Is Sourdough Bread Good for Weight Loss? 7 Healthy Alternatives

By Lily •  Updated: 01/31/22 •  6 min read

When it’s time to lose weight, one of the foods that you’re probably told to cut out (or at least not eat as much of) is bread. But who doesn’t love a delicious, warm loaf of bread?

Specifically, though, is sourdough bread good for weight loss? Unfortunately, no. But, let’s take a look at whether or not sourdough is better for weight loss than other kinds of bread.

What Is Sourdough?

Sourdough is a specific kind of bread. When you take a bite of sourdough, you taste that slight tang and soft exterior that makes it so unique. Sourdough goes through a specific type of fermentation process and uses a very unique type of yeast.

Sourdough is made from a special kind of yeast called levain, or a starter, and it’s a mixture of flour and water that gets fermented by lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast. The bacteria found in sourdough starter is the same bacteria that you can find in fermented foods and yogurt.

Homemade sourdough bread cut into slices on a wooden board

Will Sourdough Help With Weight Loss?

This bacteria, called Lactobacillus, is well-known for aiding in weight loss. That’s what makes fermented foods so good for a healthy diet. If you took a big spoonful of raw sourdough dough, you might get those benefits. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

The baking process kills the bacteria that you’d otherwise get from other fermented foods. This renders sourdough just like any other bread.

When you bake sourdough, you bake it at 425 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes. Being baked at that high of a temperature, for that long of a time, means that you’re guaranteed to kill pretty much any healthy bacteria that can be found in the dough.

Much like other bread, whether or not sourdough is “better” or “worse” for your weight loss plan can depend heavily on what type of flour that you use to make the bread; wheat, whole wheat, and rye flour are some of the “better” types of flour.

Unfortunately, sourdough bread is still bread, which means that eating it is going to be very high in carbohydrates. It’s great for if you need a lot of energy, but not so great if you’re on a really specific diet, like a ketogenic diet.

What Bread Is Good for Weight Loss?

For all the bread lovers out there, you may be wondering if there is a bread that you can eat that’s best for weight loss. Unfortunately, most bread is much the same when it comes to its effects on weight loss.

However, never fear: you don’t have to cut out bread entirely. If you’re going to be eating sourdough bread while trying to lose weight, a good place to start is by eating bread made with whole grain flour.

Whole grain flour is full of dietary fiber, lower in calories, and higher in protein. This makes it significantly more nutritious for your body to use as opposed to white flour.

(If are just looking for some healthier, whole-grain toast brands, I recommend Dave’s Killer Bread and Ezekial 4:9)

In the long run, losing weight is all about burning more calories than you take in. Therefore, if you’re dedicated to your sourdough bread, it’s entirely possible to lose weight as long as you’re able to still create a calorie deficit.

Sourdough bread can be enjoyed while trying to lose weight, as long as it’s in moderation and with a few healthy tweaks.

girl in sportswear with tape measure on fork and bread on other hand

7 Healthy Alternatives to Bread

If you’re a sandwich lover, you might be struggling to figure out what a good alternative to bread is. Well, we’ve got a few ideas up our sleeves. Here are some foods that you can use to replace bread that are much healthier and more beneficial for weight loss.

1. Toasted sweet potatoes

Slicing your sweet potatoes at about ½-inch thickness and then giving them a good toast makes for a great alternative to bread. You can use this in place of slices of bread, buns, or even toast. Toasted sweet potatoes will add more nutrition and flavor to your meal.

2. Lettuce wraps

Rather than getting tortillas, hamburger buns, or sandwich wraps, why not use lettuce as an alternative? Lettuce wraps cut out all of those heavy calories from bread, and even add some more nutrition back into the meal.

3. Bell peppers

When you halve a bell pepper, you’ll find that they’re the perfect size to stuff full of your favorite sandwich fillings. They’re also approximately the size of a slice of bread. While you can cook them, raw peppers work best, as they keep their integrity and have a delicious crunch.

4. Rice paper

Much like lettuce wraps, rice paper is a great alternative to heavy pieces of bread. Rice paper is a well-known ingredient in dishes like sushi, but it’s also great for wrapping up some healthy meats and veggies for a yummy sandwich.

5. Cauliflower bread

If you have a little extra time in the kitchen, why not try making your own bread alternative: cauliflower bread! There are plenty of recipes online to make this delicious bread alternative. It works for just about any sandwich you can think of.

6. Grain-free tortillas

Another great option for bread alternatives comes in the form of grain-free tortillas. When you double up these tortillas, they make for a great sandwich wrap. You can also use them to make a delicious cheese quesadilla.

7. Portobello mushrooms

This is a great option for people who really miss how hearty and full bread makes you feel after you have a good sandwich or burger. Two portobello mushrooms stuffed with your favorite burger or sandwich mixings makes for a delicious bread alternative.


Is sourdough bread good for weight loss? Well, the answer seems to be a little complicated. While sourdough is no better for you than other bread, there are ways to make sourdough much more accessible if you’re on a diet.

If you can’t give up bread on a diet, whole grain sourdough is the way to go.

But, if you’re interested in cutting out bread entirely, we’ve cooked up some delicious alternatives for you to try out. You might even be surprised to find something new that you like even more than your favorite sourdough bread!


Hi, I'm Lily! Like you, I have struggled with my weight. It was not an easy journey but I was able to lose 40 pounds and have kept it off for 14 years. My goal is to share with you all the research, tips, and tricks that I have learned over the years to help you lose weight also.