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

2-3 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) [I realize that this could include some very high sugar soy milks, so check out this soy milk information Laura]
  • Fat-free plain yogurt (see also 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) - [Actually, the status of this product vis a vis the South Beach Diet is unclear to me, as it is not mentioned in the lists of the most recent book. Also, I can't find an ingredient list for this product, which makes me suspicious of it as a food product. Laura]

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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