Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group
Like high fat meats, regular dairy foods that have fat -- such as whole and 2% milk, cheese, and ice cream -- are also high in saturated fat and cholesterol. However, dairy products are an important source of nutrients. You should eat 2 to 3 servings per day of lowfat or nonfat dairy products. Here is a guide to buying low fat and nonfat dairy foods:Milk
- Buy skim and 1% milk rather than whole or 2% milk. Skim and 1% milk have just as much or more calcium and other nutrients as whole milk - with much less saturated fat and cholesterol.
- When looking for hard cheeses, go for the versions that are "fat free," "reduced fat," "low fat," or "part skim." Choose varieties that have 3 grams of fat or less per ounce.
- When looking for soft cheeses, choose low fat (1%) or nonfat cottage cheese, farmer cheese, or part-skim or light ricotta. Some of these cheeses have 3 grams of fat or less per ounce.
- If you are watching your sodium intake, choose lower sodium cheeses. Read the label to compare the sodium content.
Frozen Dairy Desserts
- Buy frozen desserts that are lower in saturated fat, like ice milk, low fat frozen yogurt, low fat frozen dairy desserts, fruit ices, sorbets, and popsicles.
- Buy low or nonfat yogurt; like many other dairy foods, it is an excellent source of protein and calcium. Eat lowfat or nonfat yogurt alone or as a topping or in recipes. Try topping with fruit.
- Try low fat or nonfat sour cream or cream cheese blends. Many taste as rich as the real thing, but have less fat and calories.
For more, please read the TLC Daily Food Guide to Lower Your Cholesterol
Portions of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (www.nhlbi.nih.gov/).
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Last Editorial Review: 2/1/2005