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Sour cream vs Greek yogurt - Nutrition, calories, keto & more

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Sour cream
vs
Yogurt

Summary

Sour cream is higher in calories, carbs, and fats. It is richer in vitamin A, calcium, and potassium. On the other hand, yogurt has a lower glycemic index and is richer in phosphorus, zinc, vitamins B2, B5, B6, and B12. Yogurt is more versatile and is healthier.

Introduction

Sour cream is the product of dairy cream with lactic acid-producing bacteria, solidifying the cream and giving it a sour taste. Sour cream is mostly of casein protein. However, it also contains whey with a ratio of approximately 80:20. It is believed that sour cream originated in Russia around 1600 and later spread all around the world.

Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented and processed. There are three types of yogurt:

  1. Sweet and is frequently paired with fruits and sugar.
  2. Sour and salty and is consumed immediately after fermentation.
  3. The Greek yogurt which will be the focus of our discussion in this text.

Greek yogurt is also called strained yogurt; the straining process removes the whey from the yogurt and makes it more solid while keeping its slightly sour taste.

In this article, we will discuss the difference between sour cream and yogurt-based on their general differences, nutritional content, diet and weight loss, and health impacts.

What are the main differences?

The main differences are according to their taste, shelf life, pricing, and usages in the culinary

world.

Taste

Sour cream has a creamy solid consistency that has a milkier taste than yogurt and has an acidic undertone. In comparison, Greek yogurt is more solid and also has an acidic aftertaste to it. Both can be classified as having a sour taste, mainly due to the acid that the bacterias produce during fermentation.

Shelf life

They both require refrigeration, yet sour cream has a higher shelf life based on a couple of days more than yogurt. Yogurt lasts up to 2 weeks unopened, whereas sour cream up to 3 weeks. However, once opened, they both remain for up to 1 week.

Price

They nearly have similar prices, and if there is a difference, it is mostly insignificantly cheaper for sour cream.

Culinary world

In the culinary world, yogurt can be used in a variety of ways. It's commonly used as plain yogurt, as a cooking ingredient, or as a dessert ingredient.

On the other hand, sour cream is most famous in tex-mex cuisine in association with Mexican food. In addition, sour cream can be used to make dressing and sauces and can be used in cooking.

Nutritional content comparison

In this section, we will discuss the difference between sour cream and greek yogurt according to their nutritional content.

Water distribution

Yogurt contains more water as compared to sour cream. In 100g of yogurt, there is 87g of water, whereas sour cream contains 71g.

Glycemic index

Yogurt has a lower glycemic index compared to sour cream.

Calories

Sour cream is higher in calories than yogurt, and the difference that exists between them is quite remarkable. Sour cream has three times higher calories than Greek yogurt.

Carbs

Sour cream contains twice as much carbs compared to yogurt.

Proteins

Yogurt has a richer protein content than sour cream. Although the difference is not very high, it exists.

Fats

Yogurt is devoid of fats because we are taking into consideration no-fat greek yogurt in this article. On the other hand, sour cream contains high amounts of fats compared to yogurt. Sour cream contains 14g of fat which is quite remarkable considering yogurt is devoid of fat.

In detail, we discuss the major components of fats in this section, considering saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and cholesterol.

Saturated fats

Sour cream contains high amounts of saturated fats compared to yogurt. Almost half the fat content of sour cream is based on saturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats

Sour cream is devoid of polyunsaturated fats, but mainly it contains monounsaturated fats when it comes to the ratio of poly to monounsaturated fat content.

Cholesterol

For both, the cholesterol amounts are categorized as low. However, yogurt contains lower amounts of cholesterol than sour cream.

Vitamins

Sour cream is richer in vitamin A compared to yogurt. However, yogurt has a richer and more diverse vitamin profile. Yogurt is richer in vitamin B12 mainly satisfies the recommended daily value by 94% when 300g of greek yogurt is consumed. In addition to that, it is also richer in vitamins B2, B5, and B6.

Below the vitamin coverage chart highlights the difference between them.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
5
Yogurt
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin A +10800%
Contains more Vitamin E +3900%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +73.9%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Contains more Folate +57.1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +15.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +197.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +215%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +150%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 3% 27% 8% 9% 10% 56% 2% 0% 5% 38% 2% 9%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 0% 1% 1% 0% 6% 65% 4% 20% 15% 94% 0% 6%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin A +10800%
Contains more Vitamin E +3900%
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +73.9%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Contains more Folate +57.1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +15.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +197.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +215%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +150%

Minerals

Sour cream is richer in calcium and potassium, whereas yogurt is richer in phosphorus and zinc. It is important to discuss the calcium content of both these foods since they are dairy-based foods, and they are one of the main foods known to be rich in calcium.

Based on the consumption of 300g of each food, when sour cream is consumed, 43% of the RDV is satisfied, whereas when yogurt is consumed, 33% of the RDV is satisfied.

