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Dairy Products
Skim milk and skim milk products such as yogurt and cottage cheese are good sources of protein, calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients. Unless you are a strict vegetarian or are lactose intolerant, it makes sense to include 2-3 servings of skim milk dairy products each day. Whole milk, cheese and other full-fat dairy products are high in saturated fats so are best limited by everyone except for young children and high-performance athletes who burn huge amounts of calories.

 


People who are lactose-intolerant or vegan have plenty of other choices; most supermarkets now carry an array of soy beverages and other plant-based milk substitutes such as rice milk or almond milk. Use the nutrition labels on these products to guide your selection, since they vary widely in the amounts of calcium, vitamin B12 and nutrients they contain.

While skim milk dairy products have little or no fat, they all have the "peanut" symbol in the lists. That's because they have no fiber, so they are not very filling. Limit your portion size if you need to control diabetes, cholesterol or high blood pressure, or are trying to lose weight. A reasonable serving is one cup of milk or yogurt, or 1- 2 ounces of cheese.

Don't let advertising campaigns persuade you to drink huge amounts of milk. Several studies that show that osteoporosis may be associated more with taking in too much protein, than with not getting enough calcium in the diet. Taking in too much protein causes the body to convert protein building blocks called amino acids into organic acids, and the kidneys respond by taking calcium from bones and pushing it out through the urine. Two or three cups of milk is reasonable; six or eight cups (of milk or any other single food) a day is too much. A healthful diet is a varied diet.

 

Dairy Products
 
Milk, non-fat
Milk, lactose-free, non-fat
Yogurt, non-fat, plain
Cottage cheese, non-fat
Evaportated milk, non-fat
Egg whites
Egg substitutes, non-fat
Other low-fat or fat-free dairy products

 

July 30th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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