If you’re used to the keto diet, you already know that it essentially means swapping your body’s source of energy from carbohydrates to fat.
Being on a keto diet can be a severe challenge considering that you are limited to low-carb foods. Generally, foods offering a good dose of proteins and healthy fats are considered keto-friendly because they help your feel fuller for a significantly longer time.
When it comes to picking keto-friendly foods, proponents are faced with the challenge of figuring out is buttermilk keto-friendly or not.
While dairy products, like butter, ghee, and cheese, are considered keto-friendly and, of course, make a nutritional ketogenic diet, buttermilk is not. This is confusing, considering that they are all derived from the same source.
So, what makes buttermilk bad for keto? Simple answer: it is a fermented dairy product.
In this article, you will learn more about buttermilk to know why it is bad for those following a keto diet.
Buttermilk and Keto Diet
At its core, buttermilk is fermented milk. It is made by introducing beneficial bacteria into ordinary cow’s milk. That’s why it is not precisely what you may think.
Although buttermilk is easy to make and incredibly versatile, it is not keto-friendly. Its nutritional profile is what makes it one of the bad choices for keto. A 1-cup serving (256 grams) of buttermilk has 12 grams of sugar, 8 grams of proteins, 2.2 grams of fat, plus other essential nutrients like calcium and riboflavin.
From its name, anyone would think that buttermilk is rich in butter. Unfortunately, it has no butter, and this is evident from its nutritional profile. To the surprise of many, buttermilk is lower in fat than ordinary milk, which tells why it is not suitable for a ketogenic diet.
Why is Buttermilk Keto Not a Good Option?
Like other fermented foods, buttermilk is an excellent source of probiotics. It may also provide various health benefits like improving blood pressure.
Despite being easier to digest, buttermilk remains unsuitable for keto. Here’s why you need to avoid it.
High sugar content: Being on a ketogenic diet means reducing sugar intake as much as possible. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut for making buttermilk without adding natural sugar to it. Refined sugar can also turn into carbohydrates and spike blood sugar.
It is a product of cow’s milk: Various dairy products are considered keto-friendly because they have low carbs, low sugar, and lack any milk fats. This is not the case with fermented cow juice because it is made from milk, which is higher in carbohydrates.
It contains more carbohydrates: Keto adherents need 20-50 grams of carbs each day, depending on individual needs. Considering that a cup of buttermilk contains 12 grams of carbs, it means that too much-fermented milk will kick you out of ketosis.
May cause inflammation: The modern buttermilk is cultured, which means that it is made by introducing the beneficial bacteria into cow juice. The chemicals and hormones in it may cause inflammation.
It doesn’t contain dietary fiber: Dietary fiber is one of the most important and sought-after nutrients for people on keto, thanks to its ability to keep the digestive tract healthy. This means buttermilk offers little to no benefits to people following the keto diet.
Many people would imagine that buttermilk is an excellent source of good fats. The truth is that it gets the name butter because it was leftover after churning butter.
Because it is extremely low in fat and contains an insignificant amount of fiber, it won’t help anyone following a ketogenic diet.
While you can use small amounts of buttermilk and still stay on ketosis, there are keto-friendly options that are just as sweet as buttermilk. All the same, an excellent food to substitute buttermilk is hard.
Here are some healthier alternatives to replace fermented milk.
Almond milk: First off, almond milk is extremely low on carbohydrates – you get only one gram of carbs from 240 ml of almond milk. Fortified almond milk is rich in vitamins D and E and calcium. The vitamin E from almond milk fights free radicals in your body, protecting possible internal damage while boosting overall health. You will also develop healthier bones and teeth because vitamin D boosts the absorption of calcium.
Coconut milk: Unsweetened coconut milk has a high-fat content and is low in carbs. A one-cup serving of this milk provides about 48 grams of fat to keep you on ketosis and 6 grams of natural carbs, ideal for your diet.
Unsweetened cashew milk: Cashew milk is another suitable substitute for regular milk. It has low carbohydrate content and, interestingly, it is also vegan.
If you prefer ketogenic alternatives derived from cow’s milk, the best you can have are organic heavy whipping cream or butter and ghee from grass-fed cows.
Is Buttermilk All Bad?
Although butter is not ketogenic, it doesn’t mean it is all bad. It may offer a few health benefits, including:
May lower blood pressure: One study found that drinking fermented milk every day reduced systolic blood pressure by 2.6 mm. It was also shown that it lowered mean arterial blood pressure by 1.7 mm Hg.
May lower cholesterol: Consuming 45 grams of reconstituted buttermilk every day was shown to reduce cholesterol by 3%, which is significant. The same study found that buttermilk could reduce triglycerides by 10%.
Buttermilk is easier to digest: Fermented milk contains acid, which eases the digestion of lactose content. This means it may be quite tolerable for lactose-intolerant individuals.
Overall, buttermilk is not keto-friendly, thus not suitable for people on the keto diet. The fact that it contains zero fiber, which is crucial when on keto, makes it a bad choice.
If you find yourself craving buttermilk at any given time, you can consume it in moderation; otherwise, it will surely kick you out of ketosis with its carb content. Drinking small amounts of fermented milk will satisfy your taste buds while helping you stay on track.
All the same, buttermilk is not keto-friendly.
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