Happy #FFF & ANS

Happy Fun & Flexible Friday!!
How has your November been so far? I LOOOOVE November! (it’s also my bday month..hint, hint!)
Any fun weekend plans?
It’s ANS with our NutriSavvy Registered Dietitian, Lauren O’Connor.
Your questions keep rocking, so please, keep them coming!
Q:  I’m really loving the coconut milk since you turned me onto it. It has more body than other nut/soy milks. the flavor is REALLY mild and I think it might even be better nutritionally than some of the other milks: Is this so? 
Note: I always buy unsweetened. 
A: Some of the recent types of coconut milks, specifically those designed as replacements for cow’s milk, can be both delicious and nutritious. Coconut milk contains a healthy dose of calcium as well as phosphorus, both good for building / maintaining strong bones. Additionally, it contains the antioxidant Vitamin A. Coconut is also rich in heart-healthy B vitamins, as well as vitamin D and magnesium (also good for bone health). Now it is not to be confused with canned coconut milk, which is quite dense in thickness as well as calorically – yes providing many important vitamins and minerals, but still quite rich and thus should be consumed sparingly. Those contain about 500 calories (and more than 40g saturated fats) per cup.
On the market, there are now a variety of brands that are designed as a milk alternative -relatively low in calories and quite pleasant in taste. One of the lowest calorie coconut milk – milk alternatives is Unsweetened So Delicious Coconut Milk: At just 50 calories per cup, it is low in sodium, has no cholesterol, has no sugars, yet provides adequate calcium and heart-healthy potassium. Other brands may be as caloric as 2% milk (120 cal) which isn’t so bad, perhaps these may have a thicker consistency and more full-filling mouthfeel. It is important to always read labels to see the nutritional values your product contains as they may vary in fats, sat fats, sugars, etc.
Do note that some of those commercial blends contain more than just health benefits from coconut, such as added sweeteners (ie sugar or a non-nutritive sweetener) and other less-than-healthy additives.  So just like any milk alternative (whether almond, soy or hemp…) you have to read the labels!
Good that you are buying unsweetened. : )
Please check out my recent article “Coconut, is it all that it is cracked up to be?” with more information on coconut: research on health claims, and other healthy alternatives to milk.
Continue to seek out unsweetened coconut milk (or alternate with other of unsweetened milk alternatives such as hemp milk and almond milk which also provide good taste and nutrition). Be sure to look for those with the least amount of sugars/sugar substitutes and other additives. (Or make your own to get the health benefits without the additives). And enjoy while staying within recommended dietary limits of saturated fats.
If you’re in Orange County tomorrow, Saturday, please visit me at Mother’s Market.
I’ll be in Costa Mesa in the a.m. and Laguna Woods in the afternoon.

14 thoughts on “Happy #FFF & ANS”

  1. As long as we are discussing coconuts, I have an autoimmune disease and my nutritionist has me drinking not only coconut milk (unsweetened) but also coconut water. She said coconut cools the immune system. I had low energy, weight gain, sore joints and depression associated with Hashimoto. After giving up gluten, dairy and soy and adding the coconut in my diet, I feel 90% better. I have even lost 12 pounds. So if anyone else out there is struggling with an autoimmune problem, talk to your doctor or nutritionist about the benefits of coconut products.

  2. I’ve been using coconut milk quite a bit lately and have gotten to the point that I really don’t notice much of a difference between regular milk and coconut milk. My (normal grocery) store doesn’t offer unsweetened yet, but maybe I will ask for it and see what they do.

    I’m looking forward to visiting with my brother out here for work (from Tennessee) this weekend.

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