Is Buttermilk Keto? General Info, Recipes & Top Substitutes

Buttermilk is the perfect base for desserts like keto cheesecake and brownies due to its sweet taste and thick texture.

keto buttermilk

But is buttermilk keto?

This post will cover everything you need to know about eating buttermilk on keto. I’ll talk about the nutritional value, some tasty recipes and lower-carb alternatives.

Is Buttermilk Keto-Friendly?

One cup of buttermilk contains 12 grams of carbs, all of which comes from sugar, so you can’t drink it on keto.

Buttermilk also lacks significant amounts of fiber. And since fiber is necessary to buffer the carb response, buttermilk spikes blood sugar levels making it dangerous for people with diabetes. So I recommend staying away from buttermilk if you’re doing keto.

However, most people don’t drink cups of buttermilk in one sitting. They’ll use a few tablespoons when preparing desserts like biscuits and sourdough bread to give it extra flavor. 

So if you’re using small quantities in recipes, buttermilk won’t knock you out of ketosis.

Buttermilk Nutritional Information

buttermilk nutritional info

A cup of traditional buttermilk contains the following macros:

  • 110 calories
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 3 grams of fat
  • 13 grams of carbohydrates
  • Less than 1 gram of fiber
  • 12 grams of sugar

Buttermilk also has calcium which strengthens bones and teeth and small quantities of potassium, helping with keto flu.

Keto-Friendly Buttermilk Recipes

Do you like the flavor of buttermilk but don’t want to interfere with ketosis? Don’t worry; here are two recipes that’ll allow you to enjoy buttermilk while staying in ketosis:

  • Keto buttermilk pancakes
  • Keto buttermilk fried chicken

Keto Buttermilk Pancakes

buttermilk pancakes

This keto breakfast is a tasty way to boost your fat intake first thing in the morning. One serving contains:

  • 3.5 grams of net carbs
  • 25.5 grams of fat
  • 13.7 grams of protein

For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Six large eggs
  • ⅔ cup of almond flour 
  • Six tablespoons of oat fiber
  • Half a cup of whey protein
  • Two tablespoons of monk fruit sweetener
  • Half a cup of buttercream or sour cream 
  • A pinch of salt
  • Half a teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder
  • One teaspoon of lemon juice

To get started, separate six eggs into two bowls. One with your egg whites and the other with your yolks. Add almond flour, whey protein powder, baking powder, salt and sweetener to the bowl with your egg yolks. Combine while pouring your melted butter.

Next, add  your buttercream and continue stirring until your mixture is smooth and set this bowl aside.

Now we’re going to prepare the egg whites. Mix your egg whites and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. Once your mixture is fluffy, add it to your egg yolk batter and fold gently. 

The last step is scooping this mixture into a pan on medium heat and cooking until the pancake reaches a golden brown color.

Keto Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Keto Buttermilk Fried Chicken

This American classic with a keto spin is perfect if you’re craving traditional fried chicken without the harmful vegetable oils and flour used to prepare them. 

So gather some spices like paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, pink Himalayan salt, mustard powder, ground ginger and cinnamon.

You’ll also need:

  • Coconut oil
  • A quarter cup of churning butter milk cream
  • Almond milk
  • One egg
  • Three scoops of whey protein powder

This is a play-it-by-your-style recipe, so there aren’t specific measurements for the spices. You’ll need to gauge how spicy and tangy you want your chicken and adjust the spices accordingly. 

So add your egg, buttermilk cream, spices and whey protein to a large bowl and give it a nice whisk. You’ll find that the batter is super thick, so slowly add almond milk and continue stirring until your batter has the consistency of pancake batter.

Now comes the fun part. Place your pan on the stove on medium to high heat. Wait until it’s around 280 to 300 degrees, dunk your chicken into the marinade and pop it in your pan. Cook these bad boys for seven to 10 minutes on each side, and put them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

This will provide a crisper batter than most traditional fried chicken recipes, all while keeping you in ketosis.

3 Keto Buttermilk Substitutes 

Thinking about introducing lower-carb alternatives into your keto diet? Great! Consider these delicious options:

  • Fortified almond milk
  • Unsweetened coconut milk
  • Plain yogurt

Fortified Almond Milk

fortified almond milk

If you’re a big fan of drinking buttermilk and other forms of dairy, why not try fortified almond milk? It has a rich nutty flavor and if you don’t like the lack of sweetness, add some erythritol. 

One cup of almond milk contains the following micro and macronutrients:

  • 1.4 grams of carbs
  • Three grams of fat
  • One gram of protein
  • 40 calories

This low-calorie count is handy for anyone looking to lose weight. In contrast, regular dairy milk has 150 calories, almost four times more than almond milk.

But, like always, read the label before buying. Most brands offer sweetened almond milk, which can quickly knock you out of ketosis.

Unsweetened Coconut Milk

unsweetened coconut milk

Coconut milk is also a healthy option on keto. It has 13 grams of total carbs and five grams of dietary fiber, giving it a net carb count of eight grams. It also boosts your potassium intake, as one cup has 630 mg of potassium, which helps new keto dieters struggling with keto flu.

If you want to increase your fat intake on keto, you’ll be happy to know that coconut milk has a whopping 58 grams of fat. So feel free to add it to all your desserts like mousse, cheesecake and milk tarts.

Plain Yogurt


If you aren’t happy with the texture of your keto desserts, try a fermented dairy product like plain yogurt. It has a thick, creamy texture, which keeps desserts like cheesecakes and yogurt cake together. 

But plain yogurt offers powerful health benefits too. Research shows that the lactic acid bacteria in yogurt can boost gut health.

One cup of plain yogurt has:

  • Eight grams of carbs
  • Four grams of fat
  • 107 calories

Yogurt is also nutrient-dense, providing your body with ample amounts of calcium, riboflavin and niacin.

If you’re struggling with a busy morning, I’d recommend pouring yogurt in a bowl with some berries and keto syrup for a quick and yummy breakfast. 

Final Thoughts on Is Buttermilk Keto

glass of buttermilk

Drinking buttermilk is impractical on a ketogenic diet as one cup contains 12 grams of sugar.

However, if you’re using a few tablespoons of buttermilk to give your desserts extra flavor, it won’t interfere with ketosis. So try our delicious keto buttermilk pancakes or fried chicken.

But if you’re looking for a keto buttermilk substitute that you can indulge in, opt for fortified almond milk, unsweetened coconut milk and plain yogurt. These alternatives have less than eight grams of net carbs per cup, so it won’t hamper ketosis.

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