Coconut milk is the substance extracted from the thick white flesh (meat) of a ripe coconut fruit. It is different from coconut water which is the clear fluid that flows when you cut open a coconut fruit. It has similar color and texture with a cow’s milk and it has been widely used ingredient in many Asian cuisines for centuries.
Many nutritionists promote the use and consumption of coconut milk for its many health benefits. It contains coconut oil which promotes blood sugar regulation and a healthy cardiovascular system. It also strengthens our immune system to fight infection. The antioxidants found in coconut milk help our body fight cancer and other diseases.
Many users of coconut milk are concerned on the calorie content of coconut milk and it contributions to weight gain. Many people are also asking if coconut milk is fattening.
One cup of coconut milk contains 450 calories. We all have different energy needs and our daily calorie requirement is determined by different factors such as weight, amount of body muscle, activity level, and age. The recommended daily calorie intake ranges from 2000 to 3000 calories. Talk to a dietitian to learn your daily calorie requirement.
A cup of coconut milk a day is not bad at all as it is just a fourth of our daily calorie requirement. Don’t forget to exercise to burn extra calories in your body and prevent weight gain.
It is true that coconut milk contains a lot of fats. In fact, a third of white coconut meat is fat, and most of this (92%) is technically classed as saturated. However, these saturated fats are classified as medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are get burnt as energy rather than being stored as fat in our body.
One example of MCFA found in coconut milk is lauric acid, a fatty acid that is also found if human breast milk. This fatty acid is important in maintaining and building the body’s immune system to fight infection caused by viruses, bacteria, and protozoa.
Unlike coconut milk, cow’s milk contains long-chain fatty acids which end up in our body as stored fats. This is the reason why cow’s milk is fattening. So if you are looking for a healthier alternative to cow’s milk, choose coconut milk.
Studies show that animals fed with coconut oil are lean while animals fed with pure unsaturated oil are fat. These studies demonstrate the anti-obesity effect of coconut oil which is found in coconut milk.