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Is Buttermilk Keto?

Is Buttermilk Keto?

Discover if buttermilk fits into your keto diet, how it compares to other dairy products, and ways to enjoy it while staying in ketosis.

Understanding Buttermilk in a Keto Context

When you're on a ketogenic diet, you become hyper-aware of every carb that passes your lips. Buttermilk, with its creamy tang, might be on your mind, and you're probably wondering if it's keto-friendly. Let's dive into the nitty-gritty of buttermilk. Traditionally, it's a byproduct of butter-making—the liquid that's left after butter is churned from cream. However, most buttermilk at your local grocery store is cultured buttermilk, which is made by adding bacteria to milk. This process thickens the milk and gives it that characteristic sour flavor. Now, about those carbs: A cup of buttermilk contains around 12 grams of carbohydrates. If your daily carb limit is 20-50 grams on a keto diet, a full cup might be pushing it. But don't fret! In smaller quantities, it could be squeezed into your macros. The key is moderation and careful planning.

Understanding Buttermilk in a Keto Context

Buttermilk vs. Other Dairy on Keto

But how does buttermilk stack up against other dairy products in a keto diet? Let's compare. Heavy cream is often a go-to dairy choice for ketoers, with a mere 3 grams of carbs per half-cup serving. Cheese, especially hard varieties, is another low-carb favorite, with most types averaging less than 1 gram of carbs per ounce. Buttermilk is on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to carbs in dairy, but it's not alone. Milk, for instance, is also higher in carbs due to lactose, a natural sugar. So, if your heart's set on buttermilk, consider it like milk—useful in moderation, but it can add up quickly. Measure carefully, and maybe reserve it for that special recipe where only buttermilk will do.

Buttermilk vs. Other Dairy on Keto

Keto-Friendly Ways to Enjoy Buttermilk

Missing buttermilk pancakes or ranch dressing since you started keto? You don't have to give them up entirely. There are ways to incorporate buttermilk into your keto lifestyle while keeping your carb count in check. First, think about diluting it. Mixing buttermilk with heavier cream can lower the carb content while still providing the tangy taste you crave. You can also use it sparingly in recipes—instead of a cup, try a quarter or a half, and make up the difference with a keto-friendly substitute. And for those times when you need the flavor but the dairy carbs are a no-go, consider using buttermilk powder. It's concentrated, so you can use less, and it's great for seasoning mixes or dry rubs. Just remember to keep an eye on those labels and your portion sizes!

Keto-Friendly Ways to Enjoy Buttermilk

If you're on a keto diet, you might be wondering if buttermilk is a suitable option for you. While buttermilk does contain a significant amount of carbs, there are ways to enjoy it while still staying within your daily carb limit. In this listicle, we'll explore some unconventional aspects of buttermilk in a keto context that you may not have considered before.

Buttermilk's Probiotic Benefits

Many people are unaware that buttermilk is a good source of probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health. Probiotics can aid in digestion and support the immune system, making buttermilk a valuable addition to a keto diet beyond its carb content.

Buttermilk's Culinary Versatility

Buttermilk's tangy flavor and creamy texture make it a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory keto recipes. From marinades and dressings to baked goods and smoothies, buttermilk can add depth of flavor and moisture without significantly increasing the carb count.

Buttermilk's Nutritional Profile

While buttermilk does contain carbs, it also provides essential nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and vitamin B12. These nutrients are important for overall health and can complement the nutrient profile of a keto diet when consumed in moderation.

Buttermilk's Impact on Blood Sugar

Some research suggests that the fermentation process used to make buttermilk may reduce its impact on blood sugar levels compared to regular milk. This potential benefit could make buttermilk a more favorable dairy option for individuals managing their blood sugar on a keto diet.

Buttermilk's Role in Traditional Keto Recipes

Buttermilk has long been a staple in traditional recipes like keto-friendly pancakes, biscuits, and fried chicken. Exploring alternative ingredients and preparation methods can help keto enthusiasts continue to enjoy these classic dishes while minimizing carb intake.


