The USDA recommends choosing low-fat or non-fat milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. Products that have a high calcium content count toward a person's daily dairy intake, while low-calcium products, such as butter, cream and cream cheese, do not. While these products are technically dairy, they are not considered dairy on the USDA's food pyramid.
Adult women and men should consume three servings of dairy products daily, while children should consume two to three servings daily. A serving is 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of evaporated milk, 1/3 cup of shredded cheese, 1 cup of ricotta cheese or 1 cup of yogurt. Soy milk also counts as a dairy serving because of its similar nutritional content. A serving of soy milk is 1 cup.
The majority of a person's dairy should come from whole sources, although processed dairy desserts count toward dairy requirements. For instance, a serving of dairy can be 1 cup of pudding, 1 cup of frozen yogurt or 1 1/2 cups of ice cream. For these dairy desserts to count, they must contain real milk.Learn more about Food Facts