03 November 2010

Fatty Dairy Products

Eric and I fancy ourselves fairly healthy when it comes to our eating habits. One thing we try to do is figure out which foods are worth buying low-fat or no-fat and which foods need to be the real thing. We've found that we can tolerate and even like quite a few low-fat and no-fat dairy products.

We drink 1% milk. I just can't handle skim; it totally grosses me out. I prefer fattier milk, but I quite like 1%, and it is cheaper than the milk with the higher fat content.

We buy fat-free or low-fat sour cream, depending on the expiration dates. (Usually the fat-free sour cream expires a couple of days after our shopping trip, so we only buy it if we know we will finish it in time.) To be honest, full-fat sour cream is better than the low-fat and fat-free varieties. It is thicker and has a better texture. But, we're not eating plain sour cream by the spoonful. We mix our sour cream in with other things and use it as a topping where all that really matters is the flavor. For us, the low-fat and fat-free options are entirely doable.

We bought fat free cream cheese a few weeks ago, and it was terrible. I had some on my bagel and texted Eric telling him how bad it was. That night he tried some on his bagel and said he would prefer to have a plain bagel over that stuff. It basically had no flavor at all. We were unimpressed. However, we had been (and went back to) buying Neufchatel cheese. It is basically the same as cream cheese, but it has one third less fat. I highly recommend it. It tastes great and spreads easily, and it's less fat. Winwinwin.

What food products do you buy that are the low-fat or no-fat varieties? Which products would you never dare with the healthier options?


Jenn said...

My local grocery stores sell all their milk at the same price, so I always get 2%. If 1% was cheaper than 2%, I'd probably go with that because it's not THAT big of a taste difference, but I could never go for skim. Blah.

Packrat said...

Ugh. We drink 1% milk, too, although I prefer 2% or whole milk. I don't mind a lower fat content cottage cheese, mayo, or some salad dressings, but everything else pretty much has to be the real thing.

Depending on the recipe, I'll often use non-fat dry milk when cooking. There again, if cooking with other low-fat or nonfat items, sometimes they won't work in a recipe. So, I buy the real, because there is no point in having two jars of mayo open.

Fat is what often holds the food product together or basically is the food, so if there is less fat a substitute is used. I'd rather eat the fat than some unknown chemical.

Janssen said...

Since we don't drink much milk, we always get skim. Plus, Bart prefers skim. As far as sour cream or other dairy products, I am usually very hesitant to get low-fat versions because, as Packrat mentioned, they are generally full of chemicals and highly processed ingredients. And I'd rather eat less of an ingredient and have it only made of three or four things than eat more and have it pumped full of unpronounceable things.

P1 Steven said...
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Ana said...

Have you heard of EasiYo? It may well be called something else in the States. I have recently gotten into making our own yoghurt with EasiYo sachets and our EasiYo maker a lot more. Fresh, healthier and lower fat than the alternatives.

You can use plain yoghurt instead of milk in cooking and baking. You can also apparently drain it and make yoghurt cheese (have not tried this yet). We also use plain yoghurt in place of Sour Cream. I have used it to make a chocolate cake and think that yoghurt in the cake was better than milk. I've used it in a spicy Indian beef dish and as a topping to help it not be so spicy - YUM! I also use it to make pizza bases (just this week!).I'm sure you could also use it as a cream substitute. EasiYo also has drinking yoghurt and icecream mixes (yet to try).

Also I have discovered that the boys LOVE the flavoured varieties - this week we are trying Apricot. In fact the Wombat is begging me for some this very instant. Better go feed the beast.

Angela Noelle of SK said...

Normal cheese does the job when it's Edam (lower fat) for most basic uses.

Low fat peanut butter, however, is a joke.

Mariah said...

NZ milk products will be different I'm sure... But I do low fat sour cream but never cottage cheese. I also find that I LOVE low fat icecream! It has a slightly smoother texture, and a tang to it. I've heard they use buttermilk? instead of milk to reduce the fat, but never read it on the ingredients, so don't know what makes those so nice...