22 Dairy Products: An A to Z Guide

Most dairy products are nutrient-rich, and dairy is one of the most common types of food in the human diet.

However, most people only stick to a few common dairy foods. These typical options include butter, cheese, cream, milk and yogurt.

Despite this, there are dozens of different dairy foods, and only sticking to the popular options means we’re missing out on many choices.

This article examines some interesting dairy products from around the world.

What Are Dairy Products?

Dairy products are defined as food products made from milk. This milk may come from various animals, including cows, goats, sheep, buffalo, and in some countries, even camels and yak (1).

However, the majority of popular dairy foods use cow milk.

The more common dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt play a significant role in the typical diet of many nations.

Some people may avoid or limit their consumption of dairy products due to milk allergy, lactose intolerance, and ethical beliefs such as veganism (2, 3, 4).

Benefits of Dairy Products

The main benefit of most dairy products is their significant and diverse nutrient content.

Aside from pure fat sources (such as butter), milk-based dairy foods contain high levels of protein, calcium, and phosphorus. They also supply numerous key vitamins and minerals, including B12 (5).

Observational studies demonstrate that dairy intake may protect bone health and help prevent fractures (6, 7).

Also, scientific research has established that milk’s nutrients, such as protein, calcium, and phosphorus, are important for bone health (8, 9, 10).

Downsides of Dairy Products

There are several potential downsides of dairy products, which depend on the context of intake and the individual:

  • Lactose intolerance and milk allergies: dairy products may be unsuitable for individuals with lactose intolerance or a cow milk allergy (11, 12).
  • Sodium content: some dairy products, such as hard-aged cheese, can contain a significant amount of sodium. It is worth noting that sodium is an essential mineral, so this is not necessarily a “bad” thing. However, depending on the overall diet, high intakes of cheese may push someone over the recommended daily value for sodium, which is 2300 mg daily (13). In addition, high sodium intake levels can lead to increased blood pressure (14).
  • Saturated fat: Some dairy foods, such as butter and ghee, can be significant sources of saturated fat. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting saturated fat intake to 10% of total energy, which would be around 22 grams for a 2000-calorie diet (15). Diets characterized by a high saturated fat content can increase low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and apolipoprotein B (Apo-B) levels. All else being equal, LDL-C and Apo-B are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (16, 17).

Types of Dairy Products

While most of us know the common dairy foods like milk and yogurt, there are many lesser-known options worldwide.

Here is an A to Z list of dairy products alongside each food’s characteristics and basic nutritional data.

All nutritional data, unless otherwise stated, is from the USDA database. Daily values (% DV) have been calculated using the nutritional data alongside the FDA’s daily value recommendations (18, 13).

1. Ayran

Ayran is a salty yogurt drink made with three simple ingredients; yogurt, water and salt.

A traditional dairy food from Turkey, Ayran is popular across the whole Middle East region.

Nutritionally, ayran provides all three macronutrients and a high dose of sodium from the salt content.

Here are ayran’s nutritional values per 8 fl oz (241g) serving (19):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories126 kcal
Carbohydrates4 g1.5% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars4 g
Fat10 g12.8% DV
Saturated Fat6 g30% DV
Protein6 g12% DV
Cholesterol37 mg12.3% DV
Sodium600 mg26.1% DV
Table 1: Nutrition facts for ayran per 241g serving

With a history going back over 1000 years, Ayran was first invented to dilute the taste of bitter-tasting yogurt.

The result is a drinkable yogurt with a salty taste, and alongside black tea, it is one of the two most popular drinks in Turkey (20).

Although it can be difficult to find, certain stores and online shops stock ayran in Western countries.

See this full guide to ayran for more information.

2. Butter

Butter is a high-fat dairy food made purely from churned milk or cream and is typically used as a spread or for pan-frying.

However, butter is easy to over-consume and is relatively high in saturated fat (21). Thus, it is important to stick to recommended serving sizes.

Butter contains some nutritional value (vitamins A and D), but it is not particularly nutrient-rich.

