Choosing dairy products may seem like a no-brainer. However, with more and more products available on the shelves of your local store, making a healthy choice has become something of a challenge. For a dairy product that is as tasty as it is healthy, choose items that are low in fat and sodium, and that contain added vitamin D.
1. Low Fat Content
One of the most important things you should look for when choosing dairy products is the fat content. The amount of fat found in your dairy products can be very important for a number of reasons. First, dairy foods that are high in fat are also going to be very high in calories. Therefore, if you are concerned about maintaining or losing weight, you should avoid dairy products that contain high amounts of fat. This means skipping milk, cheese and other products that are made from whole milk or contain higher percentages of fat. Secondly, the fat found in dairy products is typically saturated fat, which has been linked to many serious cardiovascular health conditions. Avoiding high fat dairy products can therefore not only improve the appearance of your waistline, but can also prevent a number of serious health concerns.
2. Low Sodium Content
The next thing to look for when choosing dairy products is finding items that contain low amounts of sodium. While sodium does not contain any calories or fat, it can still be very dangerous for health-minded consumers. Sodium has not only been linked to water retention, which can cause weight gain, but also can wreak havoc with your arteries, leading to arteriovascular disease, stroke and heart attacks. For best results, look for dairy products that are salt free or contain low amounts of added salt. Typically, the dairy products that contain the highest amounts of salt are those that are more highly processed, including cheese and creams. These products should be eaten only in moderation, or for best results, avoided altogether.
3. Added Vitamin D
There are some good products that are often added to dairy that can actually result in health benefits. More and more often, vitamin D is being added to milk. Most people know that the calcium found in milk is important to help keeping teeth and bones strong and healthy. However, without adequate vitamin D, calcium would not be able to work to the best of its ability. Though vitamin D can be found through exposure to direct sunlight, some elderly people and those living in northern climates are not always able to take advantage of this. By drinking milk that is fortified with vitamin D, you will be sure to have the best quality teeth and bones possible. Read the label carefully to make sure that the milk you’re choosing is fortified with this important vitamin.