The nutrition of coconut milk shows that not all plant-based foods are health foods. Although coconut milk is natural and delicious, it is also very high in fat and calories.
Calories and Fat
You might start out thinking that coconut milk is just another “base” ingredient, like soy milk, rice milk, or almond milk, but when you look at the label, you can see that there’s something different about this thicker, creamier liquid. A closer look shows that as a food that many Americans consider exotic, this item belongs more to the category of “comfort food” than something that is eaten for health purposes. It can be helpful to look at coconut milk in a traditional diet as the equivalent of red meat: in times and societies when most people do manual labor, they need a lot of calories to balance their energy expenditures, and coconut milk can help provide that fuel for hard-working bodies. By the same principle, without a lot of exercise to offset its calorie count, coconut milk can be pretty fattening.
There is a reason that nutritionists and other experts advise against using a lot of coconut milk in your diet. A 1 cup serving of this delicacy includes over 500 calories, rivaling the calorie count of a fast food burger. In addition, the same serving has almost 60 grams of fat, and most of that is from saturated fats–something your doctor will probably tell you to stay away from no matter what your health condition currently is.
This basic information on coconut milk is enough to let you know that this is not something that you can use in your diet for weight loss, but something that needs to be used sparingly for well-crafted dishes.
Loaded with Nutrients
Although coconut milk is high in fat and calories, there are some other elements in it that might be a little more positive. The 1 cup serving of coconut milk has about 5 grams of dietary fiber and 5 grams of protein. The 1 cup serving of coconut milk includes about 8 grams of sugars, as well.
When it comes to vitamins, as a natural plant-based food, coconut milk does have some of the basic elements that your body needs. It’s a source of iron and vitamin C, and it also contains folate, which pregnant women need for a healthy baby. However, as most doctors will tell you, the fat in coconut milk outweighs the dietary advantages. You can get the same or greater levels of vitamins and minerals from other sources without the fat and calories.
Keep in mind that even natural foods can be high in the stuff that you want to stay away from when crafting your weight loss or fitness meal plan. Doing “due diligence” on what you put into your meals will help you stay thinner, feel better, and enjoy a better quality of life. Always ask your doctor before making any radical changes to your diet.