One tablespoon (14.2g) of unsalted butter provides the following nutrients (21):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories102 kcal
Carbohydrates0.01 g0% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars0.01 g
Fat11.5 g14.7% DV
Saturated Fat7.17 g35.9% DV
Protein0.12 g0.2% DV
Cholesterol30.5 mg10.2% DV
Sodium1.56 mg0.1% DV
Table 2: Nutrition facts for butter per tablespoon serving

See this full guide to butter for more information.

3. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is not quite as famous as its two namesakes, with butter and milk being far more prevalent.

However, it is an interesting, sour-tasting dairy product.

If you are wondering what buttermilk is, then traditionally, it is the leftover pale-yellow liquid after churning butter.

Buttermilk can be drunk by itself and works well as an ingredient in a marinade for meat.

This is because buttermilk has a high proportion of lactic acid (hence the sour taste), which works well as a tenderizer.

Most modern buttermilk products have a bacterial culture (such as Lactococcus lactis) added to them, and they are known as cultured buttermilk.

Per 245-gram cup, buttermilk’s nutritional profile is as follows (22):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories152 kcal
Carbohydrates12.0 g4.4% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars12.0 g
Fat8.11 g10.4% DV
Saturated Fat4.66 g23.3% DV
Protein7.86 g15.7% DV
Cholesterol27 mg9% DV
Sodium257 mg11.2% DV
Table 3: Nutrition facts for buttermilk per cup serving

See this full guide to buttermilk for an in-depth review of its nutritional properties.

4. Cheese

Cheese is delicious, and it is popular throughout the world.

Every country has its own particular varieties, and some of the most famous include;

  • Cheddar (England)
  • Camembert (France)
  • Feta (Greece)
  • Gorgonzola (Italy)
  • Gruyere (Switzerland)
  • Manchego (Spain)
  • Mozzarella (Italy)
  • Parmesan (Italy)
  • Ricotta (Greece)
Small Pieces of Cheese On a Red Stick.

Cheese is a fermented dairy product that comes in different shapes and sizes. While some cheese is hard with a strong flavor, others can be mild and soft.

Interestingly, despite being a source of saturated fat, systematic reviews of observational studies consistently show cheese as being neutral or inversely associated with cardiovascular risk (23, 24, 25).

Cheese is generally an excellent source of protein, and its fat content will vary depending on the cheese variety.

Since it is one of the most popular cheeses in the world, here are the nutritional values for Cheddar cheese per ounce (28.35g) slice (26):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories115 kcal
Carbohydrates0.60 g0.2% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars0.08 g
Fat9.46 g12.1% DV
Saturated Fat5.43 g27.2% DV
Protein6.78 g13.6% DV
Cholesterol27.7 mg9.2% DV
Sodium180 mg7.8% DV
Table 4: Nutrition facts for Cheddar cheese per slice serving

See this guide to different types of cheese for more information.

5. Clotted Cream

Originating in England, clotted cream is a traditional accompaniment for afternoon tea and scones.

Clotted cream is a delicious, extra-thick spreadable cream, and it is made by gently baking fresh heavy cream.

As the cream heats, it loses moisture and thickens, and because of this, it also has a higher fat content than regular cream.

By weight, clotted cream is approximately 55% fat. Here is the nutritional profile per ounce (28.35g) serving (27):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories140 kcal
Carbohydrates1 g0.4% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars1 g
Fat15 g19.2% DV
Saturated Fat10 g50% DV
Protein0 g0% DV
Cholesterol45 mg15% DV
Sodium5 mg0.2% DV
Table 5: Nutrition facts for clotted cream per 28-gram serving

6. Cottage Cheese

A Wooden Bowl Containing Cottage Cheese - a Fresh Dairy Product.

Cottage cheese is a kind of high-protein, curd-based cheese.

The flavor is mild but with a slightly sour taste.

One of the best things about cottage cheese is that it is exceptionally protein-dense, especially the lower milkfat variants.

For example, 2% milkfat cottage cheese is low in calories, carbohydrates and fat and provides over 12 grams of protein per 100 grams (28).

This protein density makes it an excellent option for anyone looking to increase their protein intake. As a result, it enjoys popularity with bodybuilders and dieters.

