Mayo Clinic Health Library

Exchange list: Milk and yogurt

Updated: 09-25-2012

Milk and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium and protein. One serving (exchange) of milk or yogurt contains about 12 grams of carbohydrate, 8 grams of protein and variable amounts of fat. Check the product label to see how much fat and how many calories each product contains.

  • Fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt products. One serving contains zero to 3 grams of fat and 100 calories.
  • Reduced-fat milk and yogurt products. One serving contains 5 grams of fat and 120 calories.
  • Whole milk and yogurt products. One serving contains 8 grams of fat and 160 calories.

Various types of milk and yogurt may count as slightly different milk and carbohydrate exchanges.

TypeFoodServing sizeExchange value
Fat-free and low-fat milk and yogurt products      
  Buttermilk 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 1 fat-free milk
Chocolate milk 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 1 fat-free milk plus 1 carbohydrate
Evaporated milk 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) 1 fat-free milk
Milk 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 1 fat-free milk
Yogurt, plain or flavored with an artificial sweetener 2/3 cup (6 ounces) 1 fat-free milk
Yogurt, low-fat with fruit 2/3 cup (6 ounces) 1 fat-free milk plus one carbohydrate
Reduced-fat milk and yogurt products      
  Milk 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 1 reduced-fat milk
Soy milk, light 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 1 carbohydrate plus 1/2 fat
Yogurt, plain 2/3 cup (6 ounces) 1 reduced-fat milk
Whole milk and yogurt products      
  Buttermilk 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 1 whole milk
Chocolate milk 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 1 whole milk plus 1 carbohydrate
Evaporated milk 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) 1 whole milk
Milk 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 1 whole milk
Soy milk, regular 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 1 carbohydrate plus 1 fat
Yogurt, plain 1 cup (8 ounces) 1 whole milk
Other      
  Eggnog, made with whole milk 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) 1 carbohydrate plus 2 fats
Rice drink, fat-free, plain 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 1 carbohydrate
Rice drink, low-fat, flavored 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 2 carbohydrates

Modified with permission from "Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Diabetes." American Diabetes Association and American Dietetic Association; 2008. While designed primarily for people who have diabetes and others who must follow special diets, the exchange lists are based on principles of good nutrition that apply to everyone.

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