Keto 28 Day Challenge

Is Buttermilk Keto Friendly? [It’s NOT What You Think!]

Buttermilk is an age old, classic refreshing drink which is also used heavily in dairy products to make them super-soft and delicious!

If you are living the Keto way of life, you will surely wonder “is buttermilk keto?”

is buttermilk keto

Buttermilk is a popular choice for bakers because it can be made quickly with basic ingredients like milk and vinegar.

Is buttermilk allowed in keto diet?

Generally speaking, a 1-cup serving (245 g or 8 fl oz) of buttermilk has 13 grams of net carbohydrates, which is a LOT of carbs for the keto diet!

Having said that, there are ways you can easily include buttermilk in your favorite Keto recipes and also churn up your own version of Keto-friendly buttermilk. Read along for the complete solution.

But first, let us see what makes a food “keto-friendly” and how to decide if you should include it in your diet.

What Makes a Food KETO-Friendly

Our beloved Keto diet is famous for its low carb and high-fat content.

On average, 25-30 grams of net carbs per day is the daily limit for most people to stay into ketosis. That means if you go over 30 grams, you will be kicked out of ketosis, and voila! No more weight loss!

Now, in order to decide whether a food is keto-friendly or not, we should consider these three things:

  • Your daily carb limit on keto
  • How bad you REALLY want to eat something
  • Your level of self-control

Think of your daily carb limit like your pocket money, you’ve only got 25-35 grams per day to spend for successfully losing weight with keto.

Now, what you eat in those limited carbs is completely up to you! You may consume all of it in one meal or break it evenly throughout the meals.

So on a given day, if you really want to eat something really BADLY (within 20 carbs), just have it and go carb free for the day.

When considering buttermilk on keto, keep in mind that one serving is more than 13 grams of carbs. And if your daily limit is 20 grams, then you’ll be left with only 7 grams of quota and a whole day in front of you.

However, someone with a carb limit of 50 grams can easily enjoy a glass of refreshing buttermilk with no strings attached!

Want to scientifically calculate your carb intake for optimum results? Check out this FREE Keto Quiz.

Is Buttermilk Keto?

A 1-cup serving (245 g or 8 fl oz) of buttermilk has 13 net grams of carbohydrates, which means that it can exhaust half your quota of carbs for the day!

So can I have buttermilk on keto?

Before giving a one word answer, I’d like to take you through this nutrition table so that we can decide better (remember, knowledge is power!)

1 cup (250 ml) of Cultured Buttermilk
Total Fat2.2 g
Saturated Fat1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat0.6 g
Cholesterol9.8 mg
Sodium257.3 mg
Potassium370 mg
Carbs12 g
Fiber0 g
Sugar12 g
Protein8 g

As you can see, a single serving of buttermilk on keto is too high in carbs which is equivalent to your regular dairy milk. Frequently drinking buttermilk can throw you out of ketosis and ruin all your progress.

BUT, it doesn’t mean the end of the world (or end of buttermilk for you!). You can still use a dash of buttermilk 28g (or 1 Oz.) in your favorite recipes by sacrificing only 1.5g of net carbs. Buttermilk is typically used in baking goods like biscuits and sourdough bread, as it helps in keeping them soft.

On the plus side, your carbs will be spread out over several servings as you are less likely to gorge on the whole batch right out of the oven! (Unless you are like me..who eats up the whole batch of these keto peanut butter cookies in ONE go!)

How to Make Keto Buttermilk

Below I have explained how regular buttermilk is made and also, how you can create your own Keto-friendly buttermilk.

How REGULAR Buttermilk is Made (Alert: High Carbs)


  • 1 cup milk (dairy)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (or vinegar)


  1. Put 1 cup of milk into a bowl.
  2. Get a fresh lemon or white vinegar. Put two tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar into the bowl with the milk and stir well.
  3. Use this in any recipe that calls for buttermilk and enjoy!
keto substitute for buttermilk

Recipe for KETO Buttermilk

The best way to make a keto buttermilk substitute is by using heavy cream. 

Simply pour the heavy cream into a mixer and churn it at high speeds. First it will transform into whipping cream, further, as you keep whipping, it will separate into butter and buttermilk.

Both of these products are recommended in the Keto Diet.

And if you’re pretty serious about your carb intake and not disturbing your blood sugar, opt for lower-carb alternatives like real cream, fortified almond milk, grass-fed butter and ghee.

Recommended: Is Beef Jerky Keto?

Health Benefits of Buttermilk

Chilled buttermilk is quite a soothing drink for summers, which also provides innumerable health benefits.

Traditional buttermilk is the residue left behind after milk cream is churned into butter. It can also be made by diluting and mixing water in curd (also known as ‘Chhaas’).

It is a good source of protein and calcium and also contains sodium, potassium, vitamins, and phosphorus. Here are more benefits of having buttermilk in keto:

Prevents Dehydration

Buttermilk is made simply using curd and water. It contains around 85 per cent of water and plenty of electrolytes (recommended in keto) such as potassium. Thus, it helps maintaining the water level and prevents dehydration. [1]

Buttermilk Gives a Cooling Effect

Buttermilk is quite refreshing and soothes down our body. A glass of buttermilk topped with cumin seeds, mint and salt, can quench your thirst like nothing else! It comes as a great relief in the hot summer months . [2]

Its Good for Your Gut

Buttermilk is a godsend gift for our gut. The good bacteria and lactic acid found in buttermilk helps in digestion and improves metabolism.[3]

It also naturally treats constipation and ease bowel movements.  Buttermilk is also helpful in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)[4] and prevents stomach infections and lactose intolerance. [5]

Good for Bones & Teeth

100 ml of buttermilk provides around 116 mg of calcium, which is vital for a healthy skeletal system. It strengthens your bones and teeth and prevents degenerative bone diseases like osteoporosis. [7]

Calcium is also essential for blood clots, muscles contractions and pumping of our heart.