The full nutrition profile for a 220-gram cup of 2% milkfat cottage cheese is as follows (28):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories180 kcal
Carbohydrates9.48 g3.4% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars9.02 g
Fat5.06 g6.5% DV
Saturated Fat2.77 g13.9% DV
Protein24.2 g48.4% DV
Cholesterol26.4 mg8.8% DV
Sodium706 mg30.7% DV
Table 6: Nutrition facts for 2% milkfat cottage cheese per cup serving

7. Cream

Cream is a high-fat dairy product consisting of the butterfat layer at the top of milk before the milk’s homogenization process.

There are several varieties of cream, and the fat percentage can vary between 18% and 55%, depending on the specific type.

Like butter, cream provides a reasonable source of fat-soluble vitamins A and D.

However, the biggest “positive” has to be the taste. Cream makes just about anything taste better.

On the negative side, cream contains a significant amount of saturated fat (and calories) and isn’t particularly nutrient-rich.

In other words, enjoy it in moderation.

Here is the full nutritional profile per tablespoon (15g) of heavy cream (29):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories51 kcal
Carbohydrates0.43 g0.2% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars0.43 g
Fat5.42 g6.9% DV
Saturated Fat3.45 g17.3% DV
Protein0.43 g0.9% DV
Cholesterol17 mg5.7% DV
Sodium4 mg0.2% DV
Table 7: Nutrition facts for heavy cream per tablespoon serving

See this in-depth guide to heavy cream for more information.

8. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a delicious, soft, and spreadable cheese made from milk and cream.

In the kitchen, it has many different uses, and cream cheese often appears in recipes for anything from cheesecakes to baked potatoes.

However, it is worth noting that there are many different cream cheese brands, and the relative nutritional merits vary by product.

Some cream cheese is just 100% full-fat cheese with a bit of salt, while others are lower-fat and even high-protein options.

Here are the nutritional values for full-fat cream cheese per ounce (28.35g) serving (30):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories84 kcal
Carbohydrates0.99 g0.4% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars0.99 g
Fat8.11 g10.4% DV
Saturated Fat5.1 g25.5% DV
Protein2.01 g4% DV
Cholesterol25.5 mg8.5% DV
Sodium124 mg5.4% DV
Table 8: Nutrition facts for cream cheese per ounce (28.35g) serving

9. Ghee

Ghee is a traditional Indian food that has been around for centuries.

This particular dairy product is a higher-fat and creamier version of butter and tastes great too.

The preparation method of making ghee is so simple that doing it at home is fairly easy.

Firstly, it involves gently simmering butter on the stove until the proteins and sugars separate as solids from the butter liquid. The liquid can then be poured into a jar through a mesh sieve and will re-solidify as it cools.

Compared to cooking with regular butter, it is harder to burn ghee due to the lack of sugars and proteins in it.

Based on nutritional data from the NCC Food and Nutrient Database, ghee provides the following nutritional profile per tablespoon (13g) serving (31):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories112 kcal
Carbohydrates0 g0% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars0 g
Fat12.75 g16.3% DV
Saturated Fat7.93 g39.7% DV
Protein0.04 g0.1% DV
Cholesterol32.80 mg10.9% DV
Sodium0.26 mg0% DV
Table 9: Nutrition facts for ghee per tablespoon (13g) serving

10. Milk

A Bottle of Goat Milk With Goat Picture on the Packaging.

There are many different milk varieties, from regular cow to goat milk and reduced-fat options.

Each of these milk options has a vastly differing taste and nutritional profile, so the best option depends on the individual’s wants.

See this guide to 24 different types of milk for more information.

However, here are the basic nutritional properties of whole milk for a 244-gram cup serving (32):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories149 kcal
Carbohydrates11.7 g4.3% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars12.3 g
Fat7.93 g10.2% DV
Saturated Fat4.54 g22.7% DV
Protein7.69 g15.4% DV
Cholesterol24.4 mg8.1% DV
Sodium105 mg4.6% DV
Table 10: Nutrition facts for whole milk per 244-gram cup serving

11. Kefir

Kefir is a healthy fermented dairy food that originated in Russia and provides large amounts of beneficial bacteria.

To make kefir, starter “grains” are combined with milk and left in a warm place to ferment. These “grains” are not the same type of grains as wheat, barley and oats; it is just a name given to describe the bacterial cultures.

