Diana Nelson

Sourdough Bread – A Perfect And Healthy Regular Bread Alternative

This bread is gentle on the digestive system and has a unique flavour and scent due to its prolonged preparation process.


Sourdough bread is the oldest form of bread. Although it is hard to pinpoint the exact date of its discovery, we know that the Egyptians were the first known civilization to bake sourdough bread around 1500 BC.

How great it is that this ancient tradition has reached modern times. In almost every home, sourdough bread takes a special place. Sourdough bread is becoming increasingly popular because it is healthier and much better than regular bread.

Sourdough bread – Nutrition facts

Sourdough bread has high energy value, low content of protein, high carbs, no fat and no sugar. Also a small amount of fibre, and a comparatively low glycemic index.


Sourdough bread – Good news

Besides its nutrient content, sourdough bread also has several special properties that make it superior to most other types of bread.

1Has a lower glycaemic index than regular bread and has less impact on blood sugar levels

Many types of supermarket bread can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, leading to a drop in energy soon after eating it.

However, because of the fermentation process used to make sourdough bread, many of the sugars and starches in the flour are broken down and eaten by the natural yeast, so there is far less sugar left in the sourdough bread than in regular bread. This means that the glycemic index of sourdough bread is much lower.

Sourdough bread can have a better effect on blood sugar and insulin levels than other types of bread.

Researchers believe that sourdough fermentation can change carbohydrate molecule structure. This lowers the bread’s glycaemic index (GI) and slows the rate at which sugars enter the bloodstream. The GI is a measure of how food affects blood sugar levels. Moreover, the lactic acid bacteria in the dough produce acids during fermentation. Some researchers believe these acids can help prevent blood sugar spikes.

2Helps with digestion

Sourdough bread is often easier to digest than bread leavened with beer yeast. Sourdough contains bacteria and wild yeast that help neutralize the antinutrients in grains, making them easier to digest. The sourdough fermentation process produces prebiotics, which is a beneficial food for the bacteria in the intestines.

3Contains resistant starch for your gut

Resistant starch is starch that is broken down into short-chain fatty acids by bacteria in our intestines. Along with prebiotics, resistant starch also helps to nourish beneficial bacteria in our gut. Sourdough bread contains at least twice as much resistant starch as regular wholemeal bread. So that’s one more reason to replace your regular bread with sourdough bread. If you haven’t already done it of course.🙂

4Tastes amazingly

Sourdough gives the bread a stunning taste and aroma and improves the so-called organoleptic qualities of bread. This is due to the production of certain acids by bacteria during fermentation.

Sourdough bread – Bad news

You should not overeat bread, even if it is made with sourdough. Remember that bread is still bread. Only eating a reasonable amount is appropriate.

May cause gluten allergy

A reaction to sourdough can be caused by an allergy to gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. The symptoms of a gluten allergy are similar to a wheat allergy. However, a more serious condition related to gluten allergy is called celiac disease. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, such as sourdough bread, their immune system reacts by attacking the digestive system, causing damage that leads to malabsorption. If you are allergic to gluten, you can make sourdough bread using gluten-free flour such as amaranth, maize or quinoa instead of wheat, rye or barley.

May cause flour allergy

Sourdough bread can be made with a variety of flours, with wheat flour being the most common choice. If you experience an allergic reaction after consuming sourdough bread, it may be due to the wheat flour used in its preparation. Even so, you can still enjoy this type of bread because it can also be made from other grains, such as corn, rice, amaranth and oats, along with almond and flaxseed flours.

Fun & curious facts about sourdough bread

  • It is believed that the first recipe for sourdough bread was discovered by accident or through trial and error. The most common theory is that the Egyptians left some wild yeast spores mixed with the dough which caused it to rise and create sourdough bread.

  • In San Francisco, sourdough bread owes its distinct flavour to a bacterium unique to the area which has its very own name: Lactobacillus Sanfrancisco.

Sourdough bread in the Blue Zones

Healthy food choices are the basis of the Blue Zone diet. And sourdough bread is widely included in the diet of long livers. Yes, you have heard it right, centenarians eat bread too! But it is sourdough bread of course. For example, in Ikaria, Greece people even tend to bake their own bread from scratch – with fewer ingredients and more whole grains.

Sourdough bread. Experiment by our expert

We introduce one of our Healthypedia personal testers. Michael Freeman is a big health enthusiast, in a great shape in his 50, and metabolically healthy! Michael uses a monitor which measures reaction of his body on food, exercises, stress, you name it. Here is his feedback and result.
Sourdough bread. Experiment by our expert Nutrition
Blood glucose

Usually, I don’t eat bread at all. Primary because of negative blood glucose and insulin responses. But when I received the request to test sourdough bread I decided to take this risk. First of all, it was delicious. Second of all, the results were exactly what I expected. Even 158 grams of this best version of bread spiked my blood glucose to an abnormal level. Result – nutrition score is 4 out of 10. Bread is bread. Even if it’s sourdough.

Healthypedia - Michael Freeman
Michael Freeman Health and Longevity Enthusiast, 50

Let’s sum sourdough bread up

Sourdough bread is the best choice of all bread available, but still, it cannot be considered a completely healthy option. But if you can’t give up eating bread altogether, then sourdough bread is the best alternative for you. Even long-livers in the Blue Zones allow themselves to eat such bread, but no more than 2 slices a day, so why can’t you?

Not enough? Here are some more from our colleagues!

With this video on the Healthline YouTube channel, you will dive deeper into the beneficial qualities of sourdough bread and why we all should substitute regular bread with sourdough.

Dr Sten Ekberg a holistic doctor and Olympic decathlete will show you what happens to your body if you don’t eat bread for 30 days.

Healthypedia FAQ

One slice of sourdough bread equals one serving. But even sourdough bread is not a completely healthy choice, so we recommend eating no more than 2 slices per day.

When choosing a loaf of sourdough bread you should always read the label. Real sourdough bread is only made from flour, water, salt and possibly other natural ingredients. If it contains additives, baker's yeast (listed simply as yeast) or chemical additives (such as baking powder), it is not sourdough bread.

There are several ways of storing homemade sourdough bread, but almost all of them sacrifice some of the elements you like – for example, a plastic bag will keep the bread from drying out but will soften the crust. A paper bag is more environmentally friendly than a plastic bag, but the bread will dry out faster in it. It's better to store baked sourdough bread in the freezer. It is not recommended to store sourdough bread in the refrigerator because the conditions inside the fridge are very dry, which will cause the bread to become very hard. In this environment, it will certainly stale more quickly

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