Is Buttermilk Good for You? Nutrition, Benefits and Risks

January 25, 2023 10:55 am35 commentsViews: 49

Buttermilk is one of the most commonly used dairy products in Western Countries. There are certain benefits and risks of using buttermilk. There are two types of buttermilk; one is called cultured buttermilk as nutritional bacteria are added to it later.

This is also called modern buttermilk. And the other one is traditional buttermilk, which is raw buttermilk. The traditional one is rarely available in any of the major western countries.

Whenever we mention buttermilk in this article, we are logically referring to modern cultured buttermilk.

Buttermilk is routinely used for the purpose of baking. For instance, it is commonly used in pancakes, quick breads, muffins, and biscuits. Moreover, buttermilk is also used as a creamy base in salad dressings, potato salad, soups, or in batters for fried foods.

Today, we have disclosed the health benefits of buttermilk along with its nutrition facts to let you decide if buttermilk is good for you.

What is Buttermilk?

Most people may conclude that buttermilk has something to do with butter, which is not the case. Modern buttermilk mainly consists of the milk protein casein, the milk sugar lactose, and mostly water.

As we mentioned above, additional lactic acid-producing bacteria are later added that may include Lactobacillus bulgaricus or Lactococcus lactis.

Buttermilk nutrition facts

There is a lot of essential nutrition in buttermilk. One small cup (245ml) of the modern buttermilk consists of the following essential nutrients:

  • Pantothenic acid: 13% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 22% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 29% of the DV
  • Sodium: 16% of the DV
  • Calcium: 22% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Carbs: 12 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Calories: 98

Despite a few drawbacks, it must be noted that buttermilk is good for you as one a single serving is very rich in beneficial nutrients like riboflavin, calcium, and protein.

Health Benefits of buttermilk

There are a lot of health benefits of buttermilk that range from improved oral and bone health to better blood pressure. Some of the buttermilk benefits are as follows.

May Lower Blood Pressure

There have been huge pieces of evidence to claim that buttermilk nutrition may be effective in lowering your blood pressure.

As per a recent study in which 34 people participated and all of them had normal blood pressure, and after consuming modern buttermilk every day, there systolic blood pressure (the top one) was reduced by 2.6 mm Hg.

In this study, the participants’ mean arterial blood pressure was also reduced by 1.7 mm Hg. This represents the normal pressure during one heartbeat in a human’s arteries.  

There’s no denying that these results are highly promising and encouraging; we cannot say that further research is not required, as it certainly is.

May Lower Cholesterol levels

In another of such studies, it was found that 34 adults who consumed about 45 grams of buttermilk powder mixed with powder saw their triglycerides and total cholesterol levels by 10% and 3%, respectively, in comparison to a placebo.

Moreover, in participants who began this experiment with higher LDL levels, “bad” cholesterols saw their cholesterol levels decline by 3%, which is pretty conclusive.

It is identified that the buttermilk’s Sphingolipid compounds are highly likely to be the reason for these impressive results.

Better Oral Health

There are anti-inflammatory properties in most of the fermented dairy products, including buttermilk. Due to this, they have a set of positive effects on the skin cells inside our mouth.

The essential benefits of buttermilk due to this quality is the prevention of oral disease called Periodontitis. It is a highly common condition that causes inflammation of supporting structures and gums of our teeth. It is caused by a bacteria called periodontal.

The main reason why fermented dairy products are effective in healing and preventing Periodontitis is the presence of calcium in them. Calcium can have anti-inflammatory effects in our mouth upon intake that in turn cures the inflammation caused by Periodontitis.

Even Maple Syrup, which is a natural sweetener has high anti-inflammatory properties. It is highly recommended if you are facing various types of oral inflammation due to Crohn’s disease, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

Provides strong bones

Buttermilk is very rich in essential nutrients like phosphorous, calcium, and Vitamin D. There is ample vitamin K2 as well in the case of full-fat buttermilk varieties.

All of these are highly effective in preserving bone strength and preventing most degenerative bone diseases like osteoporosis.

There was a prolonged 5-year study that included people aged between 13 and 99, and these people were given phosphorus-rich diets where the phosphorus level was 2-3 times larger than average intake allowance of 700mg per day.

Towards the end, it was found that their bone mineral density was increased by 2.1% and their bone mineral content by 4.2%.   

If you are consuming full-fat buttermilk varieties, you will also be consuming a lot of vitamin K2 proven to be effective in enhancing bone health and preventing and curing osteoporosis, especially if vitamin K2 is consumed along with Vitamin D.

Easier to digest

When we compare buttermilk with other dairy products, it will be found that buttermilk is easier to digest. It contains lactic acid that assists it to digest its lactose content.

Lactose will be present in almost all of the dairy products as it represents the natural sugar compound in these products. Many people are lactose intolerant, which means their body doesn’t have enough enzymes to break this sugar down.

So, if you are lactose intolerant, then out of all the various dairy products, buttermilk is the best option for you. Along with consuming buttermilk products, you can fancy drinking the delicious peppermint tea or Soursop leaves tea which is all effective in improving bowel movements.

Side effects of buttermilk

There are a lot of health benefits of buttermilk, as mentioned above, but there do exist some key downsides that you must be aware of.

High in Sodium

Just like all the other dairy products, there is a high amount of sodium present in buttermilk. Sodium is known infamously associated with increasing the risk of high blood sugar.

Some Allergic reactions

Although lactic acid is present in buttermilk that reduces the risk of lactose sugar effect, there is still lactose present in buttermilk that can be detrimental for people with lactose intolerance.

Pro Tip: You must try to consume your daily dose of buttermilk along with peppermint tea in the morning as it aids in digestion and keeps your body hydrated.

Conclusion

There are many essential nutrients in buttermilk nutrition, leading to a lot of impressive health benefits. Along with these positive effects, certain side effects linked to almost all dairy products are also common for buttermilk.

So, what do you think? Did you find these benefits appealing? Do let us know in the comments section down below.         

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