Milk Products

Updated:Jan 28,2013

AHA Recommendation

  • Choose 2–3 servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy products for adults. Children should have two or more servings, teenagers and older adults should have four. 
  • For dessert or snacks, choose ice milk, frozen or fruited low-fat or nonfat yogurt, sherbet, sorbet or low-fat puddings.

Choose from:

  • Fat-free, zero-fat, no-fat or nonfat milk
  • ½–1% low-fat or light milk
  • Nonfat or low-fat dry milk powder
  • Evaporated fat-free milk
  • Buttermilk made from fat-free or 1% fat milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
  • Frozen fat-free or low-fat yogurt
  • Drinks made with fat-free or 1% fat milk and cocoa
    (or other low-fat drink powders)
  • Low-fat cheeses (dry-curd or low-fat, cottage cheese, low-fat natural cheeses or processed cheeses made with nonfat or low-fat milk with no more than 3 grams of fat per ounce and no more than 2 grams of saturated fat per ounce)
  • Fat-free or low-fat ice cream (no more than 3 grams of fat per 1/2 cup serving)

Shopping and preparation tips

  • Fat-free, ½% fat and 1% fat milk all provide slightly more nutrients than whole milk and 2% fat milk. But they're much lower in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and calories.
  • If you're used to whole-milk products (3.5% fat), you may find it easier to taper off slowly. Try 1% low-fat milk first, then change to ½% low-fat milk. Soon you'll be able to switch to fat-free milk with no trouble.

Note: The servings per day of milk products are higher to reflect revised recommendations for calcium intake — 1,000 milligrams for all adults until age 50; 1,200 milligrams at age 50 and older. For vitamin D, the revised recommendations are 400 I.U.s (International Units) for everyone age 51 and older; 600 I.U.s for age 71 and older.

Related AHA publications:

Related AHA Scientific Statements:
Diet/Nutrition

See also:

Cookbooks
Calcium
Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Children
Fat
Fats and Oils
Imitation Milk
Meat, Poultry and Fish
Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetarian Diets