Coconut milk is the white watery substance that is found inside the coconut. It is very rich in nutrients which keep the electrolyte balance in normal range. Coconut milk is both delicious and nutritious, but it is being more commonly used now not for these benefits alone, but also as a dairy substitute along with soy milk and rice milk. Patients suffering from lactose intolerance usually turn to one of these substitutes to avoid gastrointestinal discomfort that affects them when they consume milk or dairy products. Others are milk substitutes including coconut milk for search of a healthier alternative to milk which carries some saturated fat.
Coconut milk may be nutritious, but it certainly is not a weight loss friendly milk substitute. Coconut milk and its products are considered both high calorie foods and high fat content foods. Fats constitute 20% of coconut milk which is a huge percentage as compared to cow milk which carries 3% fat. Coconut milk contains medium-chain fatty acids and lauric acid which is responsible for raising cholesterol level in the blood. The high cholesterol has a bad impact on the cardiovascular system.
Various studies have showed that each cup of coconut milk contains about 550 calories. High calorie content in addition to the high fat content stimulates weight gain in the body, especially in the adipose tissues. Each cup of coconut milk contains about 52.5 grams of fat, 46.5 grams of which is saturated type of fat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, coconut milk provides the body with 250% of its daily saturated fat requirements, which is a very large percentage especially if the coconut milk is consumed on regular basis as a dairy substitute.
The saturated fat has been linked to many diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Coconut milk also contains approximately 25 grams of sugar per cup. That large amount of sugar is converted in the body to fat, also increasing the weight. People who regularly consumed coconut milk were found to have raised level of low density lipoproteins (LDL) to about 12 %.