During the fermentation process, lactic acid breaks down the lactose in milk. After fermentation, the texture of kefir resembles sour cream; it is thick and quite sour.

Various studies show that the bacteria within kefir might provide some health benefits, particularly concerning our gut health. For example, studies show that it may modulate the immune system and cells and have anti-inflammatory properties (33, 34).

That said, more research is necessary from controlled trials before we can confirm tangible benefits in humans.

Per 100 grams, a 243-gram cup of low-fat kefir provides the following nutritional values (35):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories104 kcal
Carbohydrates11.6 g4.2% DV
Fiber0 g
Sugars11.2 g
Fat2.48 g3.2% DV
Saturated Fat1.6 g8.0% DV
Protein9.21 g18.4% DV
Cholesterol12.2 mg4.1% DV
Sodium97.2 mg4.2% DV
Table 11: Nutrition facts for low-fat kefir per 243-gram cup serving

12. Protein Puddings

Over the past several years, numerous ‘protein pudding’ brands have appeared on store shelves.

Protein puddings are high-protein dairy products typically made from skimmed milk, milk protein, thickeners, flavorings, and sweeteners. The net result is a dairy food that provides high amounts of dietary protein for relatively few calories.

The products come in various flavors, such as chocolate and vanilla, and are aimed at busy people and gym-goers for an on-the-go protein-rich snack. They tend to come in single-serve containers.

Using data from Nutritionix, a typical protein pudding provides the following nutritional values (36):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories106 kcal
Carbohydrates1.6 g0.6% DV
Fiber0.8 g2.9% DV
Sugars0 g
Fat2.4 g3.1% DV
Saturated Fat0.3 g1.5% DV
Protein20.0 g40% DV
Cholesterol4 mg1.3% DV
Sodium43 mg1.9% DV
Table 12: Nutrition facts for a 4.5 oz (128g) protein pudding serving

13. Quark

Photo of an Open Container of Quark.

Originating in Germany, quark is a soft fermented cheese containing significant protein.

While popular in Northern and Central Europe, quark is not widely known outside health and fitness circles in the West. It is a kind of curd cheese with some nutritional similarities to cottage cheese.

Regarding taste, quark is mild and slightly creamy.

Since quark production uses skim milk and lactic acid breaks down the lactose content during fermentation, quark is very low in fat and carbohydrates.

It is a protein-rich dairy food and a convenient way to get more protein into the diet.

Based on data from My Fitness Pal, a ‘fat-free’ quark provides the following nutritional values per 150-gram container (37):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories91 kcal
Carbohydrates5.5 g2% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars5.5 g
Fat0.5 g3.2% DV
Saturated Fat0 g0% DV
Protein17.5 g35% DV
Cholesterol0% DV
Sodium50 mg2.2% DV
Table 12: Nutrition facts for ‘fat-free’ quark per 150-gram serving

14. Skyr

Skyr is a cultured dairy product from Iceland providing several potential health benefits.

For instance, it is high in protein and contains a wealth of probiotic bacteria (38).

Although Skyr meets the definition of cheese, it resembles yogurt in appearance.

Like quark and cottage cheese, Skyr uses low-fat milk, making it a relatively protein-dense food compared to its total calorie provision. It also contains very low levels of dietary fat.

Making Skyr involves mixing skim milk with bacterial starters and rennet and then allowing the milk to thicken via coagulation.

Skyr is now available throughout the world. Based on data from the NCC database, 0% fat Skyr provides the following nutritional values per 245-gram cup (31):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories152 kcal
Carbohydrates9.34 g3.4% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars9.34 g
Fat0.44 g0.6% DV
Saturated Fat0.29 g1.5% DV
Protein26.08 g52.2% DV
Cholesterol4.39 mg1.5% DV
Sodium89.95 mg3.9% DV
Table 13: Nutrition facts for Skyr per 100 grams

15. Sour Cream

Sour cream is a delicious dairy product made by fermenting cream with a lactic acid bacterial culture.

The resulting sour cream from the fermentation is creamy, high in fat, and relatively sour.

Sour cream works well in various recipes and plays a big role in Mexican cuisine alongside other condiments like guacamole and salsa.

