The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides advice on what to eat and drink to meet nutrient needs, promote health and prevent disease. The Dietary Guidelines and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend fat-free and low-fat (1%) milk, and other low-fat dairy products, for adults and children over the age of 2. Keep reading to learn why.

Whole milk and 2% milk have more fat compared to fat-free and low-fat milk. The type of fat found in milk has been linked to heart disease. It is for this reason, experts recommend fat-free and low-fat milk. Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same nutrients as whole and 2% milk without the extra fat. This includes vitamin D, calcium and potassium, which many kids don’t get enough of.

When you make the switch to fat-free or low-fat milk, you make more room for healthy fats found in foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, and salmon. For more information about healthy fats, visit MyPlate.

If your family prefers whole milk, gradually switch to lower-fat versions. By making the change from whole to fat-free and low-fat (1%) milk, you can cut the fat without losing important nutrients. For infants up to 1 year, breastmilk and/or formula are recommended. For toddlers 1-2 years old, experts recommend plain whole milk.

Fat-free and low-fat milk, and other low-fat dairy products can help support a healthy heart. Learn how much dairy your family needs here. If you have family members that can’t drink milk, try low-fat unsweetened yogurt or lactose-free dairy milk. Unsweetened soy milk with added calcium is also a great choice. For more information about drinks that can help your family stay healthy, visit

This article was written and reviewed by Rethink Your Drink Nevada’s team of dietetic professionals.

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