Is Sourdough Bread Good for Weight Loss?

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Is Sourdough Bread Good for Weight Loss?

The short answer is yes – sourdough bread, particularly when made with whole grain or whole wheat flour, can be a healthier choice compared to other bread types.

Its lower glycemic index, higher fiber content, and potential gut health benefits make it a smart option for those on a weight loss journey.

As a nutritionist, I understand that bread can be a huge part of your diet. In many cases, it can either make or break your diet.

Join me as we dig deeper to understand the science behind sourdough bread and how you can make the most of it in your weight loss diet.

Also read: Is Cornbread Good for Weight Loss?

Nutritional Value of Sourdough Bread

As per the USDA 1 slice of sourdough bread has the following nutrients

Serving size – 1 slice (59g)

  • Calories – 188

  • Protein – 8g

  • Fat – 1g

  • Carbohydrates – 37g

  • Fiber – 2g

  • Sodium – 425mg

Also read: Is Spam Good for Weight Loss?

Potential Benefits of Sourdough Bread for Weight Loss

Since sourdough bread is made using a starter culture of wild yeast and bacteria it gives the sourdough bread healthy and a unique flavor and texture, as well as some potential health benefits.

It Doesnt Cause a Blood Sugar Spike

A woman smiling, holding a piece of sourdough bread and a blood glucose monitor displaying a reading.

When you eat foods that quickly spike your blood sugar, like many types of bread, it can be bad for weight loss.

That’s because fast and high spikes in blood sugar can make your body release a lot of insulin. Insulin is like a key that lets sugar get into your body’s cells from the blood.

If there’s too much sugar in your blood, insulin helps store the extra in the form of fat.

Now, sourdough bread is different. It doesn’t cause a big spike in your blood sugar. This is because of two ratings: the glycemic index (GI) and the glycemic load (GL).

The glycemic index (GI) is a number from 0 to 100 that shows how quickly foods can raise your blood sugar. High GI foods make your blood sugar go up fast.

The glycemic load (GL) is a number that tells you how much a food will raise your blood sugar based on how much carbohydrate is in the food. It combines the GI with the portion size.

Sourdough bread has a GI of 54 and a GL of less than 10.

This is because of how it’s made. It goes through a long fermentation process where the starches (which turn into sugars in your body) are broken down.

Then, the yeast and special acids in the dough, like lactic acid and acetic acid, eat up some of these sugars.

Lactic acid makes sugar absorption slower in your body, and acetic acid makes your stomach empty slowly.

Also, because fermentation reduces the starch content, there’s less of it to turn into sugar in your body after you eat it.

Increased Satiety

A woman rubbing her belly

Sourdough bread contains more fiber than regular bread because the fermentation process increases the amount and availability of these nutrients in the bread.

According to a study, sourdough bread has about 12% more total dietary fiber and 13% more soluble dietary fiber than regular bread.

Fiber-rich foods slow down the rate at which food leaves your stomach, which can help control appetite and reduce the tendency to snack between meals.

Also, chewing a thicker bread like sourdough may trick your brain into releasing more satiety hormones which helps you feel fuller.

Easy on the Gut

A round loaf of sourdough bread surrounded by cartoon illustrations of bacteria, with a "Gut Health Friendly" stamp.

Sourdough bread is easier to digest because of its unique fermentation process. When sourdough bread is made, the flour is mixed with water and left to ferment for a while.

During this time, natural yeast and bacteria work together to break down some of the starches and gluten in the flour.

This pre-digestion process means that when you eat sourdough bread, your body has less work to do.

For weight loss, this benefit has an indirect effect. Because eating foods that are easier to digest reduces the chances of bloating or any other tummy discomfort, this makes it easier for you to stick to your diet and avoid any potential disruptions that make you feel like not eating at all.

Also read: Is Egg Salad Good for Weight Loss?

Potential Downsides of Sourdough Bread For Weight Loss

As they say, there are two sides to every coin, and sourdough bread is no exception. So, let’s explore what you should watch out for.

High in Carbs

Yes I know I said sourdough has a low GI and that it won’t spike your blood sugar. This is a good thing, especially compared to foods with a high GI.

However, the catch with any food that’s high in carbohydrates, even with a low GI like sourdough, is that the carbs still turn into glucose (sugar) in your body, which is then used for energy.

The problem is when you eat more sourdough bread (or more carbs in general) than what your body needs for energy, especially if you’re not very active.

Your body will only use what it needs, and if it gets more energy (or calories) than necessary, it stores the extra in the form of fat. This storage happens no matter if the bread causes a sugar spike or not.

So if you eat in excess plus you don’t have an active lifestyle that includes some kind of sport or exercise, you’ll be storing those carbs as fat.

It’s Still Bread

No matter how you slice it, sourdough is bread. It can be made with different kinds of flour like white, whole wheat, or rye.

These flours affect how ‘good’ the bread is for losing weight.

For example, white flour isn’t the best choice if you’re trying to lose weight because it can mess with your blood sugar.

Whole wheat is a bit better because it has fiber, which helps you feel full.

