Made either through bacterial fermentation (it sounds weird, but it’s the same process that gives us yogurt!) or by adding an acid (like vinegar) to light cream, sour cream can be used as a topper on numerous dishes—like baked potatoes, tacos, or soups—to give them an extra bit of tanginess and creaminess. It can also be a great base for a flavorful dip recipe.
Whatever the reason behind your purchase of a tub, you should know what happens to your body when you eat a dollop or two (or more) of this sour dairy product. We spoke with Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT, author of The First Time Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook, The 7 Ingredient Healthy Pregnancy Cookbook, and Fueling Male Fertility, regarding the side effects of sour cream. Little did we know, some side effects may actually be quite surprising.
When you hear “heart health” and “sour cream” in the same sentence, you probably wouldn’t associate the two with a positive effect. However, sour cream may actually be good for your heart.
Just a small serving of sour creams may do wonders in keeping you fuller longer.
“Including some fat in your meal can help promote satiety,” explains Manaker. “And since sour cream is a source of dairy fat, including a dollop on your dish may help give your dish some extra staying power.”
You can even opt for sour creams that are reduced fat or light to lower the calorie count if you’re watching your weight or fat intake.
According to Manaker, some varieties of sour cream have added live cultures, which may help support gut health.
When you’re grocery shopping, it may be hard to decipher the “healthier gut” sour creams. How can you tell?
“If the label indicates that probiotics are added to your sour cream choice, it may support gut health,” says Manaker.
Although some sour creams may help your gut, this dairy product may do some more damage. Especially for those who can’t stomach it.
“On the other hand, some people do not tolerate all dairy products,” says Manaker. “If you have a difficult time digesting dairy foods, eating sour cream may cause some tummy distress, unfortunately.”