Alternatives to Whey and Their Properties

December 20, 2019
It isn't easy to find an alternative to whey, as it contains essential nutrients for our body. It helps eliminate the excess of saturated fat present in milk, among others. Read more to learn about its properties and possible whey alternatives.

You can’t always find buttermilk, and when you don’t, you can use whey or alternatives to whey to make it. Today, we’d like to show you some whey substitutes. We’ll also discuss their benefits and properties.

Whey is a slightly acidic milk. This acidity comes from the lactic acids present in it as whey proteins are slightly curdled.

Decades ago, when the butter was churned by hand, there was a liquid left behind at the end of this process. This liquid was called “whey” and it contained less butyric fat than regular butter. So, whey has a much lower fat content than butter or sour cream. These days, whey producers add lactic acid bacteria to skim or low-fat milk to obtain it.

Nutritional Value

  • In its fundamentally aqueous composition, whey harbors the most important water-soluble minerals and vitamins of lactic precedent. Also, it’s a great source of vitamins of the group B (B1, B6, and B12) which are essential for proper body development and functioning.
  • Whey is also rich in vitamins C and D that serve to strengthen your immune system. This is something to keep in mind during the cold and flu season.
  • Another important property of whey is it has a high concentration of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, manganese, and magnesium, which are all essential for the proper functioning of our body.
  • Finally, note that it has a fairly low caloric index, so its consumption is recommended for those with high cholesterol in their arteries and would like to help treat cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension.
  • Likewise, doctors recommend the consumption of whey to those who need to lose weight, as it’s a hypocaloric compound.

Read also: What’s the Healthiest Milk for Children?

The main properties of whey

A shot of milk hitting a spoon.
Lactic acids, proteins, and a low level of fats are some of the nutritional characteristics of this food.

As you can imagine, the main nutrients of whey can help keep you healthy. This is something that will later translate into a series of benefits you should take into account:

  • It’s highly valuable for our microbiota, as it acts as a potent prebiotic within our gut. Therefore, it’s very useful in the treatment of conditions such as diarrhea and constipation.
  • Whey is a great supplement for athletes as it encourages a better synthesis of carbohydrates that will later become energy.
  • It also works as a natural cleanser. This is because it has a high content of amino acids, such as glutamine. It also helps regenerate lost liver tissue.

Also read: Protein Shakes: Why Are They Healthy?

Five alternatives to whey

A pitcher of whey and a ball of cheese.
In its fundamentally aqueous composition, whey harbors the most important water-soluble minerals and vitamins of its lactic precedent.

As wonderful as whey is, it’s often hard to come by these days. However, the following alternatives bost some similar benefits:

  1. Make your whey with tartar cream. Mix 1 3/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar with a cup of milk and let stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes, until set. Then strain it and it’ll be ready for use.
  2. Use lemon juice. Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice with a cup of skimmed milk. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes. It’ll have the appearance of curdled milk or very liquid yogurt. Strain it and use it.
  3. Make it with yogurt. Mix two tablespoons of milk with enough natural yogurt to fill a cup. Stir it and use it.
  4. Use sour Cream. You can easily make a quick whey substitute by thinning sour cream with a little bit of milk. Then, stir to mix it and use it.
  5. Use white or apple cider vinegar. Add a tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar to a cup of semi-skimmed or skim milk. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes (it should look curdled). Stir it and use it.

By now you know the many benefits of whey and its alternatives. Try to include them regularly in your diet!

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  • Poveda E., Suerto lácteo, generalidades y potencial uso como fuente de calcio de alta biodisponibilidad. Rev Chil Nutr, 2013.
  • Skryplonek K., Dmytrow I., Mituniewicz Malek A., Probiotic fermented beverages based on acid whey. J Dairy Sci, 2019. 102 (9): 7773-7780.