Is Sour Cream Keto-Friendly? (2024)

When it comes to choosing foods for a keto diet, fat is where it’s at.

Keto is short for a ketogenic diet — a high fat, very low carb eating pattern that forces your body to use fat for fuel instead of glucose.

The first rule of keto is to keep your carbs very low and choose high fat foods instead.

You may wonder whether sour cream is keto-friendly or has too many carbs like some other dairy foods.

This article takes a look at the composition of sour cream and whether you should include or skip it on a keto diet.

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As its name suggests, sour cream is made from cream that’s been soured by an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, or more commonly, by lactic acid bacteria. As the bacteria grow in the cream, they thicken it and impart a sour, tangy flavor similar to that of yogurt (1).

Regular sour cream is made from cream that has at least 18% milk fat (2).

However, you can also buy low fat sour cream. It has at least 25% less fat than the original, full fat version. Nonfat sour cream that contains no more than 0.5 grams of fat per 1/4 cup (50 grams) is also an option (2).

When considering sour cream for a keto diet, it’s important to read the labels because as the fat content decreases, the carb content increases (3, 4, 5).

Here are the nutrition facts for a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of each type of sour cream (3, 4, 5):

Regular (full fat) sour creamLow fat sour creamNonfat sour cream
Fat 19 grams14 grams0 grams
Protein2 grams7 grams3 grams
Carbs5 grams7 grams16 grams

Regular sour cream gets its thick, smooth texture from fat. To achieve the same texture and mouthfeel without fat, manufacturers typically add thickeners, gums, and stabilizers like maltodextrin, corn starch, guar gum, and xanthan gum (6).

Given that these ingredients are derived from carbs, they can increase the carb content of low fat sour cream a bit — and that of nonfat sour cream significantly.


Regular sour cream is made from cream. As such, it’s high in fat and low in carbs. However, nonfat sour cream has no fat and contains ingredients that increase its carb content quite a bit.

The keto diet has been around for at least a century as a way to reduce seizure activity in children with epilepsy. Yet, it has become mainstream because it can aid weight loss and improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels in those with metabolic disorders (7, 8).

A study in 307 people found that another side effect of the diet is that it may help reduce carb cravings, compared with low fat diets (9).

It works by switching your body into ketosis, which means you’re burning ketones, a byproduct of fat, instead of glucose for energy.

To make the switch, only about 5% of your total calories should come from carbs, while as much as 80% of your calories should come from fat. The remainder of your calories comes from protein (7, 8).

To get into and stay in ketosis, it’s essential to stick to your carb and fat goals, which depend on your personal calorie needs. For example, if you eat a 2,000-calorie diet, your goal would be 25 grams of carbs, 178 grams of fat, and 75 grams of protein per day.

When planning meals, that means fruits, grains, starchy vegetables, and dairy foods like yogurt are off-limits, as they’re too high in carbs.

For example, one average-sized piece of fruit, 1/2 cup (117 grams) of cooked oats, or 6 ounces (170 grams) of yogurt each provide roughly 15 grams of carbs (10).

On the other hand, fats, such as butter and oil, are encouraged. They contain no or very few carbs and mostly fat.

Regular, full fat sour cream is nutritionally closer to a serving of fat than a serving of a carb-based food and, therefore, keto-friendly.

However, if you choose nonfat sour cream, you’ll rack up about the same number of carbs as you would from eating a serving of fruit, which will likely be too high for a keto diet.


A keto diet may provide health benefits like weight loss and improved metabolic health. To follow it, you must keep your carb intake quite low. While full fat sour cream can work on a keto diet, nonfat sour cream will likely be too high in carbs.

Full fat sour cream can be incorporated into keto-friendly recipes in a variety of ways.

It’s a creamy, tasty base for a dip. Mix it with herbs or spices like curry powder and use it as a vegetable dip.

To make low carb sour cream pancakes, whisk together the following ingredients to make a batter:

  • 2/3 cup (70 grams) of almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons (60 grams) of full fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of maple extract
  • 2 eggs

Pour pancakes of your desired size onto a hot, oiled griddle until they’re golden brown on both sides.

Sour cream also makes a delicious, tangy cream sauce for pan-fried chicken, and it helps boost the fat content of a leaner protein dish.

To make a sauce, sauté a few tablespoons of minced onion and a clove of garlic in a pan with some olive oil. Add about 4 tablespoons (60 grams) of full fat sour cream and enough chicken stock to thin the sauce.

When you’re making a sauce with sour cream, don’t let it come to a full boil, or the sour cream will separate.

Since there are some carbs in sour cream, make sure you count them toward your daily carb budget. Depending on how you want to spend your carb budget, you may have to limit your portion of sour cream.


Full fat sour cream is keto-friendly and can be used in recipes if you’re looking for a tangy flavor and creamy texture. Given that it contains some carbs, make sure you account for them and limit your portion size if necessary.

Regular, full fat sour cream is made from cream and contains far more fat than carbs. Therefore, it’s considered keto-friendly. However, low fat or nonfat sour cream is not.

Full fat sour cream can provide some variety in a keto diet when used as a dip base or incorporated into recipes to boost the fat content.

Because it does contain some carbs, make sure you count them toward your daily carb budget.

Is Sour Cream Keto-Friendly? (2024)


Is Sour Cream Keto-Friendly? ›

Regular, full fat sour cream is made from cream and contains far more fat than carbs. Therefore, it's considered keto-friendly. However, low fat or nonfat sour cream is not. Full fat sour cream can provide some variety in a keto diet when used as a dip base or incorporated into recipes to boost the fat content.

