Is Sourdough Bread Good For Weight Loss? Benefits & Ways To Eat 2024

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Reviewed by Ellie Busby, MS, RDN
is sourdough bread good for weight loss
Sourdough is a fermented bread full of plenty of nutrients. Photo: pbd Studio/Shutterstock

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Made from the fermentation of dough, sourdough bread is taking center stage regarding gut health and digestion. But is sourdough bread good for weight loss?

Sourdough can be part of a balanced and healthy diet to lose body fat for men and women. While bread is often considered taboo during any weight loss regime, the key to weight loss is to create a caloric deficit. As long as you’re in a caloric deficit, sourdough can be enjoyed in moderation. So, what else should you know?

In this article, we explore the benefits of sourdough for weight loss and how you can enjoy it as part of a healthy regime. So, is sourdough bread good for losing weight? Read on to find out now.

Is Sourdough Bread Good For Losing Weight?

It depends. Sourdough bread is packed with various beneficial nutrients and is a great addition to any weight loss diet. The key to healthy and sustainable weight loss is creating a caloric deficit through exercise or diet. If this is followed, you can still enjoy sourdough bread and lose weight.

Is Sourdough Bread Good For Weight Loss? 

Whether sourdough aids weight loss depends on how much sourdough you eat. Including a slice or two of sourdough per day likely won’t thwart your weight loss efforts.

However, it’s important to note that a caloric deficit is necessary to get rid of a beer belly and lose weight. One pound of fat equals 3500 calories,[1] but this value is affected by the BMR and percent body fat. This means creating a 500-1000[2] calorie deficit each day to lose 1-2 pounds of fat a week.

You’re good to go if you can fit a slice or two of sourdough into your daily caloric count while staying in your deficit. 

On top of this, sourdough is more easily digested[3] than normal bread made with baker’s yeast. This is great news for those who suffer from conditions related to poor digestion, such as GERD, gallstones, etc., which can be common in those who are overweight or obese.[3]

What’s In Sourdough Bread? 

The nutrients in sourdough vary depending on the flour and methods used. A 49-gram portion (one slice) of average white sourdough loaf[4] bread might provide:

  • 120 calories.
  • 5 grams of protein.
  • 1 gram of fat.
  • 23 grams of carbohydrates.
  • 7.8 milligrams of calcium.
  • 1 milligram of iron.
  • 39 milligrams of potassium.
  • 220 milligrams of sodium.

Sourdough[5] is believed to have originated in Egypt as far back as 2000 B.C. This traditional form of grain fermentation was eventually replaced by baker’s yeast, the common bread-making method used today. 

However, the rise of sourdough as it cooks isn’t due to baker’s yeast. If you’ve ever baked sourdough yourself, you’ll know the time and care that goes into making this bread. The presence of lactic acid and wild yeast is why this bread rises in the oven.

Lactic acid bacteria[6] are also found in other fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, yogurt, and kimchi.

With traces of calcium, iron, potassium, and sodium, there’s more to this bread than just carbohydrates. It’s also a healthy and easy way to incorporate whole grains into your weight loss diet. Compared to regular bread, sourdough also has more free amino acids[7] due to the fermentation process.

Benefits Of Sourdough Bread For Weight Loss

The benefits of sourdough bread for weight loss go beyond its nutrition. While it may be better for you than regular bread, there are a few other reasons sourdough can aid weight loss.

Sourdough May Support Blood Sugar Regulation

The fermentation process involved in the production of sourdough can alter the carbohydrates.[8] This is thought to reduce the glycemic index, or GI, of this bread, which means the sugar from it enters our bloodstream more slowly than other breads.

The GI rating of sourdough[9] is 54, whereas the GI rating of regular white bread[10] is 71. This means that sourdough is less likely to spike blood sugar levels and may help blood sugar stay level.

The lactic acid produced during the sourdough fermentation process may reduce post-meal blood sugar levels.[11] Since many people strive to lose weight to reduce their diabetes risk and improve blood sugar levels, this is great news. While working toward your goals, you can still enjoy bread as sourdough.

