Can you have sour cream on keto?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can have sour cream on the keto diet. Sour cream is low in carbohydrates and can fit into a keto eating plan when consumed in moderation. One tablespoon of full-fat sour cream has less than 1 gram of net carbs.

What is Sour Cream?

Sour cream is a dairy product made by fermenting regular cream with lactic acid bacteria. This gives it a thick, tangy flavor.

It has a smooth, creamy texture and is white in color. Sour cream is used as a condiment or cooking ingredient in many foods like dips, sauces, soups, baked goods, and more.

Nutritionally, sour cream contains mostly fat and some protein, while being low in carbohydrates. An overview of the macros in 1 tablespoon (15g) of full-fat sour cream is:

Calories Fat Protein Carbs
25 2g 0.5g 1g

As you can see, the majority of calories in sour cream comes from fat. It also contains a small amount of protein and minimal carbs.

Is Sour Cream Keto-Friendly?

Sour cream is generally considered keto-friendly and can fit into a well-formulated ketogenic diet.

Here’s a look at why it’s low carb:

– It only contains about 1 gram of carbohydrate per tablespoon. After subtracting fiber, the net carbs are less than 1 gram.

– The carbs come mostly from residual lactose, a milk sugar. Fermentation converts most of the naturally occurring lactose to lactic acid.

– Any flavors or additives also contribute minimal extra carbs. Plain full-fat sour cream has the lowest amount.

This very low carb content means that sour cream only provides a small percentage of carbs for your daily keto goals, allowing room for other foods.

You can enjoy sour cream on keto as long as it fits within your individual macronutrient goals and limits. Monitor your portions and account for the carb count if consuming large amounts.

Benefits of Adding Sour Cream to a Keto Diet

Including sour cream in a keto eating pattern provides several benefits:

Healthy Fats

Sour cream contains mostly fat, with both saturated and monounsaturated types. This makes it a great choice for boosting your daily fat intake on keto.

Getting adequate healthy fats helps you feel satisfied, aids ketone production, and provides essential fatty acids.


The live cultures used to make sour cream give it natural probiotics. Consuming these probiotics may improve digestive and overall health.

Creamy Texture

The rich, velvety texture of sour cream can help satisfy cravings for creamy foods on keto. It can be used to give a luxurious mouthfeel without adding carbs.


Sour cream works well in sweet and savory recipes. You can dollop it on top of tacos or baked potatoes, mix it into dips and dressings, or even bake with it.


The tangy, mildly sweet taste of sour cream balances out the richness. It adds a burst of flavor when used as a topping or condiment.

How Much Sour Cream Can You Have on Keto?

There’s no single recommended serving size for sour cream on keto. How much you can have depends on your individual carb limit and macros.

As a condiment, 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 grams) per meal is a reasonable amount. This provides 2 grams of fat and under 1 gram of net carbs.

When cooking or baking with sour cream, you can generally use up to 1/4 cup (60 grams) in a recipe. This equals about 3 grams net carbs.

It’s best to keep servings of sour cream modest to avoid going over 20–50 grams net carbs per day, depending on your keto goals.

You can also opt for reduced-fat or light sour cream to cut back on calories. Just check the labels since some lower-fat versions have added starch and more carbs.

Choosing the Best Sour Cream for Keto

Check the label when selecting sour cream for keto. Look for:

– Full-fat or high-fat content: Provides more healthy fats and less lactose carb content.

– Minimal ingredients: Plain sour cream has fewer potential added sugars or thickeners.

– Live and active cultures: Ensures you get probiotics.

– 0–1 grams net carbs per serving: Confirms it fits into keto carb limits.

Avoid any sour cream with added sugars in the ingredient list. Flavored options like chive and onion sour cream generally have more carbs from starch or sweeteners too.

Is Fat-Free Sour Cream Keto-Friendly?

Fat-free or non-fat sour cream is not the best choice for keto. Removing the fat increases the relative carb content.

To replace the texture of the fat, fat-free sour cream also contains more thickeners like food starch, corn starch, or cellulose gel.

A 2 tablespoon serving of fat-free sour cream has about 3–4 grams net carbs. That’s over twice as much as an equal serving of regular full-fat sour cream.

The extra carbs and fillers make fat-free sour cream less ideal for a ketogenic eating plan. Stick to full-fat or reduced-fat options.

Potential Downsides of Sour Cream on Keto

While sour cream can fit into a keto diet, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind:

– It’s easy to overeat. The rich, indulgent taste makes portion control important. Track your servings to avoid excess calories.

