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Is Coconut Milk Good for You? Benefits, Calories, and More

Coconut milk is one of the popular dairy-free alternatives to milk. Read on to learn more about this popular drink.
Holy Peas Team

Written by Holy Peas Team. Updated on November 7, 2022.

Coconut milk is a type of milk that is used in many recipes and has many lovers of its mild taste.

It might be confusing to call it milk, but coconut milk is derived from coconuts and is plant-based. You can consume coconut milk, which is often preferred by vegans, or you can use it in your recipes.

In this article, we will discuss coconut milk in detail. You can find out more about its health effects, spoilage procedure, side effects, how it is made, and more about coconut milk in this article.

Coconut Milk Nutritional Info and Calories

The richness of coconut milk may be attributed to the nutritious components that are found in coconuts.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food data central, a 100-ml serving of coconut milk offers the following nutritional values:

Energy: 150 kcal
Protein: 1.25 g
Fat: 15 g
Carbohydrates: 1.25 g

The amount of calories in coconut milk is quite high.

Fat accounts for about 93% of its calorie content, including saturated fats, often referred to as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

There has been some research to suggest that the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) included in coconut milk may assist with weight reduction, as well as improve metabolism and body composition.

The most important point to be considered when buying coconut milk is that it does not contain added sugar.

Most commercial coconut milk may contain added sugar to alter the mild flavor.

Potential Coconut Milk Health Benefits

The findings of scientific studies on coconut and coconut milk suggest that these foods may provide a number of health advantages. The nutritional density of these products is responsible for the positive effects on one’s health.

It’s Dairy-Free

Milk, which is produced by animals after giving birth, is the primary component of dairy products.

Coconut is a huge seed that may be found on palms in tropical climates. Coconut milk is not considered to be a kind of dairy since it is not produced from the breastmilk of an animal but rather from the flesh of a coconut.

If you are trying to stay away from dairy products as part of your diet, you shouldn’t have any trouble drinking any kind of coconut milk, or other plant-based milk such as oat, almond, soy, cashew milk, or pea milk.

It’s Lactose-Free

Lactose is a kind of carbohydrate that may be typically found in milk and other dairy products.

Some individuals cannot ingest lactose owing to a disorder known as lactose intolerance. Those who have this disease do not produce enough lactase enzyme, which is required for the breakdown and digestion of lactose in an appropriate manner.

Because of this, it is not uncommon for them to suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and gas after consuming dairy products that contain lactose.

Lactose can be found in animal milk and dairy products. Plant-based foods could not include lactose. So, coconut milk does not contain lactose and may be included in a diet that excludes foods containing lactose.

It Can be Consume in Cow’s Milk Allergy

Since coconut milk does not include any dairy products in its natural state, it is not dangerous for anyone who is allergic to cow’s milk.

In contrast to lactose intolerance, an allergy to cow’s milk triggers an immunological reaction in the body.

After consuming anything that includes milk, a person who is afflicted by this condition may have allergy symptoms such as hives, wheezing, and/or stomach distress as a consequence.

People who are allergic to milk may find that drinking coconut milk is a suitable alternative.

Having said that, it is possible that a number of goods including coconut that claims coconut milk on their label might not always lack dairy. Always do your best to carefully read labels before consuming anything.

It’s Keto-Friendly

As a result of its naturally high-fat content and low carbohydrate content, unsweetened standard coconut milk is an excellent food choice for those following a ketogenic diet.

On the other hand, certain kinds already include sweeteners and hence may not be suitable for a ketogenic diet.

In the meanwhile, low-fat variants are theoretically compatible with the ketogenic diet, but you won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of classic coconut milk’s naturally high-fat content.

Therefore, the ideal option for you is to consume unsweetened full-fat coconut milk if you want to increase the amount of fat and creaminess in any of your favorite keto dishes.

