Low-Fat Dairy Products

Dairy Products Allowed on the South Beach Diet

cottage cheese
Cottage Cheese with Chives. Michael Resenfeld/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

The South Beach Diet allows most low-fat dairy products, including the following foods.

South Beach Diet Phase One Dairy Products

Two to three cups daily of any of the following are allowed:

  • Milk (fat-free and 1%)
  • 1% or fat-free buttermilk
  • Low-fat goat's milk
  • Soy Milk: Low-fat plain, vanilla, or sucralose-containing soy milk (4 grams of fat or less per cup) This could include some very high sugar soy milk, so be up to date on soy milk information.
  • Fat-free plain yogurt. Here's some info on yogurt on a low carb diet.
  • Small amounts of fat-free or reduced fat sour cream
  • Nonfat plain kefir
  • Fat-free or low-fat evaporated milk (NOT condensed milk)
  • Fat-free powdered milk or buttermilk
  • Fat-free half & half (less than 2 tablespoons): The status of this product vis a vis the South Beach Diet is unclear, as it is not mentioned in the lists of the most recent book.

Dairy Products on the South Beach Diet Phase Two

Same as Phase One, except can add:

  • 4 oz fat-free yogurt that is flavored and artificially sweetened

Dairy Products to Avoid

  • Whole or 2% milk
  • Full-fat soy milk
  • Cream
  • Yogurt that is NOT non-fat and/or has sugared sweeteners
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt

Cheeses Allowed On South Beach: All Phases

All cheeses should be fat-free or low-fat varieties, having no more than six grams of fat per ounce. Exceptions are small amounts of high-flavor cheeses such as Parmesan, Asiago, and Blue Cheeses which can be used occasionally.

These low-fat varieties could include:

  • American
  • Cheddar
  • Cottage cheese (2% fat or less)
  • Cream cheese, fat-free or low-fat
  • Cream cheese substitute, dairy-free
  • Feta
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Provolone
  • Ricotta (part skim)
  • String Cheese
  • Swiss

Cheeses To Avoid on the South Beach Diet

Any full-fat cheese, except for small amounts of strongly-flavored cheeses as listed above (blue, etc).

Especially avoid:

  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Cream Cheese, full fat
  • Mascarpone

And other cheeses with over 6 grams of fat per ounce See the rest of the South Beach Diet food lists.

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