Is Coconut Milk Good for Weight Loss? What You Need to Know

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: December 8, 2023
FACT CHECKED by Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Our content is meticulously researched and reviewed by an expert team of fact checkers and medical professionals. They ensure accuracy, relevance, and timeliness using the latest reputable sources, which are cited within the text and listed at the end of the article. Before publication and upon significant updates, we confirm factual accuracy, committed to providing readers with well-informed content. Learn more.

As a personal fitness coach, I've experimented with many different diets. And while I don't stick to a vegan diet, I have been interested in the health benefits of switching to a dairy milk substitute.

One of the most common types you find in health food stores is almond milk, but I was interested to find out if coconut milk was really as good for weight loss as so many people claim.

So, I teamed up with my dietitian and nutritionist to research the scientific data.

Here's what we found out about coconut milk.

Quick Summary

  • Coconut milk can aid weight loss when included in a balanced diet and exercise routine, due to its medium-chain fatty acids.
  • It's a healthier alternative to dairy milk, with lower sugar content and fewer blood sugar level fluctuations.
  • ResearchGate studies show that coconut milk's fatty acids are easily absorbed and transformed into ketones in the liver, aiding weight loss.
  • Personally, I find coconut milk a versatile and nutritious addition to various meals, enhancing both flavor and health benefits.

Is Coconut Milk Good For Weight Loss?

A glass of coconut milk in front of a coconut

Yes, coconut milk can be good for weight loss when it's combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine. Scientists from ResearchGate have shown that it's full of medium chain fatty acids, which makes it very different from cow's milk [1].

The reason these are important is that they are easily absorbed, and they go directly to the liver. According to ScienceDirect, they are then transformed into ketones [2].

When you consume coconut milk, those MCTs, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), can also lead to improved satiety [3].

"MCT oil is actually a potentially strong therapeutic agent, and could help with weight loss."

- Kamal Patel, Co-founder & Editor at Examine.com

Compared to cow's milk, which has considerably more sugar, coconut milk is a great source of healthy calories for your meal plans.

And if you want an extra boost in your weight loss efforts, then I recommend you also add some of our recommended fat burners formulated for women.

Related ArticleIs Coconut Milk Vegan?

Easy Ways To Consume More

It's easy to add coconut milk to lots of different meals. Check the label always to make sure you're buying unsweetened coconut milk.

In my experience, it's mostly coconut cream that you'll find with added sugar, so keep that in mind when you're picking one up in a store. 

First up, I mix coconut milk into my morning oatmeal for an extra creamy kick. At lunch, it's great as a soup base. My go-to? A no-fuss sweet potato and coconut milk soup. Come dinner, it jazzes up any curry or stir-fry. For an added crunch, I toss in some grated coconut.

Health-wise, coconut milk's a winner. It's not just creamy; it's packed with nutrients that boost immunity, and keep your skin and hair looking fab. Plus, coconut water's perfect post-workout. It's hydrating and loaded with electrolytes.

So, by weaving both canned coconut milk and coconut water into your daily eats, you're in for a tasty treat with some serious health perks.

Other Health Benefits Of Coconut Milk

Coconut milk and fresh coconut

The great thing is that there are many health benefits of coconut milk that go beyond helping with weight loss.

First of all, there's evidence that it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits that can significantly improve gut health and reduce the risks of all sorts of infections.

And for those who struggle with digesting dairy milk, even if they aren't lactose intolerant, coconut milk can be an ideal replacement for your breakfast cereal and even coffee creamer.

Comparison with Other Non-Dairy Milks

Coconut milk stands out among non-dairy alternatives like almond, soy, and oat milk, each offering unique nutritional profiles and health benefits.

  • Nutritionally, coconut milk is high in calories and saturated fats, making it a rich, creamy option. It's less protein-rich compared to soy milk, which is closest to cow's milk in protein content. Almond milk is low in calories and fats but also low in protein. Oat milk offers a balance, with moderate calories and fiber, beneficial for digestion.
  • For weight loss, almond milk's low-calorie profile is advantageous. However, coconut milk's fats can promote satiety. Soy and oat milk provide a good balance of protein and carbohydrates, aiding in fullness and energy.
  • Diet-wise, soy milk is excellent for high-protein needs but may not suit those with soy allergies. Almond milk is great for low-calorie diets but not for nut allergies. Oat milk is generally well-tolerated, barring gluten sensitivities. Coconut milk, while versatile, may be too high in fats for some diets.

FAQs

Can You Drink Coconut Milk Every Day?

Yes, you can drink coconut milk every day. In fact, it's a lot healthier than dairy milk, and the more you use it in your daily meal planning, the better the benefits for your weight loss and overall health will be.

Is Coconut Milk Full Of Sugar?

No, coconut milk isn't full of sugar. The total sugar content per 100 ml of coconut milk is 3.3%, which is significantly less than regular milk. This is a great reason why you should switch to this type of milk to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight.


References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270344195
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S175646462100373X
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8696422/
Was this article helpful?
YesNo

About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy

You May Also Like

A stressed woman with a headache
By Christiana Mikesch, CPT 4 months ago
Does Stress Cause Weight Loss? (4 Reasons You Should Know)
Kickboxers sparring in the ring
By Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC 4 months ago
5 Best Martial Arts for Weight Loss (What You Need to Know)
A coconut water splash inside a collage
By Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC 2 months ago
Is Coconut Water Before Workout Good? (Backed by Science)
Eggs beside weights and pre-workout powder
By Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT 2 months ago
Are Eggs Good Before a Workout? (3 Benefits You Should Know)
Top view of weighing scale and a lot of pills
By Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC 5 months ago
Do Steroids Make You Gain Weight? (What You Need to Know)
Is Milk Good Before a Workout Featured Image
By Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC 20 days ago
Is Milk Good Before a Workout? (From a Physical Trainer)

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.