Why Drink Buttermilk

butter_milkButtermilk is common accompaniment in most of the Indian diets. Let us read on to find out more of its benefits.

Buttermilk is a Probiotic food. These contain living microorganisms, that can survive the passage through the stomach and become active in the intestines.

Healthy bacteria reside in everybody’s colon, and in return for food and a warm place to live these resident bacteria contribute to your health. One of the most intestinal-friendly resident bacteria is the family of lactobacteria, so-called because they thrive on lactose sugars. The commonest form is L.acidophilus.

Here are some healthy things these bacteria do to your body:

  • Manufacture vitamins
  • Improve digestion
  • Boost Immunity
  • Manufacture nutrients
  • Protect against cardiovascular diseases
  • Protect against carcinogens

Buttermilk is lower in fat than regular milk, because the fat has been removed to make butter. It is also high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin as well as a good source of phosphorus.

Those with digestive problems are often advised to drink buttermilk rather than milk, as it is more quickly digested. Buttermilk has more lactic acid than skim milk.

Now buttermilk is made by adding cultured bacteria to low-fat or fat-free milk, just like yogurt. The live cultures provide its distinctive rich, creamy texture–and a host of health benefits.

Hence drink buttermilk for better health!!!

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Sanjana Shenoy

About Sanjana Shenoy

A dietitian from Mangalore, India. A post graduate diploma holder in “Dietetics” and a university topper from Welcomgroup School of Hotel Administration from the prestigious Manipal University. At present working as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. Consultant for corporates like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.

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30 Responses to Why Drink Buttermilk

  1. Peg Milam March 12, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    Aren’t the probiotic bacteria dead in pasteurized buttermilk that is commonly available?

  2. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian March 13, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Pasteurized buttermilk is made from pasteurized milk products. It is not possible to heat buttermilk. Hence probiotics added will be retained and will multiply well.

  3. Deb May 19, 2009 at 1:54 am #

    I’ve resently been told, just by adding buttermilk to my diet can help me lose weight. I could really stand to lose 10 to 15 lbs. Will this really work?

  4. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian May 19, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    You can lose weight with buttermilk if you drink it as a snack or replace some junk with buttermilk. It will work very well if it is a part of a low calorie diet.

  5. Vik May 29, 2009 at 12:31 am #

    Sanjana,

    I have high cholesterol. I have drastically changed my lifestyle and I eat healthy food and do lot of exercise.
    I also meet a nutricist in US. He tells me that rice/chappati will increase my cholesterol although they dont contain any of it. Also he adviced me to use Coconut oil (natural and organic). I am not sure if he is correct. Would you please comment on it?
    Thanks
    Vik

  6. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian May 29, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    It is nice to hear that you have changed your life style. So be patient for the results. There are a few things which not all nutritionists/ dietitians explain. Your nutritionist was meaning to tell you that you may be eating more of white rice and chapatti made of refined wheat flour. These can increase your triglycerides and LDL( bad cholesterol). You should eat what you are genetically inclined to eat. If you are an Indian, you need to eat complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole wheat flour products. Just make the switch to whole grain products.

    Coconut oil can be safe in limited quantities. Do not cook non-vegetarian food with coconut oil as it contains saturated fats. Coconut oil is rich in MCTs which is very good for health. Do not use more than 2 tsps per day per person.

  7. K.B.Asthana July 26, 2009 at 9:25 am #

    Dear Madam,
    I am Diabetic, and have been advised to reduce the Milk consumption
    to keep my Blood Sugar level in control, as the Sugar contained in milk remains unaffected by Diabetic medicines. Kindly suggest that use of Buttermilk in place of Milk will suit me.
    Thanks,
    K.B.Asthana

  8. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian July 27, 2009 at 9:20 am #

    It is quite safe to drink milk in Diabetes. Any kind of sugar you consume becomes glucose in the body when broken down. The kind of sugar present in milk is lactose which splits into glucose in the blood.
    You have to include milk in your diet as buttermilk does not contain protein, calcium etc as much as milk. Hence Atleast you should drink 300 ml of milk products daily to keep up your calcium requirements.

    But yes, you can use buttermilk but it can never give the goodness of milk.

  9. S Menon September 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm #

    Dear Madam,

    I am an Indian residing overseas. I am diabetic. Is there any information I can get on the type of foods that I can eat and should avoid.

    Thanks a lot.

  10. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian September 14, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    Diabetes relies on carbohydrates. Keep a check on the amount and the type of carbs you eat. If you mention where you are settled I can help you out.