Nutritionally, it provides a source of vitamins A, D, and calcium, and per 100 grams, sour cream’s nutritional profile is as follows (39):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories196 kcal
Carbohydrates5.56 g2.0% DV
Fat18.0 g23.1% DV
Saturated Fat10.7 g53.5% DV
Protein3.07 g6.1% DV
Cholesterol53 mg17.7% DV
Sodium50 mg2.2% DV
Table 14: Nutrition facts for sour cream per 100 grams

For more details, see here: a nutritional guide to sour cream.

16. Uunijuusto

This one probably wins the award for ‘most difficult to pronounce dairy product.’

Uunijuusto is a traditional cooked dessert in Finland, made by mixing cow’s colostrum with salt and then baking it in the oven.

For anyone unaware, colostrum is the first milk from a cow that recently gave birth.

Interestingly, although it is purely baked milk, the name ‘uunijuusto’ translates into English as ‘oven cheese.’

Using data from My Fitness Pal, here are the nutritional values for 100 grams of uunijuusto (40):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories66 kcal
Carbohydrates4 g1.5% DV
Sugars4 g
Fat3.4 g4.4% DV
Saturated Fat
Protein4.6 g9.2% DV
Table 15: Nutrition facts for uunijuusto per 100 grams

17. Viili

An Open Tub of Viili With a Spoon In It.

<Photo Credit: Tiia Monto>

Viili is a Scandinavian fermented dairy food that enjoys popularity in Finland and Sweden.

Like kefir, viili is made by mixing a mesophilic culture into milk and allowing it time to ferment at room temperature.

Once ready, viii is yogurt with a thick consistency and offers the same probiotic benefits as other fermented dairy foods.

Based on data from My Fitness Pal, Viili made from whole milk offers the following nutrients per cup serving (41):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories160 kcal
Carbohydrates2 g0.7% DV
Fat7 g9.0% DV
Saturated Fat5 g25% DV
Protein12 g24% DV
Cholesterol35 mg11.7% DV
Sodium125 mg5.4% DV
Table 16: Nutrition facts for viili per 100 grams

18. Whey Protein

In recent years, whey has been one of the most popular dairy products. All in all, its main selling point is a concentrated and convenient source of dietary protein.

Whey provides a convenient way to get protein on the go, at the gym, or after exercise.

As a processed food, pure whey protein is a relatively healthy product that provides a range of highly bioavailable amino acids.

Whey is a by-product of the cheese-making process, made from the leftover liquid.

Significantly, whey protein has an incredibly high protein density. The total amount of protein tends to fall between 70% and 90% by weight, depending on the product.

Here is the nutrition profile of a standard whey protein per 100 grams (42):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories352 kcal
Carbohydrates6.25 g2.3% DV
Fiber3.1 g11.1% DV
Sugars0 g
Fat1.56 g2.0% DV
Saturated Fat0.78 g3.9% DV
Protein78.1 g156.2% DV
Cholesterol16.0 mg5.3% DV
Sodium156 mg6.8% DV
Table 17: Nutrition facts for whey protein per 100 grams

For a complete guide to whey protein, see this in-depth review.

19. Whipped Cream (Aerosol)

Unlike regular cream, whipped cream in an aerosol can contains a blend of various ingredients.

These ingredients typically include sugar and emulsifiers. However, cream is still the primary ingredient and represents about 95% of the product.

Generally speaking, whipped cream is typically used as a dessert topping or for topping milkshakes and milky coffee drinks.

Using the NCC database as a source, here are the nutritional values for an ounce (28.35g) of whipping cream from an aerosol can (31):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories73 kcal
Carbohydrates3.54 g1.3% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars2.27 g
Fat6.30 g8.1% DV
Saturated Fat3.92 g19.6% DV
Protein0.91 g1.9% DV
Cholesterol21.55 mg7.2% DV
Sodium2.27 mg0.1% DV
Table 18: Nutrition facts for whipped cream from an aerosol can per ounce (28.35g) serving

20. Ymer

Ymer is a soured milk dairy product from Denmark.

To make ymer, producers add a lactic acid bacterial culture (Lactococcus lactis) to whole milk and leave it to ferment. After fermentation, the whey portion of ymer is drained away, which gives it a thicker texture while also increasing the solid protein content (43).

