Buttermilk vs Yogurt - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Buttermilk is a byproduct of milk during butter production. Commercial buttermilk is prepared by pasteurizing fermented milk with bacteria that produce acidic compounds. This gives buttermilk its taste and texture, which is creamy and buttery.
Yogurt is the product of the fermentation and processing of milk. There are 2 types of yogurt: the first type is sweet and is often mixed with fruits and sugar, and the second type of yogurt is sour and salty which is directly consumed without processing after fermentation. Yogurt has a wide range of usage in the culinary world. It is often used as plain yogurt, used as a component in cooking, or used in making dessert.
In this text, we will look into the differences and similarities of buttermilk and yogurt, and how they impact our health.
The buttermilk taken into consideration in this article is low-fat buttermilk, and the yogurt taken into consideration is non-fat yogurt.
Buttermilk and yogurt are considered among the foods that contain the highest amounts of calcium, among other nutritive elements.
Buttermilk and yogurt are mostly composed of water. In 100g of buttermilk, there is 90g of water and for 100g of yogurt, there is 85g of water.
Hundred grams of buttermilk and yogurt have approximately similar caloric profiles. Buttermilk has 40 calories per 100g compared to yogurt which has 59 calories per 100g, hence buttermilk has fewer calories than yogurt. However, both are considered low caloric foods.
Buttermilk has more carbohydrates compared to yogurt. Buttermilk has 4.79g of carbs per 100g compared to yogurt which has 3.6g per 100g. Both of these values are less than 1% of the daily recommended value.
Yogurt is richer in proteins compared to buttermilk. Yogurt has 10.19g of proteins per 100g which is 24% of the daily recommended value, whereas, buttermilk has 3.31g of protein which is 7.8% of the daily recommended value.
Yogurt has negligible amounts of fats, as noted before we are considering non-fat yogurt in this article. Yogurt has 0.39g of fat which is less than 1% of the daily recommended value. On the other hand, buttermilk has relatively higher amounts of fats (0.88g per 100g) yet we can say that it is also negligible.
We can conclude that both have negligible amounts of fats.
Buttermilk and yogurt are classified as low glycemic index foods. Buttermilk’s glycemic index is 31, while yogurt has a glycemic index of 19.
Buttermilk is richer in vitamin C and vitamin A (retinol) compared to yogurt, however, these amounts are not very remarkable relative to the daily recommended values. Yogurt on the other hand is richer in vitamin B2 and B12.
Buttermilk and yogurt are among the foods that are rich in calcium. They have nearly equal amounts of calcium, and both satisfy the daily requirement of calcium by 12%. Buttermilk has higher amounts of sodium, which should be taken into consideration. In addition to that, yogurt is richer in phosphorus.
Weight loss and diets
Buttermilk and yogurt are considered low caloric, and low glycemic foods which are suitable for a calorie deficit diet.
They cannot be consumed in vegan diets because they are dairy products.
There is a certain level of lactose consumption that triggers the symptoms of lactose intolerance. However, buttermilk and yogurt having low amounts of carbs, in this case, lactose is below that trigger level. Most lactose-intolerant individuals are able to consume low amounts of both these foods in order to satisfy their calcium needs and not develop severe deficiencies.
Studies have shown a correlation between yogurt consumption and low obesity risk in the female population. (1)
Other studies have shown a correlation between consumption of buttermilk and low cholesterol levels in blood in both male and female populations. (2)
As previously mentioned, studies have shown that consumption of buttermilk reduces blood levels of cholesterol which in turn is associated with lowering risks of cardiovascular diseases and decrease in risk of heart attacks. (2)
Regular consumption of yogurt in hypertensive patients has shown to reduce the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases. (3)
Another study has shown that regular consumption of yogurt has decreased mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases. (4)
The following study shows a direct relationship between the reduction of developing type 2 diabetes and consumption of dairy. However, this is dose-dependent, meaning that moderate amounts have to be consumed without the addition of added sugars and syrups. (5)
Yogurt is considered to be a probiotic, keeping the normal gut microflora healthy and active, thus, regulating blood glucose levels. This in turn helps decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. (6)
The following study shows the effects of consumption of buttermilk on colon cancer cells, in vitro. It was observed that buttermilk has an antiproliferative effect on cancer cells. The antiproliferative effect is the halting of cell division. (7)
Another study sheds the light on the antiproliferative effect of buttermilk when it is used as a food additive instead of other harmful additives that are commonly used in order to preserve food for longer durations. (8)
Yogurt consumption has shown to reduce risks of breast, colorectal, gastric, and bladder cancer. (9)
Another study focuses on the effects of yogurt and its reduction of risks in developing cancer of the upper aerodigestive tracts (UADT). (10)
Downsides & Risks
Studies show that consumption of full-fat dairy products is directly associated with developing pre-diabetes, which in turn, if not controlled, leads to the development of type 2 diabetes. (11)
High diets in calcium have shown to increase the risks of prostate cancer. (12)
In summary, buttermilk has fewer calories and relatively has higher sodium, vitamins A and C. Yogurt is richer in proteins, phosphorus, vitamins B2 and B12 and has a lower glycemic index. They both have similar calcium amounts however, buttermilk has slightly higher calcium amounts.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in minerals||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
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All nutrients comparison - raw data values