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Got Good-Tasting (and Lower-Fat) Dairy Products?

WebMD's 'Recipe Doctor' goes taste-testing in the dairy aisle
By
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

Wouldn't you like to know which fat-free and reduced fat-dairy products taste great and are worth buying and trying? Ultimately, it's up to the discretion of your taste buds, of course, but we can certainly nudge you in the better-tasting direction.

Here are our findings:

Great-tasting reduced-fat cheeses

Cheeses with only a little fat taken out -- like Cracker Barrel Light Sharp Cheddar, with 6 grams of fat per ounce -- are more likely to look and taste like regular cheese.

I've been using these reduced-fat cheeses for years and have found they work great in every cheese situation I find myself in (in recipes, on crackers, for grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.).

I've also found that fat-free cheeses just don't compare to regular cheese, because they have zero fat per ounce compared to about 9 grams per ounce for regular cheese.

CHEESE
Calories
Fat (g)
Saturated fat (g)
Sodium (mg)
Cheddar
Cracker Barrel Light Sharp Cheddar
90
6
4
20
240
Kraft 1/3 Less Fat Sharp Cheddar
90
6
4
20
240
American
Kraft 2% Milk Singles (1 slice/21g)
50
3
2
10
280
Borden 2% Milk Sharp Singles
50
3
2
10
340
Monterey Jack
Sonoma Garlic Jack 50% less fat
70
4
2.5
15
180
Sonoma Lite Jack
70
4
2.5
15
180
Kraft 1/3 Less Fat Monterey Jack
80
6
4
20
240
Sargento Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Mexican
80
6
3
20
200
Mozzarella
Precious Low Fat
55
3
2
8
180
Swiss
Jarlsberg Lite
70
3.5
2
10
130
Sargento Light Swiss
80
4
2.5
15
50
Alpine Lace Reduced Fat Swiss
90
6
4
20
35
Ricotta
Precious Low Fat 1/4 cup
70
3
1.5
15
45
Precious Part Skim 1/4 cup
100
6
4
30
80

What About Cream Cheese?

I use fat-free cream cheese as a fat replacement in cookie dough, biscuits, scones and cakes, but I wouldn't dare put in on my bagel. Fat-free cream cheese just doesn't taste as good as real cream cheese, and the texture is too different. But light cream cheese and Neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese taste good and can be used in recipes or on bagels.

Which cream cheese should you use to make a less fatty cheesecake? If you are on the picky side, try using all light cream cheese. If you aren't that particular, you might be happy with half fat-free cream cheese and half light cream cheese. Adding grated lemon peel for some extra flavor helps too.

CREAM CHEESE (2 tablespoons)
Calories
Fat (g)
Saturated fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Philadelphia 1/3 Less Fat Neufchatel cheese
70
5
3.5
15
150
Philadelphia Light (in tub)
60
4.5
3
15
150
Neufchatel (store brand)
70
6
4
20
100
Philadelphia Fat Free
30
0
0
5
200

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