Is Sourdough Bread Low Carb?

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Sourdough bread is essentially made with two ingredients – flour and water. Some people add a little salt as well, but the point is that making sourdough bread requires a very simple recipe that anyone can follow. Sourdough bread is yummy and chewy, but if you’re a vegan or on a keto diet, you might be wondering, is sourdough bread low carb? The truth is, although sourdough bread can be altered so that it doesn’t have a ton of carbs in it, it is almost always a high-carb food.

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The Basics About Sourdough Bread

Keto diets are low-carb diets with increased fat and protein intakes, so it takes a little bit of preplanning to prepare all of your meals. Sourdough bread doesn’t normally qualify as low-carb because it is usually made with standard all-purpose flour that is made from grain, usually wheat, and wheat is high in carbs. This means that if you make your sourdough bread out of regular flour, it cannot be considered on the keto diet. There are just too many carbs in flour.

That being said, you can indeed use other types of flour that will reduce the number of carbs you consume. These include almond and even coconut flour, although the number of carbs found in these types of flour can vary depending on what you choose. Almond and coconut flour are also good for people who can’t eat gluten, as well as people who want to reduce the carbs they consume. The thing is, the fermentation process of sourdough may modify the structure of carb molecules and therefore reduce the bread’s glycemic index (GI), which means even regular flour might not be as high in carbs as you think.

Is Sourdough Bread Healthy for You?

If you’re a vegan or on a keto diet, it is recommended that you check the label to determine the ingredients and the carb content because sourdough bread may contain fewer carbs than you think. Each flour is different and each brand of store-bought sourdough bread is different, so check the labels if you’re on any type of diet. Sourdough bread is delicious and even better, there are several health benefits of consuming it. This includes:

  • It is filled with vitamins and minerals. It is particularly high in B vitamins, as well as iron and selenium, which protect the cells, tissues, and immune system. It also has the same amount of protein in a single slice as an egg does, benefitting both vegans and keto dieters.
  • It is filled with both prebiotics and probiotic power. Probiotics are created when the sourdough goes through the fermentation process but die when the bread bakes. When the probiotic bacteria in your gut feed on the prebiotics found in the bread, various nutrients are released, which makes the prebiotics very healthy for your digestion.

Whether you’re following a special diet or not, sourdough bread is good for you. Everyone wants to be healthier, and adding sourdough bread to your life is a great way to do just that.

The Carb Count in Sourdough Bread

One slice of sourdough bread can have 15 or more carbs in it, depending on whether you use white, whole wheat, or German rye flour. Naturally, if you take a smaller slice, the number of carbs goes down, so that’s a good option if you’re watching your carb intake. But there’s something else you can do to consume fewer carbs while still eating sourdough bread. If it’s homemade, let the dough ferment for a longer period of time. When you do this, the dough consumes bigger amounts of the starches and sugars in the flour, resulting in fewer carbs in the end.

You should also pay attention to the net carbs contained in the slice of bread you’re eating. For example, if a slice of bread has 30 grams of carbs and 3 grams of dietary fiber, the net carbs total 30 because you have to subtract the grams of dietary fiber from the total number of carbs. If 30 carbs doesn’t sound like much, consider this: on the average keto diet, you’re limited to just 50 grams of carbs per day, so if you eat a piece of sourdough bread that has 30 net grams of carbs in it, that leaves you with a mere 20 grams for the remainder of the day!

The Atkins diet is even more restrictive, starting you out with only 20 carbs per day, which means you’ll automatically go 10 carbs over your limit with that same slice of sourdough bread. The point is, although sourdough bread can be lower in carbs than many other types of bread, you’ll still have to be real careful when you’re counting carbs if you love eating this type of bread. But again, sourdough bread is typically a food with a low GI number, so if you’re sticking with the GI diet, you may be able to eat sourdough bread without any worries.


Sourdough bread is very tasty and is the favorite bread for a lot of people. Whether you make it yourself or buy it from a store, there are things you can do to lower the carb content if this is something you’re interested in doing. That being said, sourdough bread is not something you should count on eating a lot of when you’re on any type of low-carb diet. If you’re a vegan, it’s a good choice because there are few ingredients and no eggs, milk, or dairy products. The choice is really up to you.