Most modern dairy is cultured, which means beneficial bacteria has been added to it. It is different from traditional buttermilk, which is rare in Western countries these days.

Watching: What is Buttermilk?

This article deals with cultured dairy that is simply buttermilk.

This dairy product is often used in baking. For example, it’s a common ingredient in cookies, muffins, quick breads, and pancakes. It can also be used in batters for fried dishes or as a base in soups, potato salads, or salad dressings.

This article reviews Buttermilk’s nutrition, benefits, and downsides and tells you how to substitute for store-bought varieties.

A look at dairy nutrition, benefits, and downsides


Effects of buttermilk – Buttermilk

Disadvantage of ButtermilkHow to make Buttermilk substitute

What is Buttermilk?

Traditional buttermilk is the liquid left over after whole milk has been turned into butter. This type of buttermilk is rarely found in Western countries today but is still popular in parts of Nepal, Pakistan and India.

Buttermilk today consists mainly of water, the milk sugar lactose and the milk protein casein.

It was pasteurized and homogenized, and a culture of lactic acid-producing bacteria was added, which may include Lactococcus lactis or Lactobacillus bulgaricus.

Lactic acid increases the acidity of buttermilk and prevents unwanted bacterial growth, helping to extend its shelf life. It also gives buttermilk its slightly sour taste, which is the result of bacteria fermenting lactose, the main sugar in milk.

Buttermilk is thicker than milk. When bacteria in the beverage produce lactic acid, the pH is reduced and casein, the main protein in milk, solidifies.

As the pH drops, the buttermilk coagulates and thickens. This is because a lower pH makes buttermilk more acidic. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic. Cow’s milk has a pH of 6.7, 6.9, compared to 4,44.8 for dairy.


Modern buttermilk is a cultured, fermented dairy product commonly used in baking. It contains bacteria that make it sour and thicker than regular milk.

Nutritional content of Buttermilk

Buttermilk packs a lot of nutrition into a small serving.

One cup (245 ml) of cultured buttermilk provides the following nutrients:

Calories: 98 Protein: 8 grams Carbs: 12 grams Fat: 3 grams Fiber: 0 grams Calcium: 22% of the Daily Value (DV) Sodium: 16% DVRiboflavin: 29% of DVVitamin B12: 22% of DVA pantothenic acid: 13% of DV


One serving of dairy is a good source of several nutrients, including protein, calcium and riboflavin.

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The effects of buttermilk – Buttermilk

What are the health benefits of Buttermilk?

Buttermilk may provide a number of health benefits, including improved blood pressure and bones and teeth.

May be easier to digest than other dairy products

The lactic acid in buttermilk can make its lactose content easier to digest. Lactose is the natural sugar found in dairy products.

Many people are lactose intolerant, which means they don’t have the enzyme needed to break it down. About 65% of people worldwide develop some degree of lactose intolerance after infancy.

Some people with lactose intolerance can drink cultured dairy products with few side effects, because lactose is broken down by bacteria.

May support strong bones

Buttermilk is a good source of calcium and phosphorus, as well as vitamin D if it has been fortified. Full-fat varieties are also rich in vitamin K2.

These nutrients are important for maintaining bone strength and preventing degenerative bone diseases like osteoporosis, but many people don’t get enough of them.

A 5-year study in people aged 13-19 years observed that those with 2–3 times higher phosphorus intakes than the dietary allowance of 700 mg per day increased density. bone mineral content to 2.1% and bone mineral content to 4.2%.

A higher intake of phosphorus-rich foods is also associated with higher calcium intake. A high intake of calcium and phosphorus was associated with a 45% lower risk of osteoporosis in adults with normal levels of these two minerals.

There is also evidence that vitamin K2 is beneficial for bone health and the treatment of osteoporosis, especially in combination with vitamin D. Vitamin K2 promotes bone formation and prevents fractures.

Can improve oral health

Periodontitis is an inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. This is a very common condition and is caused by periodontal bacteria.

Fermented dairy products like buttermilk may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin cells lining the mouth.

Calcium supplementation from fermented dairy foods is associated with a significant reduction in periodontitis. Non-toxic foods do not appear to have this effect.

This can be especially helpful for people with stomatitis caused by radiation, chemotherapy, or Crohn’s disease.

