Does Buttermilk Help in Weight Loss


Have you heard of buttermilk? It is a traditional dairy drink that has been around for a long time. People used to make it as a byproduct when they churned butter. Buttermilk was loved for its tangy flavor and was enjoyed as a refreshing drink or used in cooking. Nowadays, buttermilk has become popular again, especially among those trying for weight loss. People are curious if buttermilk can really help them in their body weight loss.

Buttermilk has a fascinating history. It used to be made by letting milk ferment naturally, which gave it a unique taste and slightly thick texture. This fermentation process was done by certain bacteria that turned the milk sugar into lactic acid, giving buttermilk its tangy flavor. While commercial dairy practices reduced the popularity of buttermilk for some time, it is now making a comeback, especially in health and fitness circles. People are curious if buttermilk can offer more than just nutrition and actually help with weight loss.

In this article, we will explore the question: “Does buttermilk really help in weight loss?” By looking at the nutritional value of buttermilk, its potential benefits, and what scientific research says, we can better understand if buttermilk can truly help weight loss efforts. Let’s dive in and find out the truth!

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Understanding Buttermilk:

Buttermilk is typically made from the liquid that remains after churning butter. The traditional method involves allowing cream to sit at room temperature until it naturally ferments. During fermentation, lactic acid bacteria convert the lactose (milk sugar) in the cream into lactic acid, giving buttermilk its characteristic tangy taste. This natural fermentation process also thickens the buttermilk slightly.

Difference between Traditional Buttermilk and Cultured Buttermilk:

There are two types of buttermilk: traditional and cultured. Traditional buttermilk is the liquid that remains after churning butter, as mentioned earlier. Cultured buttermilk, on the other hand, is made by adding specific lactic acid bacteria to pasteurized milk. These bacteria ferment the milk, resulting in a tangy and thickened product similar to traditional buttermilk.

Nutritional Content:

Buttermilk offers several nutritional benefits, making it an attractive option for those seeking a healthy lifestyle and weight loss. While the exact nutritional content may vary depending on the brand and production method, buttermilk is generally low in fat and calories compared to whole milk. It is also a good source of protein, calcium, and various vitamins and minerals.

Low-Fat and High-Protein Properties:

One of the reasons buttermilk is considered beneficial for weight loss is its low-fat content. It provides a creamy texture and taste without the excessive calories and fat found in whole milk or other high-fat dairy products. This can be particularly helpful for individuals aiming to reduce their overall calorie intake and create a calorie deficit, which is crucial for weight loss.

Additionally, buttermilk is relatively high in protein compared to some other beverages. Protein is known to promote satiety, helping individuals feel fuller for longer periods and potentially reducing overall food intake. By including protein-rich buttermilk in a balanced diet, individuals may experience increased satisfaction and potentially better weight management outcomes.

The Link between Buttermilk and Weight Loss:

When it comes to weight loss, several factors play a crucial role, including creating a calorie deficit and maintaining a healthy metabolic rate. Let’s explore how buttermilk may potentially aid in weight loss and help these factors.

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Calorie Deficit and Metabolic Rate:

Weight loss occurs when there is a calorie deficit, meaning you consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight. By incorporating lower-calorie options like buttermilk into your diet, you can reduce overall calorie intake while still enjoying a satisfying beverage.

Additionally, metabolic rate plays a significant role in weight management. It refers to the number of calories your body burns at rest to carry out essential functions. Some studies suggest that certain compounds found in dairy products, including buttermilk, might have a positive impact on metabolic rate. However, it’s important to note that the effect may be modest and varies among individuals.

Potential Mechanisms for Weight Loss:

While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms, several theories exist regarding how buttermilk may contribute to weight loss:

  1. Satiety: Buttermilk’s protein content may help increase feelings of fullness and reduce hunger, potentially leading to a lower calorie intake overall.
  2. Thermogenesis: Some studies propose that dairy products, including buttermilk, may have a thermogenic effect. This means that the body burns more calories during digestion, contributing to increased energy expenditure.
  3. Probiotics: Buttermilk, especially cultured buttermilk, contains beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. These microbes have been associated with improved gut health and may play a role in weight management, although more research is needed to establish a direct link.

Scientific Studies and Expert Opinions:

While scientific research on the specific relationship between buttermilk and weight loss is limited, some studies suggest potential benefits. For example, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that a high-dairy diet, which included buttermilk, resulted in greater fat loss compared to a low-dairy diet.

Moreover, experts in the field of nutrition acknowledge the potential advantages of incorporating buttermilk into a weight loss diet. They highlight its nutrient-rich composition, including low-fat and high-protein properties, as valuable for promoting satiety and supporting overall weight management efforts.

However, it is essential to approach these findings with caution. Everyone response to dietary changes can be different, and weight loss should always be approached through a comprehensive and balanced lifestyle, including regular exercise and a varied diet.

While buttermilk shows promise as a potentially beneficial component of a weight loss regimen, it is important to consult with healthcare professionals or registered dietitians for personalized advice. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific needs and help you develop a well-rounded approach to weight management.

