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Milk is considered as the only standalone meal which promotes body’s holistic growth. In the current era of health conscious people where full cream milk is frowned upon for its side effects, toned milk has emerged as an excellent alternative. It is low in calories but loaded with the same benefits as whole milk.

Let’s get to know what is toned milk and what are the health benefits that it provides.

  1. What is toned milk?
  2. Types of toned milk
  3. How toned milk is produced?
  4. Benefits of Toned Milk
  5. Side effects of Toned milk

Toned milk is prepared to reduce the original fat content and enhance the healthy essence of natural cow or buffalo milk. Though the carbohydrate and protein content of toned milk and full cream milk are essentially the same the major difference lies in the composition of milk solid non-fats (SNF), that is milk solids other than fats, which is usually higher in full cream milk

Whole milk contains almost 6% fat. There are two different types of toned milk depending upon how much fat content of whole milk has been reduced.

  • Single toned
  • Double toned

The term toned milk usually refers to single toned milk. It is produced by setting the fat and SNF content of mixed raw milk as per the standard norms set by the Food Safety And Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). These are:

  • Single toned: Single toned milk should contain no more than 3% fat and 8.5 % milk solids non-fat (SNF)
  • Double toned: Double toned milk should contain no more than 1.5% fat and 9.0%  milk solid not-fat (SNF)

Once the milk acquires the standard composition of toned milk it goes through the following steps:

  • Pasteurisation: Pasteurisation is the process of killing the most harmful pathogens present in raw milk to make it safe for drinking and to increase its shelf life. It can be done in either of the two ways:
    •  Low-temperature long time: In this milk is heated to about 63 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes
    • High-temperature short time (HTST): In this milk is heated to 72 degrees for about 15 seconds. While both methods are equally effective, HTST is more economical and is hence a preferred method in industries. Once it is pasteurised, toned milk is ready for consumption. It is sold in both poly packs and tetra packs forms
  • Homogenization: A process known as homogenization may be done before pasteurisation to break down fat particles, giving it a thick and wholesome consistency

  • Fortification: To improve its nutritional value, sometimes toned milk is fortified with vitamins A, D and E. Again, the amount and procedure of fortification are as per the standard levels set by the Food Safety and Security Authority of India (FSSAI)

Here is a table stating the nutritional composition of various types of milk (in grams except for calcium which is in milligrams) :

Type of milk


Fat (in %)




Full cream milk






Toned milk






Double toned milk






Skimmed milk






Toned milk, due to its low fat, high whey and calcium content is known to have many health benefits. Some of these are:

  • Helps in weight loss: If you have a sweet tooth but are too scared to cook with full cream milk with the fear of weight gain, toned milk can be an excellent alternative for you. Since it has almost half the fat content of full cream milk, it doesn’t increase the total calorie content of your meals. So, you can add it generously to your recipes without worrying about your waistline. Furthermore, toned milk contains ample amounts of whey protein, a milk protein that has a positive effect on metabolic functions. This protein helps control the regulation of various gut hormones which are related to reduced food intake and work to produce a feeling of satiety, ultimately helping you curb those hunger pangs and eat less. Whey protein is also known to improve lean muscle mass. Who doesn’t want a more toned body? (Read more: Diet chart for weight loss)

  • Easy digestion: It is a popular belief that toned milk is easier to digest than full cream milk. But did you ever wonder if there is any truth behind it? Well, research studies suggest that the rich whey content of toned milk does indeed makes it easy to process. Whey protein is soluble and remains in a liquid form in your stomach. It also has the ability to quickly pass through your alimentary canal. So even if you have an otherwise weak digestion, chances are you may be able to use toned milk without suffering from bloating or indigestion.

  • Lowers blood pressure: Drinking low fat-toned milk is known to decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension. This is in part due to the action of whey protein, which helps inhibit the action of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), a powerful vasoconstrictor responsible for the contraction of blood vessels. The low-fat content of toned milk makes it highly beneficial for people who constantly suffer from high blood pressure due to high cholesterol. It helps them keep tabs on their total fat intake while also enjoying their favourite dairy products. Scientific studies show that minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium have a protective action against high blood pressure by dilating blood vessel walls. Though this property has not yet been studied in toned milk, since it is loaded with all of these minerals, toned milk may as well have the same action.

  • Prevents osteoporosis: Being a good source of calcium and vitamin D, toned milk is highly beneficial in preventing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition characterised by demineralisation of bones and decreased bone strength, leading to an increased risk of fractures. While it is most commonly seen in the elderly, young people in any age group may be affected by this disease. Postmenopausal women are also at a high risk of osteoporosis due to estrogen-induced bone loss. Taking a daily dose of toned milk ensures that your bones get enough calcium and vitamin D to keep up with all the wear and tear going throughout the day. This not only aids in reducing the risk of fractures but also promotes bone strength.

  • Improves dental health: The calcium content of toned milk also makes it beneficial for dental health, especially for growing children. This is because calcium increases remineralization and decreases demineralization of hydroxyapatite and phosphate salts present in the enamel of teeth. In other words, it strengthens your teeth and helps maintain their pearly white sheen. Toned milk is also rich in vitamin D, which helps in the absorption of calcium and hence indirectly regulates its function.

  • Anti-oxidant properties: Casein, a sulphur-containing amino acid present in toned milk imparts it with natural antioxidant properties, making it one of the healthiest foods in the kitchen. These antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body and reduce oxidative stress, the most common cause of most lifestyle diseases such as obesity and heart problems. Bet you never knew a glass of milk can do this much for your health. In fact, to increase its antioxidant properties, toned milk is now being fortified with vitamins A and E which are natural antioxidants. As an added benefit it also helps you achieve your daily recommended dosage of these vitamins.

  • Although toned milk is considered healthy for all but research has indicated that excessive intake of low-fat dairy milk can lead to increased risk of several diseases from acne to prostate cancer
  • Toned milk should not be the sole source of nutrition for infants. Research evidence suggests that children who drink cow’s milk until the age of 3 are at a high risk of developing iron-deficiency anaemia as they grow up. Since toned milk has almost the same consistency as cow’s milk, it may have the same side effects
  • Also, toned milk is not good for lactose-intolerant people (Read more: Lactose intolerance symptoms)


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