January 7, 2020 at 7:27 pm #4356
In trying to stay WFPB, I know to aviod coconut oil. However, I’m a little confused about coconut milk and coconut water. I was shocked when looked at the nutritional label of some prepackaged jackfruit in a coconut milk sauce. Since it had no oil I thought I was safe. Then I noticed the saturated fat for a serving was 90%… Yikes! Like plant-based almond milk, I thought coconut milk would be good too, but maybe not. Then what is the difference between coconut water and coconut milk? If you could help clear some of the confusion, it would be greatly appreciated, especially since I really like coconut and hope to be able to eat it in some form or another.
January 7, 2020 at 7:28 pm #4357
That is an interesting question! I have some opinions about coconut, but those aren’t facts. You’re right that the saturated fat in it is really high. I think coconut milk comes in full-fat and low-fat, but I don’t know that for sure. And I don’t know anything about coconut water. Let me do some digging next week and I’ll get back to you. 🙂
January 7, 2020 at 10:48 pm #4436
I have done some research and have some information to share. The first thing I had to do was figure out the difference between coconut milk and coconut water.
Coconut water is what is found inside the coconut. Best I can tell there is nothing wrong with drinking it as long as you don’t replace your daily intake of actual water with it.
Coconut milk is the liquid that is pressed out of the coconut meat (making it a processed food). It is loaded with saturated fats that will raise cholesterol. Making it something I would consider a rare treat.
Eating coconut itself (the whole food) is better than drinking the milk but still has a lot of saturated fat.
In my opinion, coconut oil should only be used on your skin and hair as it is the (bad) fat, concentrated.
This 15 minute audio from Dr Greger will give you more details.
I hope that is helpful! 🙂
January 7, 2020 at 10:48 pm #4437
That is helpful! I really appreciate your research into this as it was confusing, especially the difference between coconut water and coconut milk. Also that Pacific Islanders eat coconuts (whole?) regularly but some of their populations suffer little in the way of heart disease. I’d be curious to know about the heart disease rate in Thailand though since their food includes so much coconut milk and is one of my favorite types of food. Again, I guess it goes back to needing to consume the whole food, not just the milk, though almond milk can be the exception here?
Thank you for sharing your insights!!! I’ve learned so much.
January 7, 2020 at 10:48 pm #4438
It looks like Thailand doesn’t have great health records but I did find this: http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/thailand-coronary-heart-disease
Almond milk is still a processed food so we don’t recommend drinking it by the glass. We do use it a bit in baking and cooking. I feel like it’s different than coconut milk because it doesn’t have the saturated fat. But I think it’s a personal choice.
And yes, the whole food is always the best option.
Thanks for letting us know you find our work helpful. That is always nice to hear. 🙂
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