Pick the Best Fermented Food Between Kefir & Sauerkraut

Rohit Panwar

Looking for ways to include more probiotics in your diet but confused between kefir vs sauerkraut? Let me help you make a choice.

In this blog, I will be sharing with you the comparative benefits and nutritional value of kefir and sauerkraut. Based on these, you can pick the best option for yourself. 


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Kefir Vs Sauerkraut: Which One’s Better & Why? 

Let us begin the analysis by taking a quick overview of kefir and sauerkraut nutrition facts and health outcomes – 


Milk & Kefir Grains


Cabbage & Salt 


Sour & Creamy


Salty & Sour


1 Cup


1 tablespoon






4.6 g*


4.2 g*


3.3 g*


0.1 g*


5 g*


0.9 g*


167 mg*


30 mg*


54 mg*


661 mg*


0 g*


2.9  g*




Very Good


Morning or Noon


















Very good

*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100 g

Now that you have an idea about the difference between kefir and sauerkraut, let’s dig a little deeper into each point – 

How Are Kefir Vs Sauerkraut Made?

Kefir is a probiotic drink made by adding kefir grains to milk and allowing it to ferment for a few days. Kefir grains are a mixture of good yeast and bacteria. They can be bought online or in your nearby health store. 

Sauerkraut is made by shredding cabbage and adding salt, which draws out the moisture from the cabbage. The cabbage is then packed tightly into a container and left to ferment for several days or weeks. 

Which Tastes Better:  Kefir or Sauerkraut? 

Kefir has a tangy and slightly sour taste due to the lactic acid produced during fermentation. It has a creamy texture with a consistency somewhere between milk and yogurt.

Sauerkraut, on the other hand, has a salty, sour and crunchy taste due to the lactic acid produced during fermentation. It may also feel somewhat vinegary. It is often used as a condiment or a side dish in many cuisines.

How Much of Kefir Vs Sauerkraut Can Be Consumed in a Day?

As fermented foods, kefir and sauerkraut are generally considered safe for most people but make sure you consume  them in moderation. I recommend consuming about 1-2 cups of kefir per day. This amount provides a sufficient amount of probiotics and nutrients.

As for sauerkraut, start with a small serving size, such as ½ to 1 tablespoon, and gradually increase the amount up to 1 tablespoon or 2 at max. Consuming too much sauerkraut at once can cause digestive discomfort, such as bloating and gas.

Which Has More Calories: Sauerkraut or Kefir?

The amount of calories in kefir will vary with the kind of milk being used for preparation. Since it is made from milk, it has a slightly higher calorie count. These calories come from the fats, carbs and proteins in milk. 

Sauerkraut is a low calorie food and contains around 15-20 calories per 100 grams, which is a relatively small amount. So, if you are looking for a low calorie probiotic food, sauerkraut is a better option.

Which is Lower in Carbs: Kefir or Sauerkraut?

Kefir contains moderately high carbs. The amount may vary  depending on the type of milk used. If you are on a low carb diet, you can consume kefir in small amounts. 

Sauerkraut is particularly low in carbs. Since you will be consuming a maximum of two tablespoons a day, the overall carb intake from sauerkraut will be way lower than kefir. This is because sauerkraut is made primarily from cabbage, which is a low-carbohydrate vegetable.

Kefir Vs Sauerkraut: The Low Fat Option

As is evident from the table above, sauerkraut has next to zero fats. Therefore,  this vegetable based food is a great way of including probiotics in your diet without increasing the intake of fats. 

Kefir is typically made from whole milk, which means it contains moderate amounts of fat. Although if you’d like to decrease the fat you can use or purchase low fat or skimmed milk based kefirs.  

What Is Higher in Proteins: Sauerkraut Or Kefir? 

Kefir is also much higher in protein than sauerkraut since it is a dairy product. Not only is the protein great in quantity but this dairy protein is also high quality.  If you’re looking to increase your protein intake, kefir could be a good option. 

Sauerkraut is not a significant source of protein, as it is a vegetable-based food/ It is comparatively much lower in protein when compared to kefir. 

Which One Has More Calcium: Sauerkraut Or Kefir?