Nutritional Benefits of Buttermilk:

Buttermilk offers several health benefits beyond its potential role in weight loss. Let’s explore the various advantages associated with consuming buttermilk and how it can contribute to overall well-being.

Role of Probiotics and Gut Health: One significant benefit of buttermilk, especially cultured buttermilk, is its content of probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut. These friendly bacteria can help improve digestion, enhance nutrient absorption, and promote overall gut health.


Consuming probiotics through buttermilk may have several positive effects on the body. Studies suggest that probiotics can help alleviate digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation. They may also contribute to strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of certain gastrointestinal conditions.

Vitamins and Minerals for Overall Well-being: Buttermilk is a good source of various vitamins and minerals that are important for overall health and well-being. It contains essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and phosphorus.

Calcium and vitamin D are crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Adequate intake of these nutrients, along with regular exercise, can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and promote skeletal health.

Vitamin B12 and riboflavin are involved in energy production and play a role in maintaining a healthy nervous system. These vitamins also contribute to the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, supporting overall energy production.

Phosphorus, another mineral found in buttermilk, is important for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. It also plays a role in various cellular processes, including energy metabolism.

By incorporating buttermilk into your diet, you can benefit from these essential vitamins and minerals, supporting your overall well-being.

Incorporating Buttermilk into a Weight Loss Diet:

If you’re considering adding buttermilk to your weight loss diet, here are some practical tips to help you include it in a balanced and effective manner:

  1. Choose Low-Fat or Fat-Free Options: Opt for low-fat or fat-free buttermilk to minimize calorie and fat intake. These options provide the same tangy taste and nutritional benefits while reducing the overall calorie load.
  2. Enjoy Buttermilk as a Snack or Beverage: Buttermilk can be enjoyed on its own as a refreshing and low-calorie beverage. Pour yourself a glass of chilled buttermilk to satisfy your thirst while keeping your calorie intake in check.
  3. Use Buttermilk in Smoothies: Incorporate buttermilk into your weight loss smoothies for a creamy texture and added nutritional value. Combine it with fruits, vegetables, and a source of protein such as yogurt or protein powder for a satisfying and nutritious meal replacement option.
  4. Substitute Buttermilk in Recipes: Buttermilk can be used as a healthier substitute in various recipes. Replace high-fat ingredients like heavy cream, whole milk, or sour cream with buttermilk in recipes for pancakes, waffles, salad dressings, and baked goods.
  5. Experiment with Buttermilk-based Dishes: Explore recipes specifically designed to highlight buttermilk as a key ingredient. For example, try marinating chicken in buttermilk before grilling for a flavorful and tender result. Additionally, you can prepare light and refreshing buttermilk-based soups or chilled buttermilk-based dressings for salads.

Remember, while buttermilk can help us in weight loss efforts, it is just one component of a balanced diet and active lifestyle. It’s essential to incorporate a variety of nutrient-rich foods, engage in regular physical activity, and maintain an overall calorie deficit for sustainable weight loss. Doctors can also help you develop a customized meal plan that incorporates buttermilk effectively into your weight loss journey.

Buttermilk for Weight Loss: How to Prepare?

Buttermilk is highly versatile, and apart from having it as it is, it lends to many dishes, including beverages and sweet and savoury preparations. In addition to traditional buttermilk, one can easily add several ingredients, such as red chilly, jeera, black pepper, and rock salt. In addition, mint and coriander, and other fresh herbs add to the taste. 

Here are some delectable buttermilk recipes for you to try.

Plain Buttermilk

Servings: 2 

Preparation time: 15 minutes 


  • Low-fat curd: 1 cup
  • Cold water: 2 cups
  • Salt: 1 tsp

Preparation Method

  • Take yoghurt and blend it in a mixer grinder to make easy buttermilk. Add salt to taste and just enough water.
  • Serve chilled, and enjoy.

Masala Buttermilk 

Serving: 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes


  • Low-fat Curd: ¼ cup
  • Water:1 cup
  • Roasted cumin powder: ½tsp
  • Black pepper: ½tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Mint leaves: 2 to 3
  • Coriander leaves:5
  • Chopped ginger/ dry ginger powder: a pinch

Preparation Method

  • Add cold water and curd in a bowl.
  • Use a churner or blender to combine everything after adding salt and toasted cumin powder.
  • Use curry leaves, mint leaves, or coriander leaves as garnish.
  • Serve it chilled.

