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Page | Last updated: 14 Jun 2024

Food-Based Dietary Guidelines recommendations for milk and dairy products

Summary of FBDG recommendations for milk and dairy products for the the EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom

Due care was taken to ensure factually correct information. Food groupings and food group names differ across individual FBDGs; the ones used here are a compromise to present the information in a structured way. Differences such as those in number of portions and portion sizes were kept unaltered. The original country FBDGs and the responsible national public health authorities remain the only qualified points of reference.

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Belgium 250-500 ml of milk or dairy products per day--
BulgariaConsume daily one glass of sour or fresh milk (200 ml) and 50 g of cheese

- Prefer milk and dairy products with low fat and salt content.

- Choose fresh and low-fat (1.5%) or skimmed (0.1-0.5%) yogurt.

- Prefer cheeses and curds with reduced and low fat and salt content.

- Desalt salty brined cheeses by letting them sit for a while in water.

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Czechia-Include milk and dairy products daily, especially soured ones (e.g. yogurts, soured milk drinks, kefirs).- Preferably choose low-fat options.-

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DenmarkAbout 250 ml milk or dairy products  and 20 g of cheese a day is adequate when eating a plant-rich and varied diet

- Choose mainly skimmed milk or buttermilk.

- Choose mainly fermented milk products, such as plain yogurt, with a maximum of 1.5% fat and choose mainly cheese with a maximum of 17% fat (30+).

- Limit your intake of high-fat dairy products, such as cream.

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GermanyEvery day, eat 200-250 g low-fat milk and milk products, and 2 slices (50-60 g) of low-fat cheese

- Milk and dairy products every day.

- Prefer low-fat products.

150 g fermented milk products, 1 glass of milk, 1 slice of cheese = 30 g
Note: Included in the "animal products" group
Estonia2-3 portions

- Do not replace with plant substitutes.

- Liquid dairy products: prefer 2.5% fat.

- Cheese: prefer low-fat (not fat-free), low-salt.

- Sweeten yoghurt, curd with berries and fruit.

- Avoid very fat products.

Milk: 2.5 dl if <2.5% fat, 2 dl if 2.5%, 1.7 dl if >2.5%, 200 g sour milk, cheese, kefir (≤2.5%), flavoured curd. Cottage cheese: 130 g if ≤2.5%, 120 g if 2.51-5%, 80 g if >5%. Non-flavoured yoghurt: 200 g if ≤2.5%, 150 g if 2.51-6%, 100 g if 6.1-10%. Cheeses: 90 g if ≤9.9%, 50 g if 10-20.9%, 35 g if 21-29.9%, 25 g if >30%. Sour cream: 100 g if 10%, 50 g if 20%, 35 g if 30%, 30 g if ≥30%. Flavoured yoghurt: 140 g  if ≤2,5%, 100 g if >2.5%. Flavoured curds, cottage cheese: 100 g  if ≤2.5%, 75 g if > 2.5%. 1 portion ≈ 110 kcal.

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Ireland3 servings a day of milk, yoghurt, and cheese

- Choose reduced-fat or low-fat varieties.

- Choose low-fat milk and yoghurt more often than cheese.

- Enjoy cheese in small amounts.

1 glass (200 ml) milk, 1 carton (125 g) yoghurt, 1 bottle (200 ml) yoghurt drink, 2 thumbs (25 g hard or semi-hard cheese such as cheddar or edam, 2 thumbs (25 g) soft cheese such as brie or camembert.
Greece2 servings/d

- Consume a variety of dairy products.

- Prefer low-fat dairy products.

1 glass of milk (250 ml); 1 cup of yoghurt (200 g); 30 g hard natural cheese; 60 g soft cheese.
SpainA maximum of 3 servings daily, without added sugar and with a low salt contentDue to the high environmental impact of dairy products, it is suggested to reduce the number of daily servings if you consume other foods of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, milk)One serving= 200-250 ml of milk (example: 1 glass or cup of milk), 85-125 g of fresh cheese, 40-60 g of cured cheese (example: 2-3 slices of cheese), 125 g of yogurt (example: 1 unit of yogurt).
Note: In situations of deficiency and high nutritional demand (pregnancy, lactation, anorexia associated with aging), dairy consumption is recommended for its high nutritional contribution and ease of consumption

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France2 dairy products per day (can be increased to 3 in case of small portions)

- Favour cheeses with the highest calcium content and less fat.

