If you have acid reflux you might be wondering if you can have buttermilk and if it’s a good choice.
There is no one answer fits all for buttermilk that works for everyone but lets break it down. If you have minor acid reflux buttermilk should be a relatively safe choice whereas if you have more severe acid reflux like GERD or LPR then you will want to be more cautious when taking buttermilk or adding it to your recipes.
Below we will break this down in more detail so you know all the important information.
Is Buttermilk Good or Bad for Acid Reflux?
Before we talk about buttermilk and how it affects acid reflux it’s important we talk about what buttermilk actually is. Modern buttermilk today is made with milk or water, the milk sugar lactose and the milk protein called casein. Bacteria cultures are also added to the mixture. This makes the mixture become thicker and more tangy in flavor usually.
Preservatives such as lactic acid are often added to prevent bacteria growth which helps to extend the self-life of buttermilk.
Is Buttermilk Acidic or Alkaline?
When it comes to acid reflux the first thing that’s important to talk about is the acidity of buttermilk. Buttermilks pH is usually around a 4.5-5 pH. This makes it acidic but not extremely acidic, although it is acidic enough to irritate some people with more sensitive acid reflux.
If you have more severe GERD or silent reflux then buttermilk is probably best to be avoided for this reason alone. If you have more subtle acid reflux having or using some buttermilk should be okay. Though we suggest the first time that you use it to keep it in moderation to see if it has any effect on you.
The second thing to consider when it comes to buttermilk is the milk itself. Dairy for some people can be a trigger for their acid reflux and worsen symptoms. The important thing to mention here is that buttermilk is quite low in fat when compared with things like butter itself so from a fat point of view it is a good choice.
If you think or know you have any intolerance to dairy, as you might expect it’s best to avoid buttermilk for this reason. If you are usually okay with dairy that should not be a major concern.
Good Bacteria Added
The next thing worth considering is the good bacteria that has been added to the buttermilk. For some people this can actually have a positive effect on the stomach and more importantly the gut and can help balance and improve your gut health in general.
Though for certain people it can have the opposite effect. For example, your acid reflux may be connected to your gut, therefore adding extra bacteria could in fact make your symptoms worse. That is particularly the case if you are experiencing things like bloating, burping and flatulence more than usual.
Keep in mind that buttermilk with preservatives tends to be more acidic and more likely to cause or irritate acid reflux symptoms.
Ideally look for buttermilk with as few ingredients as possible and with as little preservatives if you want the safest choice for acid reflux.
Buttermilk overall is okay for certain people with acid reflux and for some might even help acid reflux due to the good bacteria that has been added to it.
For people with gut issues or dairy intolerance it may be best to avoid buttermilk or to try it in moderation.
Also due to the acidity of buttermilk it’s often best to avoid it if you have more serious acid reflux symptoms because the acidity alone could trigger or worsen your acid reflux symptoms.
Important Related Questions
Is Buttermilk Good for Gastric Problems?
For some gastric problems buttermilk may be helpful because of the friendly bacteria that can help the gut health for certain people. Whereas for others it may make symptoms worse either due to dairy or the higher acidity to name a couple.
Is Buttermilk More Acidic Than Milk?
Yes buttermilk is more acidic than milk. Buttermilk pH is around 4.5 – 5 pH and milk is around 6.7 – 6.9 pH.
What Is the Right Time to Drink Buttermilk?
You can drink buttermilk at any time but arguably it’s best to not drink it soon before bed and not on a full stomach. You may get a better effect on an empty stomach, but this is best for people with only minor acid reflux.