But even with sourdough, you’ve got to watch how much you eat, just like with any bread.

High in Calories

Look one slice of sourdough bread has about 185 calories. Which is not particularly low.

To lose weight you need to create a caloric deficit in your diet.

This means If you eat too much sourdough and are unable to create a caloric deficit, you won’t be able to meet your weight loss goals.

So again, you have to moderate your intake.

Comparison to Other Breads

Now, let’s see how sourdough stacks up against some other popular types of bread in the context of weight loss.

FeatureSourdough BreadWhite BreadWhole Wheat Bread
Calories92 per slice (29 g)77 per slice (29 g )80 per slice (43g)
Carbohydrates37 g14 g20 g
Fiber1 g0.7 g3 g
Protein3 g2 g5 g
Fat0.6 g1 g0 g
Glycemic Index (GI)549070
Glycemic Load (GL)<104334
Effect on Blood SugarLower/Gradual rise due to complexity and fermentationRapid rise due to simple carbohydrates and lack of fiberModerate (whole grains slow down absorption)
Satiety IndexHigh (due to fermentation)Low (processed grains lead to quicker digestion)High (due to the fiber content)

Also read: Are Rice Noodles Good for Weight Loss?

Tips for Incorporating Sourdough Bread for Weight Loss

Pair it with foods that support your weight loss goals.

An open sandwich with one half spread with peanut butter and jelly, and the other half topped with cucumber slices and ham.

Sourdough bread has a low glycemic index, which means it does not cause a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar levels after eating.

This can help you feel more satisfied and less hungry, and reduce cravings for unhealthy foods.

However, if you eat sourdough bread with high-sugar or high-fat toppings or fillings, such as jam, marmalade, peanut butter, cheese, or butter, you can undo the benefits of sourdough bread and increase your calorie intake.

Instead, you should pair sourdough bread with foods that are high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as lean meats, eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.

These foods can help you create balanced and nutritious meals and snacks that support your weight loss goals and overall health.

Look for sourdough bread made with whole grains.

A person shopping for bread, reading the label of a loaf in a supermarket aisle.

Sourdough bread can be made with different types of flour, such as wheat, rye, oats, spelt, or barley.

However, not all flours are equal in terms of their nutritional value and health effects. Sourdough bread made with refined flour, such as white flour, has less fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals than sourdough bread made with whole grains.

Fiber is especially important for weight loss because it slows down the absorption of sugar in bread.

Which is exactly what we want when trying to lose weight.

This can help you control your appetite and metabolism.

Make your own sourdough bread.

A happy person in an apron kneading dough on a floured surface in a home kitchen.

If you don’t have a problem with cooking, one of the safest options is to make your own sourdough bread.

This way, you have full control over the ingredients and the process, and you don’t have to worry about whether the bread you bought has some hidden sugars, artificial ingredients, chemicals, or preservatives.

You can also customize your sourdough bread to suit your preferences and needs, such as choosing the type of flour, the amount of salt, the size of the loaf, and the flavor of the starter.

I recommend watching this YouTube video and making it along, or following a recipe from another reliable source of your choice.

The Bottom Line

Overall, sourdough bread can be a healthy choice for weight loss when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Its unique fermentation process can make it easier to digest and can help to increase feelings of fullness and satisfaction.

However, it’s important to be mindful of its caloric density and to ensure that it fits into your individual dietary needs and goals.

Also read: Are English Muffins Good for Weight Loss?


Is sourdough bread good for losing weight?

Yes, sourdough bread can be a good choice if you’re trying to lose weight. Its lower glycemic index, nutrient density, and the potential satiety it provides can all contribute to a balanced diet and weight management plan.

However, as with any food, it should be eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Which bread is best for weight loss?

It depends on your personal dietary needs and preferences. However, whole grain bread, including whole grain sourdough, is often recommended because they’re high in fiber and tend to be more filling, which can help with weight management.

Is sourdough bread a bad carb?

No. The carbohydrates in sourdough bread are considered complex carbs, which your body digests more slowly, providing a steady source of energy without the blood sugar spikes associated with refined carbs.

Plus, the fermentation process can further lower the glycemic index of sourdough bread.

Is it OK to eat sourdough bread every day?

Yes. It is okay to eat sourdough bread every day as part of a balanced diet. However, keep portion sizes in check and remember that calories still count.

If you’re on a weight loss journey, monitor your overall intake to make sure you’re not exceeding your daily caloric needs.

Is sourdough a good or bad carb?

Sourdough is considered a good carb, thanks to its complex carbohydrate content and lower glycemic index.

It’s digested more slowly compared to refined bread, which can help keep you feeling full and manage blood sugar levels.

Is sourdough bread as fattening as normal bread?

The calorie content of sourdough bread is similar to that of other types of bread, so it’s not necessarily less “fattening.”

However, due to its potential benefits such as a lower glycemic index and increased satiety, it might be a better choice for those looking to lose weight, as long as it’s consumed in moderation.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission for purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Rahul is a professional nutritionist certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and a personal trainer certified through the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He has a special interest in the science of nutrition and how it can impact the body.

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