Basic Guide to Easy Calorie Counting – Dairy Products

In the next post in this series I shall be looking at dairy products. Advice differs widely as to whether we should include dairy products in a healthy diet or not. At one point I remember a study which said eating low fat dairy can aid weight loss. On the other side of the coin it is claimed that many of us are lactose intolerant and shouldn’t eat dairy, especially milk, past the age of weaning.  Personally I’m very keen on dairy, especially cheese, and I also see it as a good source of calcium, so for me, it’s always part of my diet.

To count the calories in dairy, it is easiest to have a pair of scales and a measuring jug to hand. I’m going to keep the measurements UK style and use grams (g) and millilitres (ml). When you have measured the grams or millilitres of the product, use the formula below to calculate the calories.  For those items measured typically in spoons I have just given a rough calorie guide.

Milk and cream

Full cream milk – ml x 0.65
Semi skimmed milk (2%) – ml ÷ 2
1% milk – ml x 0.4
Skimmed milk – ml ÷ 3
Creme fraiche – full fat – 1 tablespoon – 50
Creme fraiche – low fat – 1 tablespoon – 25
Single cream – 1 tablespoon – 30
Double cream – 1 tablespoon – 70

Butter – g x 7.3


Hard cheese – e.g. cheddar – g x 4
Feta, mozzarella – g x 2.5
Brie, camembert (e.g. creamy soft cheese) – g x 3.5
Cream cheese – full fat – g x 2.5
Cream cheese – low fat – g x 1.5
Cottage cheese – full fat – g x 1
Cottage cheese – low fat – g x 0.7
Fromage frais (natural) – g ÷ 2


Natural full fat yoghurt – g x 1.4
Natural low fat yoghurt – g x 2/3
Other yoghurts – single pot – calories will be on the pot – differs widely

Ice cream – g x 2 (rough approximation as there are many types of ice-cream!)

Watch out for the next post in this series!

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