- Given the risks associated with contaminants, be sure to vary the dairy products.

1 portion = 150 ml milk, 125 g yoghurt, 30 g cheese
Croatia-Consume daily milk and dairy products-
Note: They are source of proteins, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and especially calcium
Italy3 portions milk or yoghurt every day; 3 portions of cheese per week

- Choose semi-skimmed milk.

- Prefer cheeses with lower fat and salt content and consume them in moderate quantities.

125 ml milk; 125 g yoghurt; 100 g cheese <25% fat content (<300 kcal/100 g); 50 g cheese >25% fat content (>300 kcal/100 g)

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Cyprus2-3 portions/d milk or yoghurtSkimmed milk is recommended (i.e. containing 0-1% fat), alternatively low fat (< 2% fat)1 serving = 1 cup (240 ml) milk; 1/2 cup (120 ml) skimmed, unsweetened, condensed milk; 1/3 cup (80 ml) skimmed milk powder; 1 cup (240 ml) low-fat yoghurt; 1 cup (240 ml) kefir (ayran); 30 g halloumi or feta cheese, 35 g anari cheese, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) anari / halloumi, grated.
Note: Cheese is included in one group together with meat, legumes, eggs, peanut butter, tofu and fish
Latvia2 to 3 servings a day

- Prefer low-fat versions of milk and dairy products.

- It is recommended to choose skimmed dairy products without added sugar or salt.

- Especially recommended are sour milk products like kefir, yogurt, buttermilk etc.

- Include milk in your diet with a fat content of no more than 2.5%.

- Limit the use of cream and sour cream in cooking. 

unsweetened milk or sour milk product, such as kefir, buttermilk, unadulterated yoghurt - one glass; cheese - one slice or 30 g; cottage cheese - 100 g
Lithuania-

- Choose dairy products that are low in fat, salt and sugar.

- Prefer low-fat cottage cheese and cottage cheese, kefir, buttermilk, low-fat unsweetened curd, sour milk.

- Limit or moderate dairy products high in saturated fat, such as cream, sour cream, fermented milk cheeses and other fatty cheeses.

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Luxembourg3 portions per day

- Opt for a variety. Vary between milk, yoghurt and fresh, soft and hard cheese.

- Opt for semi-skimmed milk products. Creamy yoghurts and cream cheese contain more fat than other milk, yoghurt and cheese products. Make sure you check the Nutri-Score. It will help you make the right choices for a balanced diet.
- Flavoured and sweetened milks and chocolate milk drinks are considered sugary drinks and should only be consumed occasionally.
One portion is equivalent to 200 ml of milk or 1 small pot of yoghurt or quark/cream cheese (125g), 1 slice of hard cheese or 1/8 of a Camembert-type cheese or 2 tablespoons of fromage frais.
Note: Milk, yoghurt and cheese are the main source of calcium in the diet.
Hungary

- 0.5 L milk (or equivalent) per day is recommended.

- Consume milk and dairy products every day.

- Choose low-fat.

- Each meal should have complete protein.

2 dl milk / yoghurt / kefir, 50 g curd, 30 g cheese
Note: Included in "Meat/fish/eggs/milk and dairy products" group
Malta2 servings/d

- Choose low-fat plain milk, yoghurt and cheese as part of your daily diet.

- Lower fat versions are still high in protein and calcium.

250 ml milk; 1 tub (150 ml) yoghurt; 30-40 g cheese; 45-50 g rikotta/ġbejna

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Netherlands

- 2-3 servings and 40 g cheese per day for both men and women aged 19-50 yr.

- Additional recommendations for children; elderly; pregnant women; lactating women.

Consume sufficient dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, and cheeseGlass or small bowl: 150 ml
Note: Included in protein-rich products
Austria

- 3 portions/d.