When it comes to calcium content, kefir is a much better source than sauerkraut. Since kefir is mostly made from dairy milk, it is an excellent source of calcium.

Sauerkraut is not known for its calcium content. It is made from cabbage and although it does contain some calcium, the amount is negligible when compared to dairy.So, if you are looking to increase your calcium intake, kefir is a better option than sauerkraut. 

Kefir Vs Sauerkraut: The Low Sodium Choice?

Kefir and sauerkraut vary significantly in their sodium content. Kefir is much lower in sodium than sauerkraut unless you buy store bought salted versions.  

Sauerkraut is high in sodium, because salt is used in the fermentation process to keep away the bad bacteria.

Which Has More Fibre:  Sauerkraut Or Kefir?

Another significant difference between kefir and sauerkraut is the amount of fibre it contains. Sauerkraut is a good source of fibre, while kefir contains negligible to no fibre.

Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage, which is a vegetable that is naturally high in fibre. Kefir made from dairy milk which has no fibre while kefir made from non-dairy milks, may contain a small amount of fibre.

Which is Nutritionally More Diverse: Sauerkraut or Kefir?

Both sauerkraut and kefir are nutrient rich probiotic foods with their own advantage. Dairy kefir contains vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, magnesium, and phosphorus. It has a significantly higher amount of Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A than sauerkraut. 

Sauerkraut is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It also contains small amounts of other vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron, and manganese. Overall, while both sauerkraut can provide important nutrient \s kefir offers a more diverse nutrient profile.

What is The Best Time to Consume Kefir Vs Sauerkraut?

There is no specific best time to consume kefir or sauerkraut as it ultimately depends on your preference. I generally recommend consuming kefir either in the morning or post lunch to attain maximum benefits. 

Sauerkraut is commonly eaten as a condiment or side dish with meals, such as on a sandwich. You can consume it at any time of the day, but lunchtime is the most appropriate in my opinion as a nutritionist.

Which One Is Vegan-FRiendly:  Kefir or Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is suitable for vegans as it is a fermented vegetable product that is made with just cabbage, salt, and water. It does not contain any animal products.

Kefir, on the other hand, is traditionally made from dairy milk and is not suitable for vegans. However, there are now non-dairy kefir options available, such as those made with coconut milk or almond milk, that are suitable for vegans.

Which is More Environmentally Sustainable: Kefir Or Sauerkraut?

Dairy-based products are bad for the planet. This makes both dairy based kefir a non-sustainable choice. Non-dairy kefir made with plant-based milk, may have a lower environmental impact due to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and land use associated with plant-based agriculture. 

Sauerkraut can be made with locally grown and seasonal vegetables, which makes it a sustainable choice. Additionally, because sauerkraut is a fermented product, it has a longer shelf life than fresh vegetables and can help reduce food waste.

Kefir Vs Sauerkraut: Which is Better for Oral & Bone Health?

Kefir is rich in calcium, a mineral that is essential for strong bones and teeth. It also contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can reduce the risk of oral infections

Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that is high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that help protect gums and support collagen production, which is important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. 

More Tummy Friendly: Kefir Or Sauerkraut?

When it comes to being tummy-friendly, kefir is a better choice than sauerkraut if your body can digest it. This is because it has a higher probiotic content and a wider variety of beneficial bacteria strains.

Sauerkraut is also good for the tummy since it contains probiotics and is also high in fibre. Since it is also plant based, it may be better digested for some people. 

While both Sauerkraut and kefir are nutritionally rich, kefir does have an edge over sauerkraut when it comes to nutrients. So, you can make a pick based on your needs and preferences. 

In fact, I would recommend to include both Sauerkraut and kefir in your diet on a regular basis. 

Rohit Panwar

Hi! I'm Integrated Nutrition Coach Rohit Panwar. I hold twin Certifications from IIN, New York & SAFM, Massachusetts. I am a passionate vocalist of holistic lifestyle and have fully committed the past several years to educate & empower people towards their wellbeing. Despite a successful yet hectic corporate stint of 21+ years, I have prioritised nutriment in my life. I truly hope my personal journey from illness to wellness helps everybody reading this forge their own path.