Sourdough is arguably the healthiest bread you can ever eat. Unlike other loaves of bread made with baker’s yeast, sourdough has a sour taste due to the presence of lactic acid. Generally, the traditional sourdough recipes contain three ingredients – the starter, flour, and salt. Of course, the live yeast culture gives a tangy flavor.
So, is sourdough bread low carb? Yes, sourdough bread contains fewer carbohydrates because the sugars and starches are consumed during the fermentation process. Depending on how the dough is prepared, a small piece can contain as little as 5 grams of carbohydrates. Additionally, it has a low glycemic index which is beneficial to patients with diabetes.
Sourdough white bread contains 18.5 grams of carbohydrates while conventional white bread contains 20.5 grams (based on 36 g slice).
So, how do you determine the amount of carbohydrates in the bread? This is more than just reading the nutritional profile on the pack. If you want to get an exact number, you should do some calculations.
Simply remove the amount of fiber from the number of carbohydrates. If the total carbohydrate is 33 grams and the dietary fiber is 3 grams, then the net carbohydrate is 30 grams.
The more fiber there is in bread the less carbohydrate you take. This is an important feature to look for in sourdough bread. Sourdough whole wheat bread has 16.8 g of carbs and 2.2 g of fiber while rye sourdough bread contains 16 grams of carbs and 1.8 grams of fiber. The recommended daily intake of fiber is 50 cabs per day.
White bread is high in carbohydrates, so it can produce a high glycemic response. Once you eat it, the blood sugar spikes which can be detrimental to your health. Because sourdough goes through the fermentation process, it has a low GI.
A 2009 study that involved pre-diabetic patients showed that eating sourdough bread lowered insulin levels. The researchers concluded that sourdough bread is better than white bread.
The most nutritional bread for diabetics is sourdough. However, it should be taken in moderation because it can raise glucose levels.
Sourdough takes a longer prep time which means that more gluten is broken down before you consume it. This makes it the best alternative to people who have a mild sensitivity to gluten.
If you want to eat a slice of bread alongside your meal, you should switch from the regular sugary bread to tangy and chewy sourdough.
While most commercial bakers use yeast to make bread rise, sourdough relies on the starter. It ferments the sugars which help the bread to rise. During the fermentation process, the phytate content is reduced by 50%. This increases mineral absorption. You can make sourdough bread with any flour but you should stick to the whole-grain variety.
Does sourdough contain low simple or complex carbohydrates?
Simple carbohydrates consist of sugars and purified starches. When digested, they are quickly converted into energy. This puts a lot of strain on essential organs like the pancreas leading to diabetes type 2. Complex carbs take longer to convert into usable energy. They reduce hunger pangs and help to control appetite naturally.
Sourdough bread contains complex carbohydrates which are healthy for people who want to reduce weight. If you base your diet on quality sourdough, you’ll not have problems shedding the excess fat.
When making your bread, use raw ingredients to give you control of your carbs. Bakers bread contains a high amount of carbs which can raise the blood glucose which can interfere with the energy levels.
The nutritional profile of sourdough bread
Sourdough bread stacks up nicely in terms of nutritional profile compared to white bread. While you should eat bread in moderation, you can’t go wrong with sourdough bread.
A medium slice of bread (64 g) contains 33 g of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, 1 g of fiber, 15% iron, 2% potassium, 0g of added sugars, and 170 calories.
Iron and selenium boost energy levels and promote the production of red blood cells. Apart from that, sourdough is rich in B vitamins which aid in the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Similar to other fermented foods, sourdough bread contains probiotic which is beneficial to the gut. It also stays fresh for longer compared to other factory-baked bread.
During the fermentation process, the enzymes in the flour break down starch into disaccharide sugars (lactose and maltose). Also, the yeast starter breaks the sugars aerobically resulting in water and carbon dioxide.
This is why the smell of starters is likened to that of wine and spirit. Most of the flavor comes from the acids produced by the bacteria.
How to make low carb sourdough bread – RECIPE
The traditional sourdough recipe involves three stages – making and feeding the starter, kneading, and shaping the loaf.
Your ingredients should include sourdough starter, 250ml of water, 300g of unbleached flour, 10g of salt, 10g of sugar, and flavorless oil.
Mix the starter with water and dough, and then add sugar and salt. Knead for 10 minutes until it becomes transparent. After that, put the dough in a bowl and cover for 3 hours.
Next, place the dough on the kitchen countertop, knock the dough and shape it into two loaves. Preheat the oven for 450 degrees F and place a bowl of cold water at the bottom.
This will help to generate the steam. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the loaf forms a good crust and cool on a wire rack.
When making the sourdough starter, don’t rush the process.
You may want to preserve some starter to make future bread. The carbohydrate content will depend on the type of flour and culture you use.
Advantages of low carb sourdough bread
While we can’t do away with carbohydrates, there are some advantages of eating low-carb bread. As mentioned earlier, restricting yourself to low carbs lowers insulin levels.
High blood sugar is associated with problems like type-2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, etc. Secondly, the satiety effects of carbs keep food cravings at bay. This prevents unhealthy snacking.
Thirdly, sourdough bread is beneficial to the heart. It reduces triglycerides, a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The high cab is also associated with inflammation which can damage the heart.
When it comes to weight loss, you can’t go wrong with sourdough bread. In one study that involved 68,000 participants, those who took sourdough bread lost weight more than those who ate white bread.
Wrapping it up
There are plenty of reasons why you should include sourdough bread in your diet. The soft interior and chewy exterior make it so unique.
From the above information, the advantages of low-carb sourdough are worth pursuing. Keep in mind the way you prepare the sourdough starter will determine the carbohydrates content.