Homemade Buttermilk Alternatives in the Keto Community

One trend related to the topic 'Is buttermilk keto?' is the rise of homemade buttermilk alternatives in the keto community. As people on a keto diet aim to minimize their carbohydrate intake, they are exploring alternative methods to create buttermilk without the lactose and sugars found in traditional buttermilk. This trend involves using ingredients such as almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk combined with acidic components like lemon juice or vinegar to mimic the tangy flavor and thick consistency of buttermilk. Homemade buttermilk alternatives allow individuals following a keto diet to enjoy the flavor and benefits of buttermilk in their recipes while maintaining their low-carb lifestyle.

Buttermilk-Based Skincare Products in the Keto Community

Another trend in the realm of 'Is buttermilk keto?' is the growing interest in buttermilk-based skincare products within the keto community. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, a natural exfoliant and moisturizer, making it a popular ingredient in skincare products. The keto community is exploring the benefits of incorporating buttermilk into homemade skincare remedies, such as face masks and cleansers, to promote healthy skin while adhering to their low-carb lifestyle. This trend reflects a holistic approach to the keto lifestyle, where individuals seek to leverage the natural properties of buttermilk for both culinary and skincare purposes.

Rise of Buttermilk Powder as a Keto-Friendly Alternative

A notable trend related to 'Is buttermilk keto?' is the emergence of buttermilk powder as a convenient keto-friendly alternative to traditional liquid buttermilk. Buttermilk powder is made by removing the moisture from buttermilk, resulting in a shelf-stable product with a longer lifespan. This trend caters to the convenience and storage needs of individuals on a keto diet, allowing them to incorporate the tangy flavor of buttermilk into their recipes without the concern of spoilage. Buttermilk powder offers a versatile and long-lasting option for adding buttermilk flavor to keto-friendly dishes, expanding the culinary possibilities for individuals following a low-carb lifestyle.

Keto Buttermilk Pancakes

These keto buttermilk pancakes are a delicious low-carb alternative to traditional pancakes. They are fluffy, flavorful, and perfect for a satisfying breakfast or brunch. The use of buttermilk gives them a tangy flavor and the almond flour keeps them keto-friendly.


  • 2 cups almond flour - Blanched almond flour works best for a lighter texture
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk - Use full-fat buttermilk for a richer flavor
  • 2 tbsp erythritol or keto-friendly sweetener
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Butter or oil for cooking


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, erythritol, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat and add butter or oil.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown.
  6. Serve with your favorite keto-friendly toppings such as sugar-free syrup, berries, or whipped cream.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Servings: Makes 8-10 pancakes


Calories: Approx. 180 per serving

Carbohydrates: Approx. 5g net carbs per serving

Protein: Approx. 7g per serving

Fat: Approx. 15g per serving

Saturated Fat: Approx. 2g per serving

Cholesterol: Approx. 60mg per serving

Sodium: Approx. 200mg per serving

Additional Notes: You can customize these pancakes by adding sugar-free chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Adjust the sweetness to your preference by adding more or less sweetener. For a dairy-free option, you can use almond milk with a splash of apple cider vinegar as a substitute for buttermilk.

Keto Buttermilk Fried Chicken

This Keto Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe is a delicious and low-carb twist on a classic favorite. The chicken is marinated in a tangy buttermilk mixture, coated in a flavorful almond flour and spice blend, and then fried to crispy perfection. It's a satisfying and indulgent dish that's perfect for anyone following a keto lifestyle.


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs - You can also use chicken drumsticks or chicken breast if preferred
  • 1 cup buttermilk - Use full-fat buttermilk for best results
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour - Almond flour works best for a keto-friendly coating
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying


  1. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken thighs to the bowl, making sure they are fully coated in the buttermilk mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture, allowing any excess buttermilk to drip off. Coat the chicken in the almond flour mixture, pressing the coating onto the chicken to ensure it adheres well.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the coated chicken thighs to the skillet. Cook for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
  4. Serve the keto buttermilk fried chicken hot, and enjoy!

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4 servings


Calories: Approximately 400 calories per serving

Carbohydrates: 5g net carbs

Protein: 25g

Fat: 30g

Saturated Fat: 7g

Cholesterol: 110mg

Sodium: 400mg

Additional Notes: For a spicier kick, increase the amount of cayenne pepper in the coating mixture. This recipe can also be made in an air fryer for a healthier alternative to frying. Enjoy with your favorite keto-friendly side dishes!