  11. Dhruv October 12, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    Nice & informative blog…really liked the layout.

    Anyway just wanted to know whether these probiotic drinks/tablets helps ( as it has more number of good bacteria than butter milk)?

  12. Mariann May 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Can you please advise me how much good bacteria is in buttermilk and Yakult? Yakult is heavily advertised hence expensive. I was wondering if I can just drink buttermilk instead of buying Yakult to get the same benefits?

  13. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian May 6, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Dhruv,

    It is not necessary to buy any probiotic drinks as fermented milk products naturally contain the bacteria….So stick to curds and butter milk for he right dosage…

  14. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian May 6, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Hi Mariann,

    You can get the same benefits from regular products.You need not buy these expensive products.Too much of probiotics may cause diarrhoea.

    Take atleast 200g of yogurt per day to get the benefits of probiotics.

  15. priya August 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    Hi Sanjana,
    I would like to conform that if I drink buttermilk before going to bed does it helpful to lose my weight.Thanks in advance.

  16. James March 11, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    My Grandfather used to drink buttermilk all the time.. Lived to be 103. Never had any health problems and he even smoked cigars and pipe until age 100.

  17. Vaishali March 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Hi,
    My husband is very calorie conscious . He does not add sugar to his milk. Does not eat any fried foods. Does not smoke or drink. Does not eat non.veg foods. He actually eats lot of vegetables, fruits and also does some or other form of exercise. When he went in for his yearly check up we found that his cholesterol levels are too high.(221) He is 36 yrs old and we could not figure it how he got his cholesterol levels so high?
    Please help his understand how he could get his cholesterol level so high and what kind of diet should be followed for him.
    Thank you.

  18. Rupa Sharma May 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    What diet should follow with buttermilk to lose weight?

  19. Shreyas Joshi August 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    I have recently joined a weight loss program of 10 kgs in 3 months. I have started rigorous diet which excludes junk, rice,potato, oily stuff. doing Gym & cardio for past two days after a long gap has tighten my body and it seems that my motions are not clear due to this process. I feel pain in my stomach. what would be the reason for this. I have had constipation problems in the past. Please suggest….

  20. T.S.SUNDARAM August 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Shreyas joshi.

    It is nice to hear about your joining the weight loss programme,as well as an intelligent plan you have introduced for your diet which excludes many things. Please take CARE to see that your new diet plan does not affect your overall health and you feel weak.

    You say that you are having Constipation problem which you should not get with your exercise and diet. However, I would like you to go through the relevent portion in thIS site on “Okhra” which I reproduce below for your ready reference.

    ************** A friend of mine has been suffering from irregular and insufficient movement of bowels for the last many years, All the medical treatments he took were of no avail.He didn’t realize that the treatment for his problem could be so simple, till one of his friends suggested to him to eat OKRA ( Bendi ) daily. Lady’s finger is the other name by which okra is called.

    He started eating Okra for about 2 months and since then has never taken medication again. All he did was to consume 6 pieces of OKRA everyday. He’s now regular and even his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98, with his cholesterol and acid reflux also brought under control *************

    Please therefore try to include the okhra vegetable in your daily routine. . Good luck to you….

  21. T.S.SUNDARAM. August 16, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    Vaishali.

    Sorry for the delay. For high cholesterol your huband has, he must do regular exercise daily. This is the most important first step to regulate the cholesterol level, I repeat- regular exercise . Some doctors prescribe 40 minutes very brisk walk every day. One must sweat and perspire. . Exercise burns extra fat which is metabolised. Let him start it.

    Your husband does not smoke or drink.These two go in his favour.

    Is he maintaining his body weight at almost a constant level ? . The focus should be on managing the weight , and not just looking slim. Increase physical activity and reduce calorie intake in a systamatic manner. The body mass, that is weight, and height decides his ideal body weight. You have however not provided his height in inches and weight in pounds.

    Avoid saturated fat. Do not consume more than one teaspoon ,i.e about 12 ml of vegetable oil every day. Cholesterol comes from food like animal fat, meat, eggs and shell fish. Avoid them. Food which are high in saturated fat includes whole milk,milk products,bakery products,ghee,vanaspati,coconut oil,butter etc.Eliminate them totally. Substitute whole milk with skimmed milk and fried food with steamed food with less or no salt and less oil or no oil…

    Eating a lot of vegetables and fruits is a must.. Antioxidents in fruits and vegetables cleanses the body of toxic substances. Fibre in these aid digestion. Fruit juice may not help for fibre. Avoid totally ice cream. Regular inclusion of Garlic in the daily food will help one in lowering cholesterol.