Helps in Acidity

Oily and spicy foods (even though I LOVE Mexican!) often lead to acid reflux in the stomach and might also cause heartburn.

The lactic acid in buttermilk keeps acidity in check while giving a soothing effect at the same time. For best results, have a glass of fresh buttermilk topped with black pepper and coriander leaves.

With that said, here are a few things to be kept in mind before concluding “is buttermilk keto?”

Why Buttermilk MIGHT be Bad in KETO

Other than being a great refreshing drink and a friendly agent for baking, buttermilk (used in full servings) might not be a great fit for our high-fat & low-carb diet.

Why do you think so, Noah?

Here are the reasons:

High in Carbs

Ketogenic diet demands that you keep your daily carbs within 25 grams.

That means reducing your sugar intake and saying goodbye to milk, desserts and fruits. One cup of buttermilk alone has 13 grams of carbs in it, which is way too much for the keto diet.

Therefore, directly having buttermilk as a drink is NOT recommended in keto. It can spike your sugar levels and throw you out of ketosis.

Buttermilk is Made Using Cow’s Milk

Not all the dairy products are well suited for a keto diet.

how to make keto buttermilk

Foods like ghee, heavy cream, cheese, and butter are encouraged because they are free from milk-fats and don’t contain many carbs or sugars. Buttermilk, however, is made with cows’ milk which is always avoided by keto dieters.

Here’s the reason: Cows’ milk is loaded with carbs and frequent consumption can quickly throw you out of ketosis.

It Has ZERO Fiber

Buttermilk has a poor fiber to carbs ratio as it contains ZERO fiber! This means all of the 13 grams are purely NET carbs.

Fiber is an essential for keto diet because it helps ease your bowel movements and keep your gut healthy.

In a keto diet, where you hardly get to eat any carbs, wasting it on foods like buttermilk is NOT a great option.

Might Cause Inflammation

Traditionally, buttermilk was made with the leftover liquid after churning butter. In the modern-day, it’s commonly made by heating low-fat milk with added bacteria.

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product and has quite an anti-inflammatory effect. Dairy products, however, might cause a sudden rise in arthritis pain due to the protein present.

More often than not, store-bought buttermilk is made through artificial and chemical processes. It may cause inflammation and pain because of the hormones and chemicals it contains.

Hence it may be a good idea to avoid buttermilk on keto altogether.

Having said that, there are plenty of keto-friendly baking agents that are low-carb, low sugar, and high in healthy fats.

For example, almond milk and ghee are two amazing substitutes for buttermilk on a keto diet!

Other Dairy Products SAFE on Keto

The best 4 dairy products that are SAFE to consume in Keto:


Most cheeses are high-fat and low-carb, making them a perfect option on the ketogenic diet. 

You should opt for fattier, hard varieties of cheese like swiss cheese, feta cheese, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese or gouda. These are highly rich in fats with goods amounts of protein, vitamins A and B and calcium. 

Harder cheeses like Parmesan have a lower lactose content and are well suited on the ketogenic diet.


Butter is an ideal source of fat on the keto diet since it has zero carbs and about 11 grams of fat per tablespoon.

When buying butter, go for high-quality grass-fed options, which are significantly higher in omega-3 fatty acids.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is totally doable on a keto diet!

A glass of milk has around 12 grams of carbs, making it a poor choice for keto. But whipped cream on the other hand, makes for a great low-carb option.

One needs to be mindful of the quantity though, since it is loaded with calories and saturated fats and devoid of nutrition.

You should aim for the serving size of 2 tablespoons per day.


Cottage cheese, sour cream & greek yogurt: All three of them are similar in terms of their carb content (11 grams of carbs per cup) as per USDA.

So, half a cup of greek yogurt with some berries might be a great evening snack for the Keto dieters.

There is, however, one HACK that I am going to share with you today!

Yogurt and berries

Here is how you can make your own Keto yogurt with lesser carbs and higher fat content than regular yogurt:

Mix one part tangy sour cream (such as Wallaby Organic European Cultured) with one part heavy cream to make healthy Keto yogurt.

In essence, if your chosen dairy is sugar-free and has minimal carbohydrates, you can enjoy it within the bounds of a ketogenic diet.

Having products with high lactose content and abundance of added sugar is a sure shot way of being thrown out of ketosis!


So, is buttermilk keto?

A 1-cup serving (245 g or 8 fl oz) of buttermilk has 13 net grams of carbohydrates, which means that it can exhaust half your quota of carbs for the day!

However, if you need a dash of buttermilk for a recipe, you can use 28g (1 oz.) serving which adds up to only 1.5g of carbs.

Whether its buttermilk on keto or any other food, if you are mindful of the quantity being used, you can fit in almost any food without hurting your ketosis.


If you are new to Keto and serious about losing weight, then I highly recommend going with the 8-week meal plan designed by industry experts (PLUS, it will be COMPLETELY CUSTOMIZED just for you!)

Click here for instant access.

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