Weight Loss

Does Buttermilk Help in Weight Loss? Exploring the Facts

Mehak Shah

May 20, 2023

Are you feeling thirsty and dehydrated this summer? It’s no secret that dehydration is a common problem during the hot season, but did you know that staying hydrated can also aid in weight loss? It’s true! Hydration is crucial for regulating appetite and supporting natural fat-burning processes. When dehydrated, the body can mistake thirst for hunger, causing overeating and weight gain.

I love buttermilk, not only is it calcium rich drink that is good for my bones but also delicious and refreshing. In my opinion, one should try including such drinks in their diet so as to keep the body cool. As per ayurveda also buttermilk is regarded as a coolant for our bodies. You can put some spices like jeera, black pepper, and salt in your buttermilk to make it more palatable. You can include it as your evening snack along with some crunchy and healthy snacks like peanuts or roasted chana.

— Mehak Shah, Nutritionist

On the other hand, a well-hydrated body can metabolise fat more efficiently and convert it into energy. Drinking plenty of water can also help flush toxins from the body, preventing metabolic disorders and unwanted weight gain. Plus, it can reduce water retention and bloating, resulting in a slimmer and toned appearance. So, if you’re looking to shed some pounds and stay healthy, staying hydrated with beverages like buttermilk can be a delicious and effective way to achieve your goals!

Buttermilk: An Overview

Buttermilk is a tangy and slightly sour low-fat fermented beverage. It is traditionally made by churning butter from cream and contains water, milk or milk substitutes, lactose, and milk protein casein.

Buttermilk is a healthy drink that benefits digestion and boosts the immune system. It is rich in probiotics, which are gut-friendly bacteria that promote healthy digestion, helps absorb nutrients, and eliminate waste from the body. That makes it a great addition to a balanced diet.

Apart from probiotics, buttermilk also contains essential nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamins B12 and D. Calcium is a vital nutrient that helps maintain healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. It also supports weight loss and reduces body fat.

Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which helps break down and absorb nutrients from food efficiently. As a result, it reduces the amount of food stored as fat. Additionally, buttermilk is a low-calorie beverage that can be a part of a healthy weight-loss plan.

Nutritional Value of Buttermilk

A small serving of buttermilk contains a lot of nutrients. According to USDA, one hundred ml of buttermilk provides the following nutrients.

  • Energy: 40kCal
  • Protein: 3.31g
  • Total lipid (fat): 1.07g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.79g
  • Calcium: 116 mg
  • Iron: 0.05mg
  • Magnesium: 11mg
  • Phosphorus: 89 mg
  • Potassium: 151mg
  • Sodium: 148 mg

Buttermilk and Weight Loss: The Association

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy beverage made from milk, which is low in calories and packed with essential nutrients. Here are the ways buttermilk can help in weight loss:

Low in Calorie

Several research papers on weight loss emphasise calorie restriction as a crucial part of weight loss. Buttermilk is a low-calorie beverage, with only 40 calories per 100 ml, making it an excellent addition to weight loss diets. So, substituting high-calorie drinks with buttermilk can lead to a calorie deficit, a necessary condition for losing weight.

Packed with Protein

Buttermilk is a good source of protein, with 3.31g of protein per 100 ml. According to research, protein can keep one feeling full for longer and suppress the hunger hormones, resulting in fewer calories overall. Protein is also crucial for maintaining muscle mass, which helps support a healthy metabolism, enabling weight loss.

Controls Brown Adipogenesis

Brown adipose tissue is responsible for burning energy, essential for weight loss. Buttermilk modulates brown adipogenesis, according to research. Therefore, buttermilk might be the leading anti-obesity food.

Great for Healthy Snacking

Research suggests that buttermilk can be used as a substitute for high-calorie snacks, contributing to weight loss. Buttermilk is a nutrient-dense filler that provides protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamins, unlike chips and soda, which offer empty calories that are difficult to avoid. Therefore, buttermilk can be an excellent filler between meals instead of high-carbohydrate snacks.


Buttermilk can be an excellent addition to one’s diet when trying to lose weight due to its low-calorie content, high protein, and its ability to regulate brown adipogenesis. Additionally, it can be a healthy replacement for high-calorie processed snacks.

Other Advantages of Buttermilk

Buttermilk has several health benefits besides aiding in weight loss. 

Relieves Constipation

Buttermilk is a natural remedy for digestive disorders like constipation. The probiotic microorganisms in buttermilk aid digestion and enhance metabolism, helping prevent harmful bacteria formation that can cause stomach issues. Daily consumption of buttermilk can also alleviate Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and maintain regular bowel motions.

Lowering Cholesterol

Buttermilk has low saturated fat content, making it safe for people with hypercholesterolemia. Moreover, its potential to help in weight loss can also assist in reducing cholesterol levels. Research shows that sphingolipid molecules in buttermilk prevent stomach absorption of cholesterol, resulting in lower cholesterol levels in both men and women.


Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, found in buttermilk, supports the body’s detoxification process by aiding in the formation of uric acid and supporting liver health. The liver cleans the blood and body of poisons. As per research, riboflavin enhances this function efficiently.

Support Bones

Buttermilk is a rich source of calcium and phosphorus. Research shows these are essential for maintaining bone density and preventing degenerative bone illnesses like osteoporosis.

