Is Sour Cream Healthy? — Health Benefits, Allergens, Nutrition, Considerations

With its tangy flavor and creamy texture, sour cream is something that you can use with all your favorite recipes, dressings, dips, etc. What makes it distinctive is it is a dairy product. 

Sour cream is made by fermenting cream. Bacteria are added to the cream to make it tangy and hence it tastes sour. It is better with tacos, nachos, and chips as a topping or as a dip. You can even use it for baked goods and as a base for sauce.

What is Sour Cream Made Out of?

The common ingredients in sour cream are cream, milk, and live cultures. To give the texture and flavor, other additives are added.

Cream: It is the basic ingredient of sour cream. It gives a creamy, rich texture.

Milk: Whole milk is added to get high-fat content and maintain consistency.

Live Culture: Different strains of bacteria can be added to ferment the cream. In homemade sour creams, vinegar or lime juice can be added for fermentation.

Stabilizers and Thickeners: Helps to maintain the texture and consistency. Also, it prevents separation.


Preservatives: Used to prevent spoilage.

Artificial colors: Flavored or a special variety of sour creams demand added colors and flavors.  

Health Benefits of Sour Cream

Sour cream, in a single serving, does not provide any essential micronutrients or macronutrients, hence there are no substantial health benefits when it comes to having sour cream alone. But it can be part of your balanced diet when paired with protein-rich food, vegetables, and other nutritious food. Let’s take a look at the benefits: 

Calcium: As it is a milk product, calcium is a main component in sour cream. Calcium helps in muscle functioning, providing bone and teeth health. 

Gut Health: The bacterial culture in sour cream helps to gain probiotic properties that can maintain your gut health. Probiotics help in digestive health and immune strength. 

Protein Content: Sour cream provides protein that helps support muscle maintenance and enzyme production. Protein also helps in feeling full and satisfied after a meal, which in turn leads to satiety and weight management.  

Image representing a spoonfull of sourcream

How to Deal With?

Heart Health: Do you think a full-fat sour cream is going to benefit your heart health in any way? Well, there are fat-free or low-fat sour creams available in the market. But, opting for a low-fat dairy product may not completely help you to reduce the risk of health diseases. 

Cholesterol Level: The high-fat content in sour cream can lead to an increase in the ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, risking heart diseases. 

Sour cream is high in fat content, therefore it is essential to control the intake of sour cream, even with a nutritious diet. In addition, not all products are rich in live cultures. Some products may vary in ingredients, and it is important to understand the product label before you buy.

Nutritional Value of Sour Cream

Serving size– 100 Gram

The nutritional content of sour cream may vary depending on the brands available. 

Saturated Fat10gm

Full-fat sour cream, if served in a recommended portion size, does not offer any vitamins or minerals.

A bowl full off sourcream

Allergens to be Noted

You know that sour cream is a dairy product, and there may be potential allergens in it that are unsuitable for individuals with lactose intolerance and dairy allergy. Sour cream contains milk proteins since it is derived from milk. 

The allergic reactions may include rashes on the skin, especially on the face, itching, nausea, gas trouble, breathing difficulties, etc. 

Effects on Pregnant Women

  • Pregnant women can include sour cream in their diet since it provides calcium and protein, which is beneficial for the development of the baby. 
  • Also, if consumed in an excess amount, it may lead to weight gain during pregnancy because of the high-fat content. You may control the quantity of intake to gain a sufficient amount of calories. 
  • Always be cautious about your allergies before having a dairy product. 

Effects on Diabetics

  • Always balance sour cream with other foods to get a sufficient amount of protein, vitamins, and essential nutrients. 
  • Since it is high in fat and calories, you need to be careful about your servings to manage your blood sugar level. 

Effects on Lactating Women

  • Lactating women should be cautious about consumption as there might be allergenic ingredients in the sour cream which may affect the babies too. 

Chemicals Present in Sour Cream

Lactic acid and fatty acid are the components that we can find in sour cream, which can help in digestive health and overall body functions. 

Lactic acid: It contributes to the flavor of the sour cream and also enhances digestion. It can also have a positive impact on your gut health.

Fatty acids: They can harm the body by increasing the cholesterol level if consumed in excess quantity. But in another sense, it contributes to fat intake, which is essential for the body. 

Sour cream is a delicious ingredient in your favorite recipes, adding a handful of calcium, fat, and probiotic properties. It helps support the immune system and digestive health by providing better gut health. 

The better way to have sour cream is to incorporate it into your nutritious diet. Relying solely on sour cream can lead to health risks, as it contains high fat content and calories. Enjoying any meal in moderation can help you gain all the goodness of that particular meal. 

Image representing a bowl and spoon full of sour cream

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does sour cream help in weight loss?

A moderate quantity of sour cream will help you to maintain your weight. Because it contains high fat and caloric content, an excess amount can oppositely affect you. 

How much sour cream can I eat?

It is recommended to add one or two tablespoons of sour cream to your diet. 

Can I freeze sour cream?

Yes. Sour cream can be frozen and used for six months, but the texture will change once you cook it. It is suggested to use it on cooked dishes.

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