With so many options at the grocery store, it’s no wonder shopping for dairy can be a challenge. But once you learn a few basic guidelines, it'll be a snap to pick out the best milk, yogurt, and cheese for following the South Beach Diet. We recommend choosing reduced-fat and fat-free dairy products and avoiding those that are full fat.
Yogurt: Two cups of low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt is recommended in Phase 1. Feel free to flavor your yogurt with a sugar substitute and an extract of your choice like vanilla or almond. On Phase 1, you can alternate your daily dairy serving between milk and yogurt. Beginning on Phase 2, you can also have four to six ounces of artificially sweetened low-fat or nonfat flavored yogurt; just avoid those that contain high-fructose corn syrup. Try adding 3/4 cup of raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries to the yogurt, but make sure to count them as a fruit serving.
Cheese: While cheese is obviously a dairy product, it wears two hats on the South Beach Diet. It’s also a very good source of protein. You can enjoy cheese on all Phases. Be sure to choose fat-free or reduced-fat and look for those products with six grams of fat or less per ounce. While there is no serving limitation for cheese, some people who eat more than two small servings a day report stalled weight loss. If you're experiencing this, cut back on your cheese consumption.