Can you eat sour cream on the keto diet? ›

Sour cream fits in with a keto diet because it's high in fat and low in carbs, as long as you choose the full-fat option. It contains about 19 grams of fat and 4.6 grams of carbs per 100 grams, which is about half a cup, according to the USDA.

Is daisy sour cream keto friendly? ›

Daisy sour cream is an excellent choice for those on a ketogenic diet because it is low in carbs and high in fat. One tablespoon of Daisy sour cream contains just 1 gram of carbs and 5 grams of fat, making it an ideal addition to a high-fat, low-carb diet.

What is a keto substitute for sour cream? ›

As a popular sour cream substitute keto dieters love, coconut yogurt has a fat content and creamy texture similar to what it's replacing. Look for unsweetened varieties, especially if you're using it in savory recipes. Another sour cream substitute that's dairy-free is coconut cream.

How many net carbs are in sour cream? ›

Sour cream (2 tablespoon) contains 1.3g total carbs, 1.3g net carbs, 5.6g fat, 0.7g protein, and 57 calories.

Is peanut butter keto? ›

Peanut butter can definitely be part of a keto diet, but it's best to stick to plain options that are free of extra flavors and sweeteners. Almond butter is a good choice, too, and it's slightly lower in carbs. Additionally, you should be mindful of your portion size if you're trying to lose weight.

Is mayonnaise keto-friendly? ›

Mayonnaise is the perfect condiment for the Keto Diet because it consists of high fat, low protein, and zero carbohydrates. It also has many health benefits that can help you maintain Ketosis and achieve your weight loss goals on the Keto diet.

What cheese is keto friendly? ›

You can eat high fat foods like cheese on the Keto diet. Cheddar, Gouda, goat cheese, and blue cheese are the best to consider. Cheese to avoid on Keto are cottage cheese and low fat and processed varieties.

Can you use butter on keto? ›

Butter is perfect for your keto lifestyle, as it's carb-free and about 80% fat ( 21 ). Though it was long considered a menace to heart health, current research indicates that there is only a small or neutral association between butter intake and heart disease and stroke risk ( 22 ).

Are tomatoes keto friendly? ›

Botanically speaking, tomatoes are considered a fruit. However, unlike other fruit, they're considered keto-friendly. That's because tomatoes contain around 2–3 grams of net carbs per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) — or up to 10 times fewer net carbs than most fruit — regardless of their variety ( 5 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 ).

What can I add instead of sour cream? ›

  • Yogurt. Yogurt is your best substitute for sour cream. ...
  • Mayonnaise. Mayo is a great sour cream substitute. ...
  • Buttermilk. Buttermilk can work great as a substitute, but it's a little trickier since it's so much thinner than sour cream. ...
  • Crème Fraîche. ...
  • Cream Cheese. ...
  • DIY Sour Cream. ...
  • Kefir. ...
  • Mexican Crema.
Feb 21, 2023

Is salsa keto? ›

Yes, as we talked about above salsa is definitely keto friendly! Salsa usually only has a few grams of carbs per serving and is loaded with nutritious ingredients, so you can add a burst of flavor to your meals without any guilt. Just be sure to choose a salsa without any added sugar.

Can you have cottage cheese on keto? ›

Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are nutritious, high protein foods. While they contain some carbs, you can eat them in moderation on keto. Both yogurt and cottage cheese have been shown to help decrease appetite and promote feelings of fullness (33, 34 ).

Does sour cream break ketosis? ›

Regular, full fat sour cream is made from cream and contains far more fat than carbs. Therefore, it's considered keto-friendly. However, low fat or nonfat sour cream is not. Full fat sour cream can provide some variety in a keto diet when used as a dip base or incorporated into recipes to boost the fat content.

Is Honey OK on keto? ›

Honey is 100% carbohydrate, so it isn't part of the keto diet plan. For reference, one tablespoon of honey contains 17.2 grams of sugar. If you want to kick yourself out of ketosis, honey is a good way to do that.

Are cucumbers keto? ›

Cucumber is another popular salad vegetable. It contains many essential nutrients, including vitamin K. Cucumber is also suitable for the keto diet, as its carb content is just 3.63 g per 100 g. To make the carb content lower, a person can peel the cucumber before eating it.

What kind of cream is keto-friendly? ›

With only 1.75 grams of carbs per 1/4 cup (59 mL), both heavy and whipping cream can be considered keto-friendly ( 3 , 4 ). For this reason, many people on keto diets rely on whipping cream or heavy cream as a sugar-free coffee creamer or to make keto-friendly desserts, such as chocolate mousse.

What will throw me out of keto? ›

To avoid being kicked out of ketosis, we should avoid the high-carb vegetables. These include pumpkins, sweet potatoes, peas, corns, potatoes, yams, and sweet corns are some examples of high-carb vegetables.

What condiments are not keto? ›

The main condiments that do not fit well into the keto diet regime because of their high sugar content are full-sugar ketchup, maple syrup, jam, tomato paste, and premade sauces.

Which cream cheese is keto? ›

If you're looking for cream cheeses that you can add to your keto diet without compromising your daily macros, nutritionists swear by the following brands: Philadelphia Cream Cheese (Plain, Full-Fat) Di Stefano Premium Mascarpone Cheese. Trader Joe's Mascarpone.


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