Maintains Body Hydration

Buttermilk is rich in electrolytes and is 90% water, which keeps the body hydrated. Additionally, the potassium, iron, and zinc in it replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.


Buttermilk is a delicious and nutritious drink with many health benefits. Its probiotics, calcium, protein, and vitamins B12 and D content aids digestion, support bone health, detoxifies the body, and maintain body hydration. Low saturated fat content and sphingolipid molecules make it a safe option for people with hypercholesterolemia. Daily consumption of buttermilk can help maintain optimal health.

When Should You Drink Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a versatile drink that one can consume at any time of day. Here are some tips on when to drink buttermilk:

In the morning: Drinking buttermilk in the morning can provide you with the energy you need for the day. It can also aid in digestion if you are experiencing any difficulties.

Mid-afternoon: Buttermilk can serve as a healthy snack between two substantial meals, like between breakfast and supper. It can help you feel full and avoid cravings, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

At night: Consuming buttermilk at night can help you sleep better. Buttermilk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in melatonin production in the brain. According to a study, melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. Therefore, drinking buttermilk before bed may encourage better sleep.


Drinking buttermilk at different times of the day can offer various benefits, such as providing energy, aiding digestion, preventing cravings, and improving sleep quality.

Potential Side Effects of Buttermilk

Although buttermilk has numerous health benefits, overconsumption can lead to certain illnesses or cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Additionally, lactose intolerant individuals may experience discomfort after consuming buttermilk, as it is still a dairy product, despite the bacteria that help break down lactose, a naturally occurring sugar that many people are sensitive to. 

Symptoms of overconsumption can include flatulence, diarrhoea, and an upset stomach. Therefore, consuming moderate amounts of buttermilk is the key to avoiding these issues. Individuals with hypertension and kidney issues should also be cautious of salt concentration.

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.

Just Saying

Buttermilk is a unique drink with a misleading name; there is no butter in it! Instead, “buttermilk” refers to its traditional production process of churning butter. Buttermilk is often known as “grandma’s probiotic,” an acidic food containing gut-friendly microorganisms that produce lactic acid. This tangy beverage packs a punch with its exceptional nutritional value, making it a delicious and healthy addition to any diet. So, don’t be fooled by the name; buttermilk is a true gem with many health benefits to offer.

The Final Word

Buttermilk can be an excellent addition to one’s diet, especially when trying to lose weight, due to its low-calorie content, high protein, and ability to regulate brown adipogenesis. Additionally, it is a healthy replacement for high-calorie processed snacks. Buttermilk is also beneficial for digestive health, helps reduce cholesterol, aids in detoxification, and supports bone health. While it is essential to note that buttermilk alone cannot cause weight loss, it can contribute to a healthy lifestyle when combined with a balanced diet and exercise. Therefore, incorporating buttermilk into your diet can be a delicious and effective way to improve your overall health and well-being.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.

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, diarrhoea, 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.

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. It can also be used 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.

Research Sources

1. Champagne CM, Broyles ST, Moran LD, Cash KC, Levy EJ, Lin PH, Batch BC, Lien LF, Funk KL, Dalcin A, Loria C, Myers VH. Dietary intakes associated with successful weight loss and maintenance during the Weight Loss Maintenance trial. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Dec;111(12):1826-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2011.09.014. PMID: 22117658; PMCID: PMC3225890.


2. Pesta DH, Samuel VT. A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2014 Nov 19;11(1):53. DoI: 10.1186/1743-7075-11-53. PMID: 25489333; PMCID: PMC4258944.


3. De Silva A, Bloom SR. Gut Hormones and Appetite Control: A Focus on PYY and GLP-1 as Therapeutic Targets in Obesity. Gut Liver. 2012 Jan;6(1):10-20. doi: 10.5009/gnl.2012.6.1.10. Epub 2012 Jan 12. PMID: 22375166; PMCID: PMC3286726.


4. Asano H, Kida R, Muto K, Nara TY, Kato K, Hashimoto O, Kawada T, Matsui T, Funaba M. Modulation of brown adipocyte activity by milk by-products: Stimulation of brown adipogenesis by buttermilk. Cell Biochem Funct. 2016 Dec;34(8):647-656. doi: 10.1002/cbf.3241. PMID: 27935133.


5. Conway V, Couture P, Richard C, Gauthier SF, Pouliot Y, Lamarche B. Impact of buttermilk consumption on plasma lipids and surrogate markers of cholesterol homeostasis in men and women. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Dec;23(12):1255-62. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2013.03.003. Epub 2013 Jun 17. PMID: 23786821.


6. Price CT, Langford JR, Liporace FA. Essential Nutrients for Bone Health and a Review of Their Availability in the Average North American Diet. Open Orthop J. 2012;6:143-9. DoI: 10.2174/1874325001206010143. Epub 2012 Apr 5. PMID: 22523525; PMCID: PMC3330619.


7. Brown GM. Light, melatonin and the sleep-wake cycle. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 1994 Nov;19(5):345-53. PMID: 7803368; PMCID: PMC1188623. 


About the Author

Mehak holds masters in foods and nutrition from Amity university, Noida. She has a keen interest in public health and nutrition and has been in charge of various projects with milestone NGO. She has worked with people over the globe to bring out the changes in their lives and has always been working towards lifestyle modifications via good dietary practices. According to her a healthy lifestyle is not about the destination but all about the journey.

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