Sourdough Is Easier To Digest

Sourdough Is Easier To Digest
Eating sourdough bread may enhance digestion.Photo: Asier Romero/Shutterstock

The lactic acid and wild yeast bacteria also play invaluable roles in smooth digestion, even when eating sourdough. 

Thanks to the fermentation process, sourdough bread contains probiotics and prebiotics,[12] which can feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. This can significantly improve digestive health and the gut microbiome. 

The fermentation process also breaks down various components in the bread dough, like gluten, which makes it easier for your gastrointestinal tract to digest.

Sourdough fermentation can also reduce antinutrients[13] in whole-wheat dough. Antinutrients prevent the absorption of essential nutrients.

Sourdough Might Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease

Since sourdough is high in fiber, it may reduce the risk of heart disease.[14] This is thought to be due to dietary fiber’s impact on reducing low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. This type of cholesterol can build on the arterial walls, leading to blockages and dysfunctions.

Sourdough Will Keep You Fuller For Longer

Due to its high fiber content, sourdough also can keep you feeling full hours after eating it.[15] This can positively impact weight loss efforts by reducing cravings and snacking in between meals. In turn, this may mean a lower caloric intake and increased weight loss.

Ways To Eat Sourdough Bread

Ways To Eat Sourdough Bread
There are many ways to enjoy sourdough bread. Photo: Dariia Belkina/Shutterstock

Sourdough bread can be enjoyed in plenty of different ways. Here are a few ways you can incorporate it into your weight loss routine:

  • Enjoy it with avocado and eggs on top.
  • Use it as a garlic bread side for chicken soup or chili-con-carne.
  • Try making sourdough pizza, a healthy alternative to regular pizza dough.
  • Chop and toast stale sourdough to use as croutons in your next salad.
  • Make sourdough banana bread.
  • Make a chicken breast sandwich with two slices for a healthy lunch.
  • Add smoked salmon or trout on top with veggies and your favorite seasonings.
  • Eat it as part of a charcuterie spread with hummus, veggies, and cheese.
  • Add fresh berries and yogurt on top.

Get creative, and explore your own ways to incorporate sourdough bread into your lifestyle. The sky is the limit.

Conclusion

Is sourdough bread good for dieting? Yes! Sourdough is a great option for bread lovers looking to lose weight while not giving up their favorite foods.

Sourdough might help you lose belly fat in a week without exercise as long as you stay within your daily caloric limits.

It’s important to remember that healthy and sustainable weight loss often comes down to a holistic approach. Taking a diet pill or fat burner is no replacement for the basics. This means incorporating a balanced diet, a regular exercise routine, and stress-reducing tactics into your daily life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I eat sourdough bread if I want to lose weight?

Yes, sourdough bread can be a healthy addition to most weight loss diets due to its low glycemic index and nutritional value.

Is sourdough bread good for belly fat loss?

Sourdough contains fiber that can keep you full longer and prevent snacking. This means it can be a healthy addition to most weight loss diets.

Is sourdough bread a bad carb?

No, sourdough is a good carb with plenty of nutrients supporting your body and health throughout your weight loss journey. This is a carb you can feel good about.

How many slices of bread can I eat a day for weight loss?

It’s best to stick to only a slice or two a day for a balanced and healthy weight loss diet. This may mean freezing your sourdough and toasting it when you’re ready to eat it.

Can you eat sourdough every day and lose weight?

You can enjoy a slice or two of sourdough daily and still lose weight. Healthy weight loss comes down to creating a caloric deficit through diet and exercise.

Is sourdough very high in calories?

Two slices of sourdough are about 240 calories. Whether this is high in calories depends on what other foods you eat throughout your day.

+ 15 Sources

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Krista Bugden worked as a Kinesiologist at a physiotherapist clinic in Ottawa, Canada for over five years. She has an Honours Bachelor Degree in Human Kinetics (Human Movement) from the University of Ottawa and uses her… See More