When walking through the dairy section of your local grocery store, its easy to become overwhelmed with all the options of milks, cheeses, and yogurts to choose from. Here are some helpful tips to consider to help guide you to make healthy decisions in this area of nutrition and how to manage your dairy intake.
Choose fat free or low fat milk products over whole milk, as this will help you minimize dietary fat and keep calories relatively lower. This also applies to yogurt that is fat free as well as cheeses low in fat. If you do choose to drink sweetened milk products such as flavored milks, yogurts with added syrups and fruits as well as those that are drinkable, keep in mind that these added sugars will count towards your daily calorie count.
If you are lactose intolerant, or have a sensitive stomach to lactose containing foods, try to keep your portions smaller, at about 4 fluid ounces. Also, keep in mind that there are many lactose free and lower lactose-containing products on the market. Another option is calcium fortified soymilk, as well as almond and cashew milks. These products might take some getting used to, as their flavors differ from regular milk, but they are also delicious in their own right and can offer a healthy, tasty, low calorie alternative to regular milk.
Now remember, dairy products are not the only option you have to get your daily intake of calcium. There exists a multitude of calcium-fortified juices, cereals, and breads that are also great sources. I would keep an eye on the amount of sugar that these juices contain however, and be sure to stick to nutritious and low sugar cereal options that match your daily sugar calorie intake. Finally, fish, beans, and some leafy greens (collards and turnips greens, kale, bok choy) are also great sources of calcium.
Source: Choose my Plate