Status:Closed Asked:Feb 28, 2013 - 09:03 PM
I'm trying to lose weight- is it okay to drink coconut milk?
Coconut milk, (not to be confused with coconut water) is the white liquid that comes from the pressed meat of the coconut. It’s comprised mostly of oil and is one of the few plant-based fats that is considered to be “saturated.” We normally associate saturated fats with raising our LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and increasing the likelihood of heart disease. But the oil contained in coconut milk is a little different. This oil has a large percentage of Lauric Acid (one of many fatty acids that can make up fat). What’s unique about Lauric Acid is that it indeed raises blood cholesterol, but specifically affects our HDL or good cholesterol (Mensink, 2003). It’s not entirely certain at this time whether this translates into higher or lower incidences of heart disease in the long run, but if weight loss is what you’re looking for, you need to be aware of a few facts. Coconut milk is typically sold as either regular or light varieties. Regular coconut milk packs a huge caloric punch at 70 calories per ounce as opposed to the light variety-18 calories/ounce. Light coconut milk is manufactured by removing a good portion of the oil (fat) and replacing it with water so it’s not as thick as the original version but still retains much of the same flavor. As with everything else, it’s best to use it in moderation . Even the light variety will run you about 144 calories per cup-almost twice the amount of calories in a cup of non-fat milk. If it’s simply the flavor you’re after, you may want to consider mixing a portion of the light variety into non-fat milk. This way you’ll not only have a similar taste experience, but get a bonus of protein and calcium from the milk.
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