- Ideally 2 servings "white" (e.g. yoghurt, cottage cheese, butter milk) and 1 serving "yellow" (cheese).

Prefer low-fat productsMilk (200 ml), yoghurt (180-250 g), buttermilk (200 g), cottage cheese (200 g), cheese (50-60 g)
PolandAt least 2 large glasses of milk or alternatively 1 yoghurt, kefir, buttermilkCheese has even greater calcium content (100 g covers 100% calcium needs) but should still be eaten less often and in lesser amount than milk, yoghurt, kefir due to its fat and energy content-

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Portugal2-3 servings of dairy 1 cup (250 ml) milk, 1 liquid yoghurt or 1.5 solid yoghurt (200 g), 2 thin slices of cheese (40 g), 1/4 fresh cheese - medium size (50 g), 1/2 curd - medium size (100 g)
Romania2-3 servings of fresh dairy productsPrefer low-fat products like skimmed milkA cup of milk or yoghurt, ½ cup cottage cheese, 50 g feta
Slovenia400-600 ml of milk or suitable substitutes daily

- Consume low-fat milk and dairy products.

- If you consume ready-made yogurts with fruit, choose the ones with as little added sugar as possible.

 
Note: 100 ml of milk contains about 120 mg of calcium, a similar amount is also in 15 g of hard or 30 g of soft cheese

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Slovakia2 portions of milk or dairy products dailyIncrease intake of skimmed milk, low fat yoghurt and reduced fat cheese1 glass of milk (250 ml) or 1 yoghurt (150 ml) or 2 slices of cheese (50 g)
Finland5-6 dl of liquid milk products and 2-3 slices of cheese daily

- Prefer low-fat, select max. 1% fat content for milk, buttermilk, yoghurt, curdled milk.

- Use skimmed milk, skimmed buttermilk, non-flavoured or low sugar yoghurt.

- Max. 17% fat and preference to reduced salt content in cheese.

- If necessary can be replaced with V-derived drinks fortified with Ca and vitamin D, e.g. soy/oat drinks.

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Sweden-

- Switch to low-fat dairy products.

- Choose low-fat, unsweetened products enriched with vitamin D.

- Look for the Keyhole symbol.

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Note: Depending on what else you eat, cheese for example, 2-5 dl of milk or fermented milk a day is all you need to make sure you get enough calcium

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United Kingdom-

- Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks); choose lower fat, lower sugar and calcium-fortified options.

- Swap flavoured or corner-style yoghurts for low fat, lower sugar yoghurts, adding fresh fruit for variety.

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Note: Butters and creams are not included in this group as they are high in saturated fat and so they fit into the ‘foods to eat less often and in small amounts’ section
Switzerland3 portions/d

- Choose low-fat dairy options if you want to reduce energy intake.

- Prefer dairy products without added sugar.

2 dl milk or 150-200 g yoghurt/fresh cheese, 30 g semi/hard cheese, 60 g soft cheese
Notes: Included in one group together with meat, fish, eggs, and tofu. In addition to the 3 portions/d, 1 portion of a protein-rich food such as meat, fish, eggs, and tofu can be replaced by cheese/quark.
Iceland

- 2 glasses, dishes or cans of milk or dairy products a day or 500 ml.

- Cheese can partly substitute dairy products.

- One portion of dairy products equals 25 g of cheese.

- Use most often low fat, unsweetened or low sugary dairy products without artificial sweeteners.

- Limit the consumption of milk products that contain much of saturated fat such as whole milk, cream, fatty cheeses or butter.

- However, there is room for moderate consumption of fatter dairy products occasionally if the diet is otherwise in accordance with recommendations.

- Choose milk products with the Keyhole label if possible.

250 ml liquid dairy; 25 g cheese
Norway-

- Include low-fat dairy products as a part of your daily diet.

- Limit the use of dairy products that contain high levels of saturated fat, such as whole milk, cream, fatty cheeese and butter.

- Choose dairy products with low fat, salt, and added sugar.

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Notes: A daily intake of lean dairy products means three portions a day. Examples of portions of dairy products are given.