How to Pick Low Carb Dairy Products

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One reason for the popularity of low-carb diets is that once you are used to ingesting a much smaller amount of carbs, you won't feel as deprived as you might on a low-fat and/or calorie-counting diet. When you are snacking on luxuriously creamy cheese instead of empty, crunchy carbs, you almost feel like you're not dieting at all.\n\nHowever, not all dairy products are appropriate for a low-carb diet and it may surprise you to see which ones you need to ration most carefully. Here are some tips to help you.

For purposes of low-carb diets, it's helpful to divide dairy products into categories and then acquaint yourself with the best — and worst — choices within each one.\n\nWe consume dairy products on their own as beverages. We also enjoy them in combination with other foods, such as cream for coffee or a sour cream dip for fresh veggies. And finally, we eat stand-alone dairy products as a snack or meal, utilizing them as a primary source of protein. It makes sense to consider them in these groups.

DAIRY BEVERAGES FOR A LOW-CARB DIET\n\nMany low-carb dieters are surprised to find out that there is virtually no difference in the carb count of whole, 2%, 1% , and fat-free milk. An 8-oz. cup of each type of milk has approximately 11.5 grams of carbohydrates! This is because of the amount of lactose it contains. So if you regularly drink milk in any quantity, you will need to do without it for at least the first two weeks of your low-carb diet.\n\nThe best alternative to milk is soy milk, which can have between 2 and 5 carbs per cup, depending on the brand. You'll need to choose carefully, since most soy milk is sweetened. If you can't find a brand that is sweetened with a sugar alternative, you will need to buy unsweetened soy milk and adjust it to the desired level of sweetness with Splenda.\n\nA popular milk substitute, Calorie Countdown, \n\nYogurt drinks are very high in carbs, so it is best to avoid them completely during your diet.

LOW-CARB DAIRY ACCOMPANIMENTS TO OTHER FOODS\n\nAt Starbucks, dedicated low-carb dieters can enjoy skinny lattes made with Splenda and soymilk, but when enjoying a cup of coffee at home, it makes more sense to lighten it with heavy cream. A tablespoon of heavy cream has slightly under half a carb, an important consideration if you drink coffee or tea throughout the day.

Tips & Warnings

  • Read labels religiously while using a low-carb regimen. Many foods you consider appropriate may have additives that sends the carb count sky high!

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