Sourdough Bread: Is It Good for You? (2024)

Recently, there seems to be a renewed interest in sourdough bread, with hundreds of people developing their own starters and practicing home-made recipes. Though making sourdough bread has become a popular activity, the bread has been around for thousands of years. It is the oldest type of leavened bread (bread that rises due to yeast or other ingredients) on record, and it’s enjoyed in many cultures around the world.

That’s because sourdough bread is easy to make. Instead of using baker’s yeast, sourdough bread relies on a starter: a mixture of water and flour that develops a population of wild yeast. This yeast produces lactic acid, the source of sourdough bread’s distinctive tangy taste. This acid both flavors the bread and kills unwanted bacteria, keeping a sourdough starter safer from going bad.

Today, sourdough bread can be made at home or bought in stores throughout the country. Many people tout the health benefits of sourdough bread, but it’s still not for everyone. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of sourdough bread.

Nutrition Information

An average one slice of sourdough bread (about 50 grams) contains:

  • Calories: 185
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 1 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 36 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: Less than 1 gram

Sourdough bread is an excellent source of:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Folate
  • Niacin

Sourdough bread is also an excellent source of antioxidants. Studies have shown that antioxidants like the peptides found in sourdough can lower the risk for certain types of cancer, signs of aging, or chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Potential Health Benefits of Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. However, the same qualities that make sourdough bread so healthy can also create complications for people with certain medical conditions.

Research has found a number of potential health benefits to eating sourdough bread:

General Body Functions

Sourdough bread is particularly rich in nutrients that the body can easily absorb. This is due to the way that the lactic acid bacteria in the bread interacts with these nutrients. These bacteria destroy certain types of acid commonly found in other types of bread, which increases the availability of nutrients like folate, potassium, and magnesium.

Your body needs folate to divide cells and make DNA and other genetic materials. Potassium also aids in the function of your cells. It regulates your heartbeat, helps your nerves and muscles function properly, and is necessary to make proteins and metabolize carbs. Magnesium regulates your muscle and nerve function, controls blood sugar and protein levels, and helps make protein, bones, and DNA.

Disease Prevention

The lactic acid bacteria are also responsible for increased antioxidants in sourdough bread compared to other types of bread. Antioxidants protect your cells from damage that cause serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and more.

Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Eating sourdough bread may help you keep your blood sugar levels more stable than if you were to eat white bread. The bacteria that helps form sourdough also have a unique effect on the starch in the bread.

It changes the structure of the bread molecules —making your body absorb them slower, which lowers the bread’s glycemic index. This means that your insulin levels will not spike as high after eating a slice of sourdough bread as they would after eating white bread.

Improved Digestive Health

Sourdough bread may be easier to digest than white bread for some people. According to some studies, sourdough bread acts as a prebiotic, which means that the fiber in the bread helps feed the “good” bacteria in your intestines. These bacteria are important for maintaining a stable, healthy digestive system.

Sourdough is also lower in gluten than other forms of bread. It appears that the acid in the bread degrades gluten. As a result, people with gluten intolerance may find that sourdough is easier on their stomachs.

Potential Risks of Eating Sourdough Bread

Just because sourdough bread is nutritious doesn’t mean that it comes without risks. Consider the following before eating sourdough bread:

Contamination

Many people enjoy making sourdough at home. While this is normally perfectly safe, in some cases it’s possible to develop a contaminated sourdough starter. Your sourdough starter has may be contaminated if it:

  • never bubbles
  • develops green, pink, orange, or black patches,
  • appears “fuzzy”

Throw your sourdough starter away if it’s exhibiting any of these qualities.

Not Gluten-Free

While sourdough bread is usually lower in gluten, it is not gluten-free. People with a gluten intolerance may find that sourdough is easier to digest, but people with celiac disease will likely still experience symptoms if they eat sourdough bread. If you have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, consult with your physician before adding sourdough bread to your diet.

Sourdough Bread: Is It Good for You? (2024)

FAQs

Sourdough Bread: Is It Good for You? ›

Sourdough bread is also an excellent source of antioxidants. Studies have shown that antioxidants like the peptides found in sourdough can lower the risk for certain types of cancer, signs of aging, or chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Is sourdough the healthiest bread? ›

Sourdough is often hailed as a superfood and healthier option compared to normal bread. It's a staple of the meal that the world's longest-living family eats every day, and it may be easier on the digestive system for some people.

