Food Guide

Sour Cream


Cultured sour cream

Sour cream must contain at least 18% milk fat by weight to carry this designation.

Cultured half-and-half

This version of sour cream is made from half-and-half.

Low-fat and light sour cream

These sour cream versions are made from half-and-half and milk.

Sour cream alternative

This is a designation for fat-free sour cream, which is typically made from skim milk.

Nonfat (or fat-free) sour cream

This variety is often labeled “sour cream alternative.”

Cholesterol-free sour cream alternative

This product is made with skim milk and vegetable oil.

Preparation, Uses, & Tips

Sour cream is used in dips and spreads (often with dill and cucumbers), sauces and toppings, as well as in cakes (particularly cheesecake), pies (such as pumpkin), and soufflés, and in such dishes as beef stroganoff.


Like cottage cheese and cream cheese, sour cream should be used within a week or so of purchase.

Nutrition Highlights

Sour cream, 1 Tbsp (12g)

  • Calories: 26
  • Protein: 0.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 0.5g
  • Total Fat: 2.5g
  • Fiber: 0.0g

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2019.