Ymer has a tart flavor and a thick consistency similar to mousse.

Nutritionally, ymer provides the following nutrients per 100 grams. The data source is the National Food Institute with the Technical University of Denmark (44):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories72 kcal
Carbohydrates4.1 g1.5% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars3.37 g
Fat3.36 g4.3% DV
Saturated Fat2.34 g11.7% DV
Protein6.1 g12.2% DV
Cholesterol14 mg4.7% DV
Sodium46.8 mg2.0% DV
Table 19: Nutrition facts for ymer per 100 grams

21. Yogurt

An Open Pot of Yogurt With a Spoon.

Yogurt is one of the most popular foods in the world.

Its production involves heating milk to denature the proteins.

Following this, producers add bacterial cultures known as “yogurt cultures” (Lactobacillus and Streptococcus) to milk (45).

The temperature is kept warm for a few hours, and then the yogurt is allowed to cool.

After this, the yogurt needs to remain warm to ferment; the more extended the fermentation period, the sourer the yogurt will be.

Yogurt has been the focus of a wide variety of studies and is thought to have several potential health benefits. For example, in large systematic reviews and meta-analyses, yogurt intake is associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer (46, 47, 48, 49).

Here is the nutrition profile of whole milk yogurt per 100 grams (50):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories94 kcal
Carbohydrates4.75 g1.7% DV
Sugars3.25 g
Fat4.39 g5.6% DV
Saturated Fat2.39 g12.0% DV
Protein8.78 g17.6% DV
Cholesterol17 mg5.7% DV
Sodium34 mg1.5% DV
Table 20: Nutrition facts for yogurt (plain, whole milk) per 100 grams

Also, it is worth noting that Greek yogurt is a little different from regular yogurt. This dairy product has a thicker and creamier texture and contains more protein and less lactose than regular yogurt.

For more information, see this nutritional guide to Greek yogurt.

22. Zincica

It would be easy to call zincica the Slovakian version of kefir.

First of all, zincica does share many traits with kefir – the main difference being the type of milk.

To make zincica, sheep’s milk is fermented with a variety of lactic acid bacterial cultures.

After fermentation, people consume it as a drink.

Per 100 ml, zincica provides the following nutrients (51):

NameAmount% Daily Value
Calories40 kcal
Carbohydrates4.8 g1.7% DV
Fiber0 g0% DV
Sugars3.6 g
Fat1.1 g1.4% DV
Saturated Fat0.95 g4.8% DV
Protein2.7 g5.4% DV
Cholesterol5 mg1.7% DV
Sodium40 mg1.7% DV
Table 21: Nutrition facts for zincica per 100 grams

Common Questions

Here are the answers to some common further questions about dairy foods.

Are eggs a dairy product?

No, eggs are not dairy. Dairy products are foods made from milk.

What dairy foods are low in lactose?

Milk typically contains about 5% lactose by weight, but more processed dairy products like cheese, butter, and whey protein contain much less. This is because, with cheese, bacteria ferment lactose into lactic acid during the fermentation process. Butter is an almost pure source of dairy fat, and the fat content has been separated from carbohydrates (lactose) and protein. Whey protein is a concentrated dairy protein, and much of the carbohydrate (lactose) and fat has been removed. Dairy products like yogurt, quark, kefir, sour cream and other fermented products also contain less lactose than milk.

Does dairy cause inflammation?

It is possible to see online claims that dairy causes inflammation. However, there is no robust evidence to support this assertion. Several large systematic reviews have looked into this topic and found little evidence for dairy having an inflammatory effect. In fact, these reviews demonstrated a neutral to beneficial effect of dairy on markers of inflammation (52, 53, 54, 55).

Final Thoughts

There are many exciting dairy products available around the world. With globalization, most of them have become available outside their home nation.

Making most of these fermented dairy products from home is also possible, and recipes are only an Internet search away.

Overall, dairy products provide a range of beneficial nutrients and they taste great too.

For more dairy ideas, see this list of heavy cream alternatives.

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Michael Joseph, MSc

Michael works as a nutrition educator in a community setting and holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. He believes in providing reliable and objective nutritional information to allow informed decisions.