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(HealthDay News) -- Dairy foods are an important part of a balanced diet, but some dairy products are healthier than others.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests these healthier options:
Look for fat-free or low-fat varieties of milk.
Eat yogurt as a milk alternative. It offers plenty of calcium and protein. Good choices include fat-free and low-fat varieties that contain active cultures.
Nutrient-rich cheeses can make great additions to your snacks and meals. Opt for low-sodium and low-fat varieties. Try shredded, sharp cheeses for extra flavor.
Avoid butter, sour cream and other regular spreads, which tend to be lower in nutrients and higher in fat. Instead, opt for fat-free or low-fat sour cream and cream cheese, and trans fat-free margarine.