Including sources of dairy in your diet is an easy way to get calcium and high-quality protein. Many dairy products, like non-fat light yogurt, can be eaten as a dessert with only about 15 grams of carbohydrate and 100 calories per 6 oz container.

What are the Best Choices?

The best choices of dairy products are:

  • Fat-free or low-fat (1% milk)
  • Plain non-fat yogurt (regular or Greek yogurt)
  • non-fat light yogurt (regular or Greek yogurt)
  • unflavored fortified soy milk

If you are lactose intolerant or don't like milk, you may want to try fortified soy milk, rice milk, or almond milk as a source of calcium and vitamin D.

General Tips

  • Each 1 cup serving of milk or 6 ounce serving of yogurt has about 12 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of protein. Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt, with about 12 grams per 6 ounce serving.
  • If you are trying to switch to lower fat dairy products, take the time to get used to the taste and texture difference. For example, first change from whole milk to 2%. Then to 1% or non-fat milk.
  • Switching from whole to 1% milk will save you 70 calories and 4 grams of saturated fat in every serving!

Tips for Carb Counters
1 cup of milk or yogurt is equal to 1 small piece of fruit or 1 slice of bread

Tips for the Plate Method
Your meal plan calls for 8 ounces of milk. If you don’t drink milk, you can substitute another carbohydrate containing food like yogurt, a piece of fruit or a small dinner roll.

Tips for using the Glycemic Index
Milk has a low glycemic index so choose lower-fat dairy products to fit into your meals.

See "What Can I Drink?" for additional drinking guidelines.

  • Last Reviewed: August 2, 2013
  • Last Edited: May 14, 2014

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast