nutrients not found in other breads. B vitamins, magnesium and selenium make it excellent for health compared to other breads.
The Benefits of Low Carb Diets
A low-carb diet has many advantages! Less carb intake leads to weight loss, lower hunger levels, and better blood sugar control. It may even lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. On top of that, it may bring mental clarity and energy.
This diet focuses on more protein and healthy fats, and less carbs. Avoiding sugary drinks, baked goods, pasta, bread, potatoes, and rice stops you from eating processed food.
Yes, you saw bread in that list!
Sourdough bread is a tricky option. It usually has flour and water, and can be made with natural yeasts or lactic acid bacteria. This could reduce the carbs, but the type of flour used is important. Rye flour has more carbs than wheat flour. Low-carb subs like almond flour or coconut flour are better choices but will give you a very different taste and texture.
Typically people on a low carb diet will be aiming for somewhere between 50g and 200g of carbs per day, depending on their goals. Meanwhile someone on a keto diet will be aiming for less than 50g and potentially more like a maximum of 20g of carbs per day.
This makes integrating sourdough quite the challenge, with it’s 44g of carbs (per 100g). Therefore, it really comes down to the specifics of the diet you’re following and how desperate you are for a taste of that tangy, bready goodness!
A slice of sourdough on a moderate low carb diet is going to be just fine. Chowing down on a three tier sourdough club sandwich on the keto diet is going to blow your macros through the roof!
The Relationship Between Sourdough Bread and Low Carb Diets
Comparing Sourdough Bread to Other Types of Bread
Sourdough Bread vs Other Types of Bread:
It’s worth looking at sourdough in the context of other bread options, to get a sense of how much better it is for a low carb diet. The sourdough process is quite different to traditional industrial bread making, and the type of flour used can make a huge difference. Check out the table below:
|Type of Bread||Carbohydrate Content (per slice)||Sourdough Content|
|White Bread||12 grams||None|
|Whole Wheat||9 grams||None|
|Rye Bread||15 grams||Small|
|Sourdough Bread||8 grams||High|
Sourdough bread is lower in carbohydrates than most other types of bread. It is also high in nutritional value. It contains vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron and B vitamins. Furthermore, studies suggest that sourdough bread may be beneficial to gut health due to its probiotic properties. Overall, sourdough bread is a healthier option without compromising on taste or texture.
The Amount of Carbs in Sourdough Bread
Sourdough Bread and its Carb levels are worth considering for a low-carb diet, but it does depend on the flour that you use. Let’s take a peek at the Sourdough Bread Carb content depending on the type of flour used. A table is a great reference:
|Type of Sourdough Bread||Carbs (g)|
White Sourdough has the most Carbs, while Rye Sourdough is less.
The Impact of Sourdough Bread on Blood Sugar Levels
Sourdough bread has less carbs. It also has a lower glycemic index. Thus, it affects blood sugar levels differently. White bread has a glycemic index of 71 and 13g carbs per slice. Sourdough bread has a glycemic index of 53 and 9g carbs.
Factors like metabolic rate and amount eaten matter. So, sourdough is good for low-carb diets and controlling blood sugar levels when compared to basic white bread.
In summary, it is beneficial to switch to sourdough from white bread. It has fewer carbs and keeps glucose levels normal for longer.
Tips for Incorporating Sourdough Bread into Low Carb Diets
To seamlessly incorporate sourdough bread into your low carb diet, follow these tips. Choosing the right type of sourdough bread that is low in carbohydrates is crucial. Pairing sourdough bread with low carb foods can help further reduce your carb intake without compromising on taste. Making sourdough bread at home for low carb diets is a great option to have complete control over the ingredients used.
Choosing the Right Type of Sourdough Bread
Including Sourdough in Your Low-Carb Diet
It can be a good idea to add sourdough to your low-carb diet, if you choose the right type of bread and eat it in moderation. Sourdough has a lower glycemic index than other types, due to beneficial bacteria for digestion and reducing inflammation. These tips will help you select the best sourdough bread for your low-carb lifestyle:
- Pick Sprouted grain sourdough if possible
- Read the ingredients list and pick the lowest carb option
- Confirm the fermentation process
- Check the carbs per serving (ie: how big are the slices!)
- Pick fresh and unprocessed sourdough from a reputable bakery or homemade rather than industrially made sealed packs.
By taking these points into account, you can still enjoy the taste and nutrition of sourdough while following your eating plan. Remember, even though sourdough has health benefits, it still contains calories. So, don’t overindulge in one food group.
Pairing Sourdough Bread with Low Carb Foods
For those who follow a low carb diet, sourdough bread may seem unlikely. But there are ways to make it part of your eating plan.
- Pair it with high protein foods. Eggs and meats can help balance its carb content and still enjoy the flavor. Thinks scrambled eggs and ham.
- Choose low carb toppings. Go for avocado, tomato, or cucumber for added nutrition without extra carbs.The key is to balance the carb count with a hefty helping of fats and some protein.
- Control the portions. As it may have more carbs than other kinds of bread, have it in smaller amounts. Keep it to one or two small slices rather than making big doorstop sandwiches!
It’s also important to remember that sourdough bread contains probiotics and prebiotics that can benefit gut health. But if you’re gluten intolerant, it’s best to consult a doctor before consuming it.
What are Good Low-Carb Sourdough Alternatives?
Fundamentally, sourdough bread is still relatively high in carbs, even if eaten in moderation. The great news is that there are now plenty of great low carb and even Keto diet friendly bread alternatives available that allow you to eat bread without worrying about your macros. Here are some great options:
Unbun Low Carb Bread
At just 5g net carbs per serving, this is a great low carb bread option that can even be keto-friendly
Orowheat Keto Hot Dog Buns
Again with just 5g net carbs per serving, you can keep on eating hot dogs on Keto!
Mission 0 Carb Tortillas
These may not be sourdough, but there are a great bread alternative for wraps, tacos, burritos and more – definitely worth having in the cupboard.
Simple Mills Almond Bread Mix
If you’re down for a little home baking – almond bread is a great alternative to bread and sourdough. Just don’t expect the same light texture!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, sourdough bread is not considered a low carb food because it is made from wheat flour, which contains carbohydrates. However, sourdough bread has a lower glycemic index than regular bread, which can help regulate blood sugar levels.
The number of carbs in sourdough bread varies depending on the recipe and how it is made. On average, one slice of sourdough bread contains about 15-20 grams of carbohydrates.
While sourdough bread is not considered a low carb food, it can still be part of a balanced diet in moderation. If you are following a low carb diet, you may want to limit your intake of sourdough bread or choose low carb alternatives.
Some low carb alternatives to sourdough bread include almond flour bread, coconut flour bread, and flaxseed bread. These types of breads are made from low carb flours and typically contain fewer carbs than sourdough bread.
Yes, sourdough bread typically contains gluten because it is made from wheat flour. However, some sourdough breads may have lower amounts of gluten because the fermentation process can break down some of the gluten in the flour.
Sourdough bread may be healthier than other types of bread because it is fermented, which can increase nutrient absorption and improve digestion. Additionally, sourdough bread generally has a lower glycemic index than other types of bread, which can help regulate blood sugar levels.