    Have a low cholesterol diet. The body makes cholesterol it needs. So choose food like grain products that have less cholesterol. Prefer complex carbs like brown rice . Eat nuts,almond and walnut in small small quantities. They are good. Reduce intake of fats and sugar,a must it is. .

    Eat less salt. Avoid extra salt in your diet. This means no picles,no papad, no baked beans, no canned soup and processed foods..

    Eat frequent smaller meals. Eating large meals tend to cause fat accumulation.One will be able to digest small meals faster.

    If one is above 30, and have Blood Presure, get a blood test done to determine cholesterol levels, every three months.

    Try to take Isabgol regularly if you are having constipation. Isabgol provides a combination of soluble and insoluble fibres, increases the the bulk of the food within the intestine aiding regular bowel movement daily, which is a must.

    Apart from the above, consult your doctor regularly and take treatment from him. Do not neglect going to the doctor and taking medical treatment from him. The writer of this is not a Doctor, but has written from what he has seen and read from various journals and bulletins.They are simple to follow which can aid fast recovery and can be put to practice immediately in your daily routine. Wishing him all the best.

  22. T.S.SUNDARAM. August 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    VAISHALI,

    Having sent the do’s and dont’s to you for the lifestyle changes your husband has to make for his high blood cholesterol immediately, I thought you both must know what cholesterol is, so that you take without delay earnest steps to get cured of it by your family doctor and necessary medication. Understanding the facts about cholesterol, putting into practice the advices given here for the change in his life style, together with your doctor’ medical advice will certainly help you to take better care of your husband and also help him to lead a healthier life , thereby reducing his risk for the heart.

    Cholesterol is a waxy substance made by the liver and also supplied in the diet through animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy items. There is good cholesterol as well as bad in the body.Cholesterol is needed by the body to insulate nerves , make cell membranes and produce certain hormones.Too much of cholesterol in the blood can lead to cardiovascular disease.

    The GOOD.

    High density lipoprotein ,or HDL is known as “good’ cholesterol. Our body makes HDL cholesterol for our protection . It carries cholesterol away from our arteries. Studies suggest that high levels of HDL cholesterol reduces the risk of heart attack.

    The BAD

    Low Density lipoprotein , or LDL is known as the bad cholesrterol. Too much LDL cholesterol can clog the arteries, thereby increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

    And finally ,when there is too much cholesterol in one’s blood , it can lead to bulding up in the walls of the arteries. This build up is called as plaque. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by a blockade, the result is heart attack.

    Hence it very necessary for one who has high cholesterol to make certain life style changes by introducting physical exercise daily and make modifications in his diet, both of which can go a long way in helping to bring down his cholesterol count with the Doctor’s medicines or advice. .

  23. cathy February 13, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    This did not answer my question. With drinking butter milk dose it keep the medication from not desolving or does it go riight thru with out desolving

    please answer

  24. kishor kharote April 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    is it right to add sugar to buttermilk? someone told me that if you add sugar to buttermilk, it becomes very unhealthy. please clarify .thanks

  25. Saima Shaikh September 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Hi Sanjana,

    My doctor has advised me to have buttermilk for my digestive problems. I have lot of curd in my diet. Let me know If this helps or I should prepare buttermilk and then have it. Also please advise me the simplest way of preparing buttermilk at home.

    I would also like to know whether yogurt drink has the same effect as buttermilk.

    Awaiting your reply.

    Thanks,
    Saima

  26. parivesh December 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    Hi sanjana,
    Does buttermilk help in weight loss and is it good to drink buttermilk for a rumbling tummy or any such tummy related problem. Also I have read that having a lot of protein contained food help you lose that fat. Is it right? If yes then please mention which food or drink contains protiens.

  27. Purandhar (Perry) Setlur December 8, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    I live in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and I am originally from Bangalore, India. I make my buttermilk from personal preferred proportions of yoghurt (dahi) and sour cream, churning it until mixed well. I then add filtered water, a pinch of brown sugar, salt, cumin powder and asafoetida (hing) to taste. I mix all these well to get a consistency (add more water as needed) between the thick yoghurt (0% to 3.5% fat content) and sour cream (0% to 14% fat content). I garnish it with finely chopped fresh curry leaves and ginger. If it is more than 0% and the fat not removed, is it still considered buttermilk and good for digestion? An answer is kindly appreciated. Thanks.

  28. Sanjana Shenoy
    Sanjana - Dietitian December 10, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Hi Perry,

    I suppose you may have to cut down the fat content. I love the spices you add and it must really taste good, but go easy on the fat content.

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