– Some people may be sensitive to dairy. Listen to your body and limit intake if sour cream gives you issues.

– Store-bought has less probiotics than homemade. Opt for high-quality brands or make your own to maximize the probiotic benefits.

– The fat is highly saturated. Balance out your fats with other unsaturated sources like olive oil, avocado, nuts, etc.

– It can have additives. Check labels and choose organic, additive-free options when possible for purity.

Keto-Friendly Ways to Eat Sour Cream

From breakfast to dessert, there are endless ways to enjoy sour cream while following a keto meal plan. Some tasty ideas include:


– Dollop on low-carb waffles or pancakes.
– Add a spoonful to an omelet before cooking.
– Mix with smoked salmon and capers for a quick appetizer.
– Use as a topping for keto yogurt bowls.


– Use as a topping for taco bowls or meatballs.
– Make a creamy salad dressing combined with oil and vinegar.
– Mix with herbs and spices as a dip for veggies or pork rinds.
– Stir into cauliflower mash in place of milk and butter.

Side Dishes

– Combine with bacon bits and chives for loaded mashed cauliflower.
– Mix in spices andstuff inside an avocado half.
– Thin with almond milk for coleslaw dressing.
– Fold into mashed radishes in lieu of potatoes.


– Stuff inside celery sticks.
– Spread on slices of cucumber or zucchini.
– Dip low-carb raspberries or strawberries into it.
– Mix with pureed avocado for veggie dip.


– Use as frosting or filling for keto cupcakes or doughnuts.
– Mix into the cream cheese layer in a low-carb cheesecake.
– Fold into whipped cream with berries for a quick mousse.
– Add vanilla extract and use as a topping for chia pudding.

Keto Sour Cream Recipe Ideas

Here are some fantastic keto recipes showcasing sour cream:

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken rolled up in palmini noodles and smothered in a creamy sauce of sour cream, green chiles, and spices.

Loaded Cauliflower Soup

Creamy cauliflower pureed with sour cream, topped with cheese, bacon, and green onions.

Sour Cream Pound Cake

Moist almond flour cake swirled with sour cream and berries for a special treat.

Sour Cream Coleslaw

Shredded cabbage and carrots tossed in a tangy sour cream dressing.

Sour Cream Beef Stroganoff

Tender beef and mushrooms in an incredible sour cream gravy, served over low-carb noodles.

Sour Cream Fudge

Smooth, rich chocolate fudge made keto by swapping in sour cream for some of the heavy cream.

Sour Cream Dill Dip

Creamy, herb-flecked dip for veggies or pork rinds made with sour cream, mayo, and dill.

Sour Cream and Onion Meatballs

Juicy baked meatballs coated in a mix of minced onions and sour cream.


Is sour cream the same as cream cheese?

No, sour cream and cream cheese are different dairy products:

– Sour cream is made from fermented regular cream. It has a tangy taste and soft texture.

– Cream cheese is made from milk and cream. It has a mild, creamy flavor and smooth, spreadable texture.

Both can be used in sweet and savory recipes. But they are not interchangeable in all cases due to differences in moisture content.

Can you make sour cream at home?

Yes, it’s easy to make homemade sour cream. You just need heavy whipping cream and an acidic culture like lemon juice or yogurt with live active cultures.

Let it sit covered at room temperature for 12-24 hours until thickened. Then refrigerate before using.

Does sour cream need to be refrigerated?

Yes, always refrigerate sour cream after opening. The live cultures can cause it to spoil quickly at room temperature.

Keep sour cream stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 7-21 days.

Is Greek yogurt a good substitute for sour cream?

In some cases, Greek yogurt can work as a substitute. It provides a similar tang and creaminess.

However, Greek yogurt is higher in protein and carbs than sour cream. So the substitution will change the nutrition profile.

For savory recipes, choose plain unsweetened Greek yogurt. Avoid flavored yogurts with added sugars.

Can you freeze sour cream?

Yes, you can freeze sour cream for longer storage. First, place it in an airtight container, allowing headspace for expansion.

Thaw in the fridge overnight before using. The texture may be slightly thinner after thawing but still works well for cooking and baking.

The Bottom Line

Sour cream can definitely be included on a well-formulated keto diet. It provides a nice source of fat along with great flavor.

Just be mindful of portion sizes. Enjoy sour cream in moderation as part of your daily balance of keto macros and calories for optimal health.

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