It’s Antioxidant-Rich

Coconut is packed with phenolic chemicals, which are a kind of antioxidant that may assist in preventing oxidative damage to cells. The following are the primary phenolic compounds that have been identified:

  • gallic acid
  • salicylic acid
  • caffeic acid
  • p-coumaric acid

The study done on coconut has revealed that it has the ability to neutralize potentially dangerous chemicals known as free radicals, which are a contributing factor in chronic illness.

Additionally, certain antioxidants included in coconut have the potential to help guard against DNA damage and could also assist in protecting cells from the death and destruction that may be induced by oxidative stress as well as chemotherapy.

How Is Coconut Milk Made?

To stay away from additives and sugar, you can make your own coconut milk.

This is both very easy and allows you to adjust the consistency according to your taste.

It consists of 2 simple steps in total:

  1. Combine unsweetened and grated coconut with water in a blender.
  2. The thoroughly mixed white mixture is filtered with the help of cheesecloth.

The white liquid that remains under the filtrate is your homemade coconut milk.

Does Coconut Milk Go Bad?

Yes, it certainly does. The shelf life of coconut milk varies based on packaging (can vs. carton), as well as the conditions and ways in which it is stored.

How Long Does Coconut Milk Last

The shelf life of unopened cans of coconut milk is around to be between two and five years.

Unopened cartons of coconut milk have around one-month shelf life.

Additionally, the cans and cartons of coconut milk will often be labeled with expiry dates; thus, it is important that you verify these dates before buying the products.

How Long Is Coconut Milk Good For After Opening

Coconut milk, whether in cans or packs, should be stored refrigerated after opening and should be consumed within seven days at the most.

You can also store your homemade coconut milk for five to seven days under proper storage conditions.

Although these periods have not expired, if there are any signs of texture changes or deterioration, it will be right to discard the milk.

Coconut Milk Side Effects

It is quite unlikely that the milk will have any negative effects on you unless you have an allergy to coconuts.

Coconut allergy is not as common as nut allergy, especially peanut allergy and tree nut allergy.

On the other hand, digestive disease specialists advise that individuals with FODMAP resistance consume no more than half a cup (120 milliliters) of coconut milk in one sitting.

Bisphenol A (BPA), a harmful chemical that may seep into food from the liner of cans, is present in a variety of canned foods, including many of the types that are sold in stores.

Studies conducted on both humans and animals have shown that exposure to BPA increases the risk of developing cancer and reproductive issues.

If you prefer to eat canned coconut milk, it is highly suggested that you choose a company that does not package its products with BPA.

Also, coconut milk should not be consumed by anybody who has a sensitivity to coconut. In case of any side effects and anaphylaxis, a doctor should be consulted quickly.

Although it is one of the common ingredients in curries, there are great coconut milk substitutes if you’re looking to avoid it.

Coconut Milk Sustainability

Coconut milk has a generally positive impact on the environment since coconut plants use substantially less water than dairy and also absorb carbon dioxide.

On the other hand, since coconuts can only be produced in tropical climates, there is a restricted amount of land where they can flourish.

That implies that as manufacturers increase their operations, big manufacturing production of coconut milk will encroach upon the habitat of many animal species.

There is a growing concern that the ecosystem and the fauna in these regions may be subjected to an increased amount of stress as a result of the growing worldwide desire for coconut milk.


Coconut milk is a type of milk derived from coconuts.

It’s non-dairy, lactose-free, and rich in antioxidants that can offer a variety of health benefits.

Its nutritional composition is rich and its calories are higher than other plant milk.

Fats make up most of the calories, and most of these fats come from medium-chain fatty acids known as MCTs. There are health benefits attributed to MCT fatty acids.

Coconut milk is considered ketogenic as long as no added sugar is added. It is quite easy to make at home.

Whether it is homemade, can, or packaged, coconut milk can spoil if it is not stored in the right conditions and consumed on appropriate dates.

Sustainability and the environmental burden are better than dairy products. Still, there are concerns about the faunal change and reducing the animals’ habitat as production expands.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

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