Is Sauerkraut Keto Friendly?

For those on the keto diet, enjoying a plump and juicy sausage is definitely on the menu. As long as you check the carb count for the brand you buy, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying them. But without the bun, a sausage by itself seems a bit glum. Naturally, you might want to turn to sauerkraut to pair with your sausages. Is sauerkraut keto-friendly though?

To answer that, we should look at what sauerkraut is. Sauerkraut, perhaps the best topping for your sausage, is simply fermented cabbage. The cabbage itself makes sauerkraut keto-friendly, a perfect choice for your healthy low-carb diet and lifestyle.

sausage and sauerkraut meal keto friendly
Kielbasa Sausage and sauerkraut make a delicious keto-friendly meal.

So, What is Sauerkraut?

In just one cup of shredded cabbage, there are only 4.06 grams of carbs. In that same cup though, fiber is 1.75 grams. As always, you should remember to subtract the fiber from the total carbs to get your net carbs per serving. In this case, it’s only 2.31 net carbs in that cup, making cabbage a prime choice for keto dieters.

Does the Fermentation Make It Less Keto Friendly?

Nope! And that’s the best news of all. If you’re wondering is sauerkraut keto-friendly, it most certainly is. As we covered with the nutritional profile of cabbage, it’s low carb. That doesn’t change during the fermentation process. In fact, the fermentation process makes it an even better choice for those on the ketogenic diet.

While fermentation sounds a little gross since it involves microorganisms living on the cabbage, they are beneficial to our gut health. They digest the natural sugars found in cabbage and turn them into organic acids and carbon dioxide. When all this magic happens, it creates probiotics, those good bacteria you need to help that second brain in your gut thrive.

Since probiotics make your food more digestible, you are better able to absorb all the vitamins and minerals of your foods. So essentially, sauerkraut is even more nutritious than simply eating raw cabbage. It’s more delicious too!

When wondering is sauerkraut keto-friendly, you now know that it is plus it has a phenomenal nutrition profile. In that same cup as raw cabbage, you get vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, manganese, iron, and potassium which all go a long way for your best health. While there is a lot of sodium in sauerkraut, you can get around that with a few simple tricks so keep reading!

Let’s be honest here…you’re likely on the keto diet so you can lose weight, right? So why not eat foods that help you meet that goal while keeping keto?

Can Sauerkraut Help You Lose Weight?

The good news is that eating sauerkraut on the regular could be your ticket to keto-friendly weight loss. Since sauerkraut is low in calories and high in fiber, it helps you stay fuller for longer. You won’t miss that bun anymore when you eat your keto-friendly sausages with sauerkraut!

Those probiotics we were discussing before too also come into play. Scientists are mystified as to how it works, but it seems that the probiotics found in sauerkraut help keep your body from absorbing too much fat. Studies confirm that those who were given more probiotics gained around 50% less fat over the placebo group.

Since sauerkraut is keto-friendly and has so many health benefits, it only makes sense that you’ll want to keep some around. However, if you want to get those probiotic benefits, you’ll have to shop smart if you’re buying sauerkraut at the store.

Is Store-Bought Sauerkraut Keto safe?

Always buy refrigerated sauerkraut

In the supermarket, it’s easy to find sauerkraut. But don’t be duped into buying it from a can or a jar on the shelf. Those varieties have been pasteurized and there’s no way of knowing just how long they’ve been on the shelf. As such, they lack those live probiotics that are so beneficial to you. Not only that, they could have even more sodium in them than other varieties. However, canned sauerkraut is still a keto-approved food.

To learn more, read my article: Does store-bought sauerkraut have probiotics?

If you don’t want to make your own sauerkraut, get it from the refrigerated section in your supermarket. Don’t just assume that it has those live probiotics though. Make sure you read the labels!

Avoid sugars and preservatives

While you’re busy reading the labels on the sauerkraut, make sure you avoid any brands with added preservatives. These could lower the probiotics. True sauerkraut only contains cabbage and salt and is the only thing you should look for.

Yes! In fact, this might be the best way to go about it. You’ll have control over the sodium involved. Plus, it’s cheap and easy to do so you’ll always have delicious sauerkraut that’s full of probiotics and ready to enjoy.

Can I Make My Own Keto-Friendly Sauerkraut?

There are many recipes for making sauerkraut, though, in its most basic form, you’ll need a medium green cabbage and a tablespoon of non-iodized salt. You should also have a 1-quart jar to store it in.

Simply shred the cabbage and massage salt into it so that brine forms at the bottom of your mixing bowl. Stuff it into your 1-quart jar, pressing as you do to remove air all air pockets. Once that’s done, pour the brine in so that no air is in the jar. Using a smaller jar on top of the cabbage inside this first jar helps keep the cabbage below the brine and enables the fermentation process to work its magic. Make sure it’s all sealed tight and that you keep it at room temperature out of the sunlight. You should wait a week to 4 weeks before sampling your sauerkraut creation.

Try my easy homemade sauerkraut recipe.

One Last Tip About Keto-Friendly Sauerkraut

Whether you buy your probiotic-rich sauerkraut or make your own, you should never cook it. The heating process will kill those beneficial probiotics. So, cook your sausages and then top your sauerkraut on it just before eating, or simply eat it on the side to get the best benefits!

Related Topics:

Is Kombucha Keto-Friendly?

Can You Freeze Sauerkraut?

Does Store-Bought Sauerkraut Have Probiotics?

Why Sauerkraut Gets Salty & How To Fix It


Hello! I’m Katie, mom, hobby fermenter, gardener, canner, and boundless experimenter. Here at Fermenters Kitchen, our team of enthusiast aims to encourage readers to embark on a fermentation journey with us, one bubbly jar at a time.