The Healthiest Dairy Options You Should Try

Dairy is high in calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for building strong bones and teeth and protecting against osteoporosis. It is also high in tissue-repairing and muscle-building protein, which makes it a great post-workout treat. However, in its traditional forms, dairy can also be high in saturated fat, which in excess has been shown to be linked with an increased risk of high cholesterol. But the good news is there are various healthy dairy choices available, which can still help you meet your daily calcium, vitamin D, and protein intake without the unwanted saturated fat of traditional dairy sources.

Sugar-Free, Almond, Or Soy Milk

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Sugar-free milk contains nearly less than half the calories of traditional milk, and it also contains no sugar, which makes it a great choice for those trying to maintain their weight. It is also cholesterol-free, which means it helps lower the risk of stroke, peripheral artery disease, and heart disease. Almond milk is essentially the juice from almonds ground in a blender along with water to produce a white 'milk' similar to cow's milk. Since it contains no animal products or by-products, it also makes a great milk substitute for vegan and lactose intolerant individuals. No-sugar soy milk, derived from soybeans and water, is another great alternative to cow's milk. It is high in protein, with about fifty percent more than cow's milk, as well as isoflavones, vitamin A, vitamin B-12, and potassium. It also contains fewer calories than whole milk, which makes it an excellent choice for those following a low-calorie diet.

Continue reading to learn about another healthy dairy option to try.

Reduced-Fat, Sugar-Free Yogurt


Greek yogurt is produced similarly to traditional yogurt except it is strained to remove lactose, sugar, and whey, which gives it a creamier, richer texture. It is also higher in protein than traditional yogurt, which has caused it to explode in popularity. The key is to select the reduced fat, no-sugar Greek yogurt, as many yogurts often contain sugar as an added ingredient, which can increase an individual's carbohydrate intake as well as spike insulin levels, which may not be suitable for patients with diabetes or those following a low-calorie diet.

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Low-Fat, Dye-Free, Aged Cheese


Reduced-fat, dye-free, aged cheese is better at providing quality protein, calcium, and various other nutrients than just about any other dairy product available, and it also lower in fat and contains no dyes, which is often used to give cheddar cheese its orange color. It is also free of milk sugars and lactose. Thus, it can also be enjoyed by those with lactose allergies. Some studies show aged cheddar cheese may also help reduce the risk of tooth decay and cavities by stimulating saliva flow, which helps wash away food and increases buffing capacity to help shield against plaque acids. Studies also show aged cheddar, in particular, may help prevent liver cancer and boost life expectancy. According to the study, aged cheese contains a compound called spermidine, which prevents damaged liver cells from reproducing, thereby halting the accumulation of scar tissue as well as liver cancer.

Keep going to uncover another healthy dairy product to try.

Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

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Reduced-fat cottage cheese is made from curds of pasteurized cow's milk, which provides many of the same essential nutrients as whole milk, including calcium, B vitamins, phosphorous, riboflavin, selenium, and folate, but without the high saturated fat content. It is also high in protein, which helps you digest food slower, so you feel full longer; helps regulate blood sugar levels; and builds muscle. Reduced-fat cottage cheese is excellent added to salads, topped with fresh fruit, or it can be eaten alone for a satisfying snack.

Continue reading to learn about another healthy dairy product to try.

Low-Fat or Sugar-Free Cream


Low-fat or sugar-free cream originates from the layer of butterfat contained in fresh milk before it is homogenized, and it contains many key nutrients, including calcium, phosphorous, riboflavin, and vitamin A, which are essential for overall health. Cream takes on various forms, including whipped cream and sour cream. However, in its original state, it can be fairly high in fat, which may not be suitable for low-fat diets. Not to mention, some whipped creams also contain added sugar, which adds additional calories. Therefore, when adding any cream to your foods or beverages, be sure to select reduced-fat or no-sugar versions to help keep it healthy.


    HealthPrep Staff