May help lower your cholesterol

In a small study lasting 8 Week in 34 adults, consuming 45 grams, or about one-fifth of a cup, reconstituted Buttermilk (Buttermilk powder mixed with water) daily reduced total cholesterol and triglycerides by 3% and 10%, respectively, compared with placebo.

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Furthermore, participants who started the study with elevated levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol noticed a 3% reduction in this type of cholesterol.

The sphingolipid compounds in dairy may be responsible for this effect by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in your gut. Sphingolipids are part of the milk fat cell membrane (MFGM) in buttermilk.

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Linked to low blood pressure

Some evidence suggests that buttermilk can help lower your blood pressure.

In a study in 34 people with normal blood pressure, daily buttermilk consumption reduced systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 2.6 mm Hg, mean arterial pressure by 1.7 mm Hg, and ACE inhibitors. Change in plasma angiotensin-I 10.9%, compared with a placebo.

Mean arterial pressure is the average blood pressure in a person’s arteries during one heartbeat, while plasma angiotensin-I-converting enzyme helps control blood pressure by regulating the amount of fluid in your body.

While these results are encouraging, more research is needed.


Buttermilk is a good source of vitamins and minerals known to help maintain strong bones. It also contains compounds that may improve oral and heart health.

What are the disadvantages of Buttermilk?

Buttermilk may also have some downsides related to its salt content and potential for allergies in some people.

May contain a lot of sodium

Dairy products contain good amounts of sodium, so it’s important to check the nutrition label if you need to limit your sodium intake.

High sodium consumption is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, especially in people who are salt sensitive. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease.

For people who are sensitive to dietary salt, a diet high in sodium can damage the heart, kidneys, brain, and blood vessels.

Low sodium foods are defined as having 140 mg or less of sodium per serving. In comparison, 1 cup (240 ml) of buttermilk can pack 300-500 mg of this nutrient.

Notably, low-fat dairy often contains more sodium than even the higher-fat version.

May cause allergic reactions or digestive problems in some people

Buttermilk contains lactose, a natural sugar that many people are intolerant of.

Although dairy seems to be easier to digest by some people with lactose intolerance, many people may still be sensitive to the lactose content.

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Symptoms of lactose intolerance include upset stomach, diarrhea, and gas.

People who are allergic to milk – rather than intolerant – should not consume dairy. A milk allergy can cause vomiting, wheezing, hives, upset stomach, and even anaphylaxis in some people.


Some types of buttermilk can be high in salt and contain compounds like lactose, which can be problematic for some people.

How to make Buttermilk substitute

If buttermilk is not available or you prefer to use something else, there are a few alternatives.


To make acidified buttermilk, you need milk and acid. When the two mixed, the milk curds.

Buttermilk can be made acid by using high fat milk. It can also be made with non-dairy milk alternatives, such as soy, almond or cashew milk. Acids like lemon juice, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar work well.

The ratio is 1 cup (240 ml) of milk to 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of acid. Gently mix the two ingredients and let the mixture sit for 5–10 minutes until it begins to curl.

Pure yogurt

Use plain yogurt to replace Buttermilk

Like buttermilk, plain yogurt is a fermented dairy product. You can use plain yogurt to replace buttermilk in baking in a 1:1 ratio.

If the recipe calls for 1 cup (240 ml) of buttermilk, you can substitute 1 cup (240 ml) of yogurt.

Tartment cream

Cream of tartar is a by-product of winemaking. It’s an acid commonly used in baking as a leavening agent. This is because the creamy combination of tartar and baking soda produces carbon dioxide gas.

Mix 1 cup (240 ml) of milk and 1 3/4 teaspoon (6 grams) of cream of tartar and let it sit for a few minutes.

To prevent the mixture from clumping, mix the cream of tartar with a few tablespoons of milk before adding it to the rest of the milk.


Several substitutions can be made for buttermilk in baking. Many people use a combination of an acid and milk or non-dairy milk.


Buttermilk is a dairy product rich in vitamins and minerals that may offer a number of benefits for your bones, heart, and teeth.

However, it can cause problems for people with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy.

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If you tolerate dairy, dairy is a great and versatile addition to a healthy diet strong.