Keto Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

This Keto Buttermilk Ranch Dressing is a creamy and flavorful dressing that is perfect for salads, dipping vegetables, or drizzling over grilled meats. It's low in carbs and high in healthy fats, making it an ideal choice for those following a ketogenic diet. The tangy buttermilk flavor combined with the classic ranch seasoning creates a delicious dressing that will elevate any dish.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise - Use full-fat mayonnaise for a creamy texture and rich flavor
  • 1/2 cup sour cream - Opt for full-fat sour cream for a thicker consistency
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk - Choose full-fat buttermilk for a rich and tangy flavor
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped - Fresh chives add a pop of color and a mild onion flavor
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped - Fresh parsley adds a fresh, herby note to the dressing
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder - Garlic powder provides a savory depth of flavor
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder - Onion powder adds a subtle sweetness and aroma
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill - Dried dill contributes a hint of tangy and herbal flavor
  • Salt and pepper to taste - Adjust the seasoning according to your preference


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk. Mix well until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the chopped chives, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, salt, and pepper to the bowl. Stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  4. Transfer the dressing to a jar or airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
  5. Serve the Keto Buttermilk Ranch Dressing with your favorite salads, as a dip for fresh vegetables, or as a flavorful drizzle for grilled meats.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Servings: 12 servings


Calories: 150 per serving

Carbohydrates: 1g per serving

Protein: 1g per serving

Fat: 16g per serving

Saturated Fat: 3g per serving

Cholesterol: 15mg per serving

Sodium: 180mg per serving

Additional Notes: For a thicker dressing, reduce the amount of buttermilk. You can also adjust the herbs and seasonings to suit your taste preferences. This dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Further Reading

Explore over 200+ Keto recipes with our iPhone App, complete with an extensive starter guide and a wealth of valuable resources to enhance your Keto lifestyle journey. Download now to begin your adventure into delicious, health-conscious eating.

Healthline provides evidence-based articles and expert opinions on the health benefits and risks of consuming buttermilk on a keto diet, helping readers make informed decisions about their dietary choices.

Diet Doctor offers comprehensive guides and resources on the ketogenic diet, including information on the carb content of buttermilk and its potential impact on ketosis.

MyNetDiary offers a database of nutritional information, allowing users to track the macronutrient content of buttermilk and make informed decisions about its compatibility with a keto diet.

Perfect Keto provides educational articles and resources on the ketogenic diet, offering insights into the potential benefits and drawbacks of incorporating buttermilk into a keto meal plan. offers in-depth guides and recipes for the ketogenic diet, providing information on the nutritional profile of buttermilk and its potential role in a keto-friendly eating plan.


Is buttermilk keto?

Pro: Buttermilk can be considered keto-friendly as it is low in carbohydrates and can be included in a ketogenic diet in moderation. It also contains healthy fats and proteins, which are essential for a balanced keto diet.

Contra: Buttermilk may not be suitable for a strict keto diet as it contains some lactose, which is a type of sugar. Consuming too much buttermilk could potentially exceed the daily carbohydrate limit for some individuals following a strict keto diet.

What are the nutritional benefits of buttermilk on a keto diet?

Pro: Buttermilk is a good source of protein and healthy fats, which are essential for a balanced keto diet. It also contains important nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and vitamin B12, which can support overall health while following a ketogenic diet.

Contra: While buttermilk does provide some nutritional benefits, it also contains a small amount of lactose and carbohydrates, which may not be suitable for individuals aiming for very low carbohydrate intake on a strict keto diet.

How can buttermilk be incorporated into a keto diet?

Pro: Buttermilk can be used in moderation in keto-friendly recipes such as low-carb smoothies, salad dressings, or marinades. It can add flavor and richness to dishes while providing essential nutrients like protein and healthy fats.

Contra: For individuals following a very strict keto diet, it may be challenging to incorporate buttermilk due to its small amount of carbohydrates and lactose. In such cases, alternative dairy or non-dairy options may be preferred.

February, 3rd 2024 | This article was developed with the help of AI. We strongly recommend cross-checking critical facts and data for precision, as AI contributions do have limitations and may not be accurate.