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Blog Nutrition Diets Keto keto foods Is Sour Cream Keto? The Lowdown On Dairy Products Allowed On The Keto Diet

Is Sour Cream Keto? The Lowdown On Dairy Products Allowed On The Keto Diet

Is Sour Cream Keto

The crux of the ketogenic diet is to reduce the carbohydrate intake and increase the fat intake instead. Such a nutrition plan drives the body into a fat burning state and kick-starts weight loss. Furthermore, eating low-carb foods could potentially alleviate chronic disease symptoms (8, 10). Sour cream is a fermented dairy product. Generally, the nutrition facts label says that 20% M.F. sour cream is high in fat (around 86% of total calories) and low in carbohydrates (around 9% of total calories). Therefore, it is a keto-friendly product (4). If you aren’t sensitive to lactose, sour cream can be a great addition to your every day keto menu.

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How to buy the best keto-friendly sour cream?

Conforming to the daunting keto-diet guidelines is not enough. You have to be extra vigilant when cruising around a grocery store in search of a keto-approved food items. Tossing just about anything in your shopping cart won’t cut it. Dairy products seems to throw keto devotees off their balance the most, especially when it comes to picking the right sour cream. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of tips you can use, when perusing the sour cream shelves, that might just make your keto journey a little less bumpy. 

How to buy the best keto-friendly sour cream?

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners. They ramp up your carbohydrate intake which in turn hampers the process of creating a ketosis state. 
  • Favor non-GMO and no preservatives tags on packaging. Studies on GMO products are controversial. Scientists and consumers debate regarding possible health and environmental risks from cultivation and consumption of genetically modified food (5).
  • Opt for high-quality grass-fed organic sour cream
  • Look for high-fat but not margarine produced. Food items like hydrogenated margarine are high in trans and saturated fats shoot up “bad” cholesterol levels.
  • Keep a sharp eye on the nutrition label. You should always pick out sour creams with the lowest carbohydrate content. 
  • Don’t let ads sweet-talk you into buying “low fat”, “low calorie” sour creams. Brands tend to bend the rules by adding sugars, artificial sweeteners and chemicals to make up for the taste and texture loss, reduce fat content and  curtail the amount of calories.

Read More: 30 Day Keto Challenge: Will Upping Your Fat Intake Help You Lose Weight?

Alternative recipe of sour cream on the keto diet

Another way to make sure adding a spoonful of sour cream to your salad won’t kick you out of creating a ketosis state is by making it yourself. This recipe consists of measly 2 ingredients, so anyone would be able to do a stand-up job whipping up a batch of sour cream at home instead of buying it: 

  • Heavy cream (35% M.F.)
  • Starter culture (lactic acid bacteria)

The proportion depends on the type and thickness of products. Use approximately 1 liter of heavy cream and 1 packet of starter culture.


  1. Heat heavy cream in a saucepan to room temperature or a bit warmer.
  2. Combine warm heavy cream and starter culture.
  3. Stir it and transfer to a jar.
  4. Leave the jar for 16-18 hours at room temperature to give your “concoction” time to ferment.
  5. When your sour cream is ready, pop it in the fridge.

Making sour cream at home will never have you wondering about any keto-derailing ingredients or health-jeopardizing additives. Moreover, you can store it for 2 weeks and add it to any recipe you have in mind. Enjoy your sour cream-filled keto journey!

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Mistakes to avoid while consuming sour cream on the keto diet

Sour cream is a great keto-friendly product that is bursting with flavor and nutrients. However, it is important to remember that serving portions should be calculated accurately in order not to overshoot your carbohydrate allotment. Full fat sour cream is made from heavy cream and therefore contains more mostly fat rather than carbohydrate. On the other hand, light or nonfat sour cream has a more even ratio of carbohydrate to fat, which isn’t ideal for people adopting the ketogenic diet. As a golden standard, you should always opt for a full fat sour cream (20% M.F. and higher).

Eating even fermented dairy can be unhealthy for people intolerant or sensitive to lactose. Furthermore, sour cream includes natural sugar because lactose breaks down into glucose and galactose. Therefore, people with diabetes and other conditions that might become exacerbated by a spike in blood sugar levels  should consult with a doctor or a dietitian prior to starting a ketogenic diet.

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Is cream OK on keto?

Dairy products that include butter, cream, milk and yogurt are keto-friendly. However, it is important to check the amount of carbohydrates per serving. This information should be provided on packaging.  

Is Sour Cream healthy?

Sour cream is a great product that offers a great range of nutrients like vitamins (A, B2, B5, B6, B12, E, Folate, etc.), minerals (Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium and others) and probiotic bacteria (1). 

What can you not eat on a keto diet?

The main rule that keto-devotees should keep in mind is to consume low-carb and high-fat products. As for the list of foods that are keto-approved, make sure to take a peek at this article.

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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Bacterial Microbiota and Metabolic Character of Traditional Sour Cream and Butter in Buryatia, Russia. (2018,
  2. Beneficial health effects of milk and fermented dairy products-review. (2008,
  3. Chronic Ketogenic Low Carbohydrate High Fat Diet Has Minimal Effects on Acid–Base Status in Elite Athletes. (2018,
  4. Cream, sour, cultured. (2018,
  5. Impact on environment, ecosystem, diversity and health from culturing and using GMOs as feed and food. (2017,
  6. Induced and controlled dietary ketosis as a regulator of obesity and metabolic syndrome pathologies. (2017,
  7. Keto diets: good, bad or ugly? (2018,
  8. The ketogenic diet: one decade later. (2007,
  9. Very Low-Protein Diet (VLPD) Reduces Metabolic Acidosis in Subjects with Chronic Kidney Disease: The “Nutritional Light Signal” of the Renal Acid Load. (2017,
  10. What Is the Keto Diet and Does It Work? (2020,
See also  Peanut Butter On Keto Diet: Does It Meet Keto's High-Fat Low-Carb Guidelines?
O. Johnson
O. Johnson

Olivia is a passionate writer and a whip-smart proofreader who takes pride in her ability to turn hard-to-digest information into an enjoyable read. She is a book worm, a life of the party, a meditation and fitness enthusiast, and a champion for healthy living all in one. Dissecting dietary fads, debunking long-established weight loss myths and delivering science-backed quality content is her top priority. When working on a piece, Olivia tunes into her own experience of trial-and-error weight loss which helps her cut through the clutter when doing extensive research. Her unbridled enthusiasm spills over into her work and motivates readers to chase after their full potential.

S. Ziou
S. Ziou

Hi everyone! I am a Canadian Registered Dietitian (RD) who graduated from the University of Ottawa, Canada. I worked at the Montreal Pediatric University Hospital and the Ottawa Heart Institute before joining the International Clinic of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. With a strong interest in community nutrition, I worked in Haiti and in Syrian refugee camps affected by the scourge of malnutrition. I am passionate about food and its science!

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