The Best and Worst Dairy Products

Not all milk products are created equal. Learn the best (and worst!) ways to get your three-a-day

April 18, 2013

Best: Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt

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Greek yogurt has almost double the protein--and half the sodium--of regular yogurt, making it an obvious choice. And that's before you factor in Greek yogurt's live and active cultures. By contributing to a healthy mix of bacteria in the gut, probiotics can regulate your gastrointestinal health and digestion (think: no bloat), says Gayl Canfield, RD, director of nutrition at Pritikin Longevity Center. Plus, many brands contain no preservatives, artificial flavors, or synthetic growth hormones.

Shop smart: Read labels carefully. Choose the brand with the shortest ingredient list--fewer ingredients generally signal fewer additives. Also, your blend of choice should contain at least 25 percent of your recommended daily allowance of calcium and vitamin D, says nutritionist Laura Cipullo, RD, owner of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services in New York City.

Related: 8 Ingredients You Never Want to See on Your Nutrition Label

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