Does Buttermilk Help in Weight Loss? Potential Considerations and Precautions:

While buttermilk can offer benefits in a weight loss diet, it’s important to be aware of certain considerations and take precautions to ensure it aligns with your specific needs and health conditions. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  1. Lactose Intolerance or Dairy Allergies: Buttermilk contains lactose, which is a concern for individuals with lactose intolerance. If you have lactose intolerance, you may experience digestive discomfort or other symptoms after consuming buttermilk. However, some individuals with lactose intolerance can tolerate small amounts of lactose found in buttermilk. Alternatively, lactose-free or dairy-free options can be explored, such as plant-based alternatives like almond milk or soy milk.
  2. Allergies: If you have a known allergy to dairy products, including milk, it’s essential to avoid consuming buttermilk. Allergic reactions to dairy can range from mild to severe and may include symptoms such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, or gastrointestinal distress. It’s crucial to read labels carefully and ensure that buttermilk or any other dairy product does not contain any hidden allergens.
  3. Choose Low-Fat or Fat-Free Options: To minimize calorie and fat intake, it’s advisable to choose low-fat or fat-free buttermilk. This helps maintain a healthier overall dietary profile and aligns better with weight loss goals. Be mindful of added sugars or sweeteners in flavored buttermilk products, as they can increase calorie content.
  4. Moderation is Key: While buttermilk can be a part of a weight loss diet, moderation is important. It’s crucial to monitor portion sizes and incorporate buttermilk within your overall calorie and nutrient goals. Overconsumption of any food, even if it is relatively low in calories, can hinder weight loss progress.

By addressing potential considerations and taking necessary precautions, you can make informed decisions about including buttermilk in your weight loss journey.

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Final Thoughts on “Does Buttermilk Help in Weight Loss”

To sum it up, buttermilk can be a helpful addition to your weight loss efforts. It is low in fat and rich in protein, making it a nutritious choice. Buttermilk also offers other health benefits. It contains probiotics, which can promote a healthy gut and improve digestion. Additionally, it is packed with important vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and phosphorus, which support bone health and overall well-being.

When including buttermilk into your weight loss diet, it’s important to choose low-fat or fat-free options and be mindful of portion sizes. Avoiding sugary additives is also crucial to keep the calorie content in check. Before making significant dietary changes, it is always wise to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs and help you navigate your weight loss journey effectively.

While buttermilk can be a beneficial component of a weight loss diet, it should be part of a comprehensive approach that includes balanced eating, regular exercise, and overall healthy lifestyle habits. By incorporating buttermilk wisely and seeking professional guidance, you can enjoy its nutritional benefits while working towards your weight loss goals.

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Frequently Asked Question

Q: What is buttermilk, and how can it aid in weight loss?

A: Buttermilk is a fermented dairy beverage left after churning butter from cultured cream. It is high in proteins, vitamins, and minerals and low in calories and fats. Drinking buttermilk helps you stay hydrated and active and makes you feel full, reducing your unnecessary junk food intake. Therefore, it is a perfect beverage for those trying to lose weight.

Q: How many calories are in a serving of buttermilk?

A: Buttermilk contains 40 Kcal of calories per serving, making it an ideal beverage for those trying to lose weight. However, one should consume it in moderation; the recommended intake is 1 or 2 glasses daily.

Q: Is buttermilk a good source of protein for weight loss?

A: Yes, buttermilk is an excellent source of protein that helps maintain strong bones, muscles, and skin. Additionally, protein prolongs your sensation of fullness and reduces your body’s production of hunger hormones, leading to less snacking and overeating, which aids in weight loss.

Q: Can lactose intolerant people consume buttermilk for weight loss?

A: Lactose intolerance affects many people and can cause flatulence, diarrheas’, and upset stomach. Therefore, those allergic to milk should consume a small amount of buttermilk and observe if they can tolerate it.

Q: How often should I consume buttermilk to aid in weight loss?

A: There is no specific frequency for consuming buttermilk for weight loss. However, drinking 1-2 glasses of buttermilk daily can help lose weight.

Q: What are the other health benefits of consuming buttermilk besides weight loss?

A: Buttermilk has several other health benefits besides weight loss. It can aid in treating constipation, regular bowel motions, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It also helps prevent colon cancer, lactose intolerance, and stomach infections.

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Q: How can I incorporate buttermilk into my weight-loss diet?

A: One can easily incorporate buttermilk into a weight-loss diet. For example, one can consume it as a low-calorie drink or a marinade for paneer or meat. Furthermore, one can add it to smoothies to increase the protein content or use it as a curry base. We can also use it as a salad dressing or added to pancake batter.

Q: Is it safe to consume buttermilk for weight loss while on a low-carb or ketogenic diet?

A: One can incorporate buttermilk into a low-carb or ketogenic diet. However, monitor the portion sizes and carbohydrate intake. Choosing low-fat or skimmed buttermilk can help keep calorie and fat intake in check. Getting enough fat and fibre from other sources is essential to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Q: Can buttermilk be substituted for other dairy products in weight-loss recipes?

A: Yes, buttermilk can replace other dairy products in recipes for weight loss, reducing the total number of calories and fat in the dish.

Q: Are there any potential side effects of consuming buttermilk for weight loss?

A: Some potential downsides of consuming buttermilk for weight loss include its salt level and the possibility of allergic reactions in some individuals. Some people allergic to milk may experience stomach pain, rashes, vomiting, asthma, or anaphylaxis.

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