What to Look for in the Dairy Aisle…

I’m going to take you for a walk down the dairy aisle of the grocery store and help you choose the best choices in this food group.

Milk and Alternatives are the portion of Canada’s Food Guide that provide us with important bone-building calcium, protein and vitamin D. They should be included at every meal and can be included in snacks eaten through the day.

Your best buys in the dairy aisle are going to be lower fat choices of milk, yogurt and cheese. Milk and alternatives that are lower in fat are not lower in calcium or other important nutrients. The nutritional content of these foods does not decrease with a decrease in fat content.

When grocery shopping, look for lower fat milks such as 2% (M.F. or Milk Fat), 1% or skim milk. If you buy soy or alternative milks, read the label carefully to ensure they are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Try to choose milk alternatives with lower amounts of sugar, as some choices can be higher in both calories and sugar.

When shopping for yogurt, look for lower fat choices with 2% M.F. or less. Plain yogurt with 0% M.F. may be the healthiest choice, but not the tastiest for most people. Flavored yogurts can be healthy choices, if you choose ones that contain lower amounts of fat, sugar and calories.

When shopping for hard or block cheese, look for lower fat choices with 20% M.F. or less. For soft cheese, such as cottage cheese, look for lower fat choices with 2% M.F. or less.

Milk and Alternatives that are higher in fat, sugar and calories, and should be eaten much less often are ice cream, frozen yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream and whipping cream.

Hopefully these tips make your grocery shopping a little easier and a little healthier. Do you have any great shopping tips you’d like to share. If so, email me at [email protected].

If you have any nutrition topics you would like me to write about or have a question you would like answered, email me at [email protected]. I would really like to hear from you!