Milk is one of the richest dietary sources of calcium and a staple dairy product in many countries. (
Toned milk is a slightly modified yet nutritionally similar version of traditional cow’s milk.
It’s primarily produced and consumed in India and other parts of Southeast Asia.
This article explains what toned milk is and whether it’s healthy.
Toned milk is usually made by diluting whole buffalo milk with skim milk and water to create a product that’s nutritionally comparable to traditional whole cow’s milk.
The process was developed in India to improve the nutritional profile of full-cream buffalo milk and expand its production, availability, affordability, and accessibility..
Diluting the buffalo milk with skim milk and water decreases its total fat content but maintains its concentration of other important nutrients, such as calcium and protein.
Toned milk is a dairy product made by adding skim milk to full-cream buffalo milk to reduce its fat content, maintain its nutritional value, and increase the total quantity and availability of milk.
The majority of the world’s milk supply comes from cows, with buffalo milk ranking in second place (2).
Both types are rich in protein, calcium, potassium, and B vitamins. However, full-cream buffalo milk is naturally much higher in saturated fat than whole cow’s milk (
This feature makes buffalo milk an excellent choice for making cheese or ghee, but it’s less suitable for drinking ─ especially for people seeking to limit sources of saturated fat in their diets.
Toned milk is usually made from a combination of buffalo and cow’s milk to reach a concentration of about 3% fat and 8.5% non-fat milk solids, including milk sugar and proteins.
This is comparable to whole cow’s milk, which is typically 3.25–4% fat and 8.25% non-fat milk solids (2, 6).
The chart below compares the basic nutritional content of 3.5 ounces (100 ml) of whole cow’s milk and toned milk, according to toned milk product labels (
|Whole cow’s milk||Toned milk|
|Carbs||5 grams||5 grams|
|Protein||3 grams||3 grams|
|Fat||3 grams||4 grams|
If you’re interested in reducing your fat intake, you can choose double-toned milk, which has about 1% total fat content and is most comparable to low-fat milk.
Toned milk and whole cow’s milk are almost nutritionally identical, with very minor differences in total calories, as well as fat and protein contents.
Is toned milk a healthy choice?
Toned milk is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. In moderation, it’s a very healthy choice for most people.
In fact, routinely consuming dairy products like toned milk is associated with various potential health benefits, including improved bone mineral density and a reduced risk of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes (
Though most research shows benefits, limited evidence suggests that excessive dairy intake may increase the risk of certain illnesses, including acne and prostate cancer, in some people (
Additionally, if you’re lactose intolerant or have a milk protein allergy, you should avoid toned milk.
If you don’t have these dietary restrictions, a good rule of thumb is to practice moderation and be sure to maintain an otherwise balanced diet that emphasizes a variety of healthy, whole foods.
Toned milk is a nutritious option and offers many of the same benefits associated with cow’s milk. Excessive intake of dairy products could pose some health risks, so practice moderation and ensure a balanced diet.
The bottom line
Toned milk is made by diluting full-fat buffalo milk with skim milk and water to reduce its fat content.
The process retains nutrients like calcium, potassium, B vitamins, and protein, making the product nutritionally similar to cow’s milk.
In moderation, toned milk may offer the same benefits as other dairy products.
If you’re allergic or intolerant to dairy, you should avoid toned milk. Otherwise, it can be a healthy addition to a balanced diet.