Below, the mineral coverage chart highlights the difference between them.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +28.2%
Contains more Potassium +49.6%
Contains more Iron +16.7%
Contains more Copper +70%
Contains more Zinc +92.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +58.8%
Contains less Sodium -48.6%
Equal in Magnesium - 11
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 3% 43% 19% 8% 4% 8% 37% 10%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 3% 33% 13% 8% 6% 15% 58% 5%
Contains more Calcium +28.2%
Contains more Potassium +49.6%
Contains more Iron +16.7%
Contains more Copper +70%
Contains more Zinc +92.6%
Contains more Phosphorus +58.8%
Contains less Sodium -48.6%
Equal in Magnesium - 11

Diet and weight loss

Vegan

They are not part of the vegan diet since they are dairy products.

Keto

Yogurt is low caloric and has a low glycemic index; thus, it can be eaten during the keto diet. However, in this article, we discuss reduced-fat sour cream, which is high in carbs and cannot be eaten during the keto diet. However, normal fat content sour cream, which has more fat than the reduced sour cream, can be eaten during the keto diet.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance symptoms are triggered at a particular threshold of lactose ingestion. Most lactose-intolerant people can meet their calcium needs by eating small amounts of yogurt without developing serious deficits. However, because yogurt has a low carb content, lactose is below the trigger level in this situation.

Health impacts

Cardiovascular health

Sour cream consumption does not contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases. In addition to that, consumption of dairy, including sour cream, is associated with positive effects on the overall cardiovascular system. (1)

Consumption of yogurt has been found to lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in hypertensive individuals. (2)

Another study found that eating yogurt regularly lowers the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disorders. (3)

Diabetes and metabolic disorders

The following study demonstrates a link between dairy consumption and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, this is dose-dependent, so reasonable amounts must be consumed without added sweeteners or flavorings. (4)

Yogurt is a probiotic that keeps the usual gut microorganisms healthy and active, which helps to regulate blood glucose levels. As a result, the risk of type 2 diabetes is reduced. (5)

Consumption of full-fat dairy products has been linked to the development of pre-diabetes, which, if not regulated, can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. (6)

Cancer

Research on postmenopausal women in a discussion about breast cancer in relation to dairy intake was done. Dairy consumption is not related to breast cancer development in this statistical population; however, overall high calcium consumption is positively associated with breast cancer development in postmenopausal women. Thus it is important to maintain a balanced diet. In this comparison, sour cream is richer in calcium than yogurt. However, these numbers are not high enough to cause any harm. (7)

Consumption of yogurt decreased cancer development risks in gastric, colorectal, breast, and bladder cancers. However, as mentioned above, high calcium consumption is associated with cancer development. (8)

Another study looks at the effects of yogurt and how it can lower the incidence of upper aerodigestive tract cancer. (9)

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4006120/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29462263/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31968071/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3719038/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28615384/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29498341/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2959158/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22081693/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22179690/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: October 26, 2021

Infographic

Sour cream vs Yogurt infographic
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Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
14
Sour cream
17
Yogurt
Mineral Summary Score
16
Sour cream
17
Yogurt

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
42%
Sour cream
61%
Yogurt
Carbohydrates
7%
Sour cream
4%
Yogurt
Fats
65%
Sour cream
2%
Yogurt

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Sour cream Yogurt
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Sour cream Yogurt
Low Calories diet ok
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Yogurt
Yogurt is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 30mg)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Yogurt
Yogurt contains less Sodium (difference - 34mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Yogurt
Yogurt is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 8.583g)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Sour cream
Sour cream is lower in Sugar (difference - 2.94g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Sour cream
Sour cream is lower in glycemic index (difference - 19)
Which food is cheaper?
Sour cream
Sour cream is cheaper (difference - $2.6)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Sour cream Yogurt Opinion
Calories 181 59 Sour cream
Protein 7 10.19 Yogurt
Fats 14.1 0.39 Sour cream
Vitamin C 0.9 0 Sour cream
Net carbs 7 3.6 Sour cream
Carbs 7 3.6 Sour cream
Cholesterol 35 5 Yogurt
Vitamin D 10 0 Sour cream
Iron 0.06 0.07 Yogurt
Calcium 141 110 Sour cream
Potassium 211 141 Sour cream
Magnesium 11 11
Sugar 0.3 3.24 Sour cream
Fiber 0 0
Copper 0.01 0.017 Yogurt
Zinc 0.27 0.52 Yogurt
Starch
Phosphorus 85 135 Yogurt
Sodium 70 36 Yogurt
Vitamin A 436 4 Sour cream
Vitamin E 0.4 0.01 Sour cream
Vitamin D 0.3 0 Sour cream
Vitamin B1 0.04 0.023 Sour cream
Vitamin B2 0.24 0.278 Yogurt
Vitamin B3 0.07 0.208 Yogurt
Vitamin B5 0.331 Yogurt
Vitamin B6 0.02 0.063 Yogurt
Vitamin B12 0.3 0.75 Yogurt
Vitamin K 0.7 0 Sour cream
Folate 11 7 Sour cream
Trans Fat 0.006 Sour cream
Saturated Fat 8.7 0.117 Yogurt
Monounsaturated Fat 4.1 0.053 Sour cream
Polyunsaturated fat 0.5 0.012 Sour cream
Tryptophan
Threonine
Isoleucine
Leucine
Lysine
Methionine
Phenylalanine
Valine
Histidine
Fructose 0 Yogurt

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Sour cream - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173442/nutrients
  2. Yogurt - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170894/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.