Is it healthy to eat sourdough bread everyday? ›

Research studies show that there are numerous benefits to eating sourdough bread. Given the fermentation process used, sourdough is rich in vitamins and minerals. The lactic acid bacteria in sourdough increases antioxidant levels which can help protect your cells from heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

What is the healthiest bread to eat? ›

Next time you're at the store, look for the following options to find a healthy bread you like.
  • Wholegrain bread. Wholegrain bread is minimally processed and made with flour from fully intact grains. ...
  • Multigrain bread. ...
  • Dark rye bread. ...
  • Authentic sourdough bread. ...
  • Flaxseed, or linseed, bread. ...
  • Ezekiel, or sprouted grain, bread.
Mar 19, 2024

Is sourdough bread healthy to lose weight? ›

But flour type and personal diet need to play a big role. Is sourdough bread good for weight loss? Yes, it may help in your weight management journey. It's complex carbs and high fibre content can leave you feeling full and limit snacking.

Is sourdough anti-inflammatory? ›

Sourdough Fermentation Improves the Antioxidant, Antihypertensive, and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Triticum dicoccum.

Is sourdough bread good or bad carbs? ›

Sourdough has made a comeback—and for good reason. It provides nutrients, including healthy carbs, protein, fiber, iron and vitamins like folic acid. It may help improve digestion, lower chronic disease risk and even promote healthy aging.

Is sourdough really good for your gut? ›

Improved Digestive Health

Sourdough bread may be easier to digest than white bread for some people. According to some studies, sourdough bread acts as a prebiotic, which means that the fiber in the bread helps feed the “good” bacteria in your intestines.

Is store-bought sourdough bread healthy? ›

Other store-bought sourdough breads might be leavened through sourdough, yet not long enough or only some of the flour was combined with the starter — which means the bread is not as nutritious as it could (and should) be.

Can diabetics eat sourdough bread? ›

Sourdough bread is made through a slow fermentation process, which may cause this type of bread to raise blood sugar more slowly than other breads. As a result, sourdough bread could be a great choice for those with diabetes. Whole grain sourdough bread is the best sourdough bread for diabetics.

What is the most unhealthy bread? ›

The Least Nutritious Breads
  • White Bread. White bread doesn't rank too high when it comes to nutrition. ...
  • Specialty Breads: Ciabatta, Pita, Focaccia and Brioche. Most specialty-style breads, like ciabatta, pita bread, focaccia and brioche are made with refined white flour.

What is the best bread when losing weight? ›

Multigrain bread is high in fiber and other beneficial elements. These make it perfect for losing weight.

What is the disadvantage of sourdough bread? ›

Potential Drawbacks

Therefore, sourdough bread is not a safe choice for people with celiac disease or a wheat allergy, and it is not an ideal choice for people who are eating gluten-free or avoid wheat for any other reason.

Is too much sourdough bad for you? ›

Can you eat sourdough bread every day? It's good news for sourdough super-fans. 'Sourdough is rich in carbohydrates which should make up around 50% of our energy intake every day, so there's no problem with eating sourdough daily,' says Tilt, who adds; 'it's delicious and I often do! '

Is sourdough bread a junk food? ›

Sourdough bread contains higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than other breads. It also contains lower levels of phytate and therefore allows your body to absorb the nutrients it contains more easily than those in regular bread.

Is sourdough bread as fattening as normal bread? ›

A 1-ounce slice of sourdough white bread contains 77 calories, 3 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fiber. A 1-ounce slice of white bread contains 75 calories, 2.5 grams of protein, 14 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fiber. You may get more nutrients out of a slice of sourdough, though.

Does sourdough bread spike blood sugar? ›

Sourdough bread is made through a slow fermentation process, which may cause this type of bread to raise blood sugar more slowly than other breads. As a result, sourdough bread could be a great choice for those with diabetes. Whole grain sourdough bread is the best sourdough bread for diabetics.

Which is better rye or sourdough? ›

As long as they're made with whole grains and have limited or no added sugar, both rye bread and sourdough bread are healthy bread options. Sourdough bread may be even healthier than regular bread because the fermentation makes certain vitamins and minerals easier for our bodies to absorb.

Is sourdough bread or rice healthier? ›

However, rice does contain more protein, vitamins, and minerals compared to bread. If you're looking for a healthier alternative to white bread and rice, try opting for multigrain bread, sourdough bread, rye bread, and brown rice. All of these options contain more nutrients than traditional bread and rice choices.

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