Can you drink coconut milk?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can you drink coconut milk?” and will discuss the possible health benefits of coconut milk.

Can you drink coconut milk?

Yes, you can drink coconut milk. Coconut milk has health advantages when consumed in moderation, but overconsumption might have negative consequences.

Coconut milk is an oil-in-water emulsion, in which continuous phase is water and oil is dispersed phase. The composition of coconut milk is generally dependent on that of the coconut meat used for extraction (1).

There are a lot of calories and a lot of fat in coconut milk. Weight gain may occur if one consumes too much coconut milk. Fermentable carbohydrates may be found in coconut milk. Irritable bowel syndrome sufferers may have diarrhea or constipation as a result of fermentable carbohydrates.

When it comes to making coconut milk, what is the process?

It’s the white flesh inside a coconut that’s used to make the milk. When it comes to coconut water and milk, they are two different things. You may use coconut milk in a variety of ways. Using ripe coconuts, producers shred their flesh, then squeeze the juice through cheesecloth. Thin milk, on the other hand, loses more of its fat.

The coconut flesh that is pressed out of the cheesecloth yields thin coconut milk. Second, it is diluted with warm water and strained through a cheesecloth. Because of this, the liquid that is produced is considerably more flimsy. By squeezing the white inner flesh of a coconut, the thick coconut milk is produced, containing 20–22% fat. By adding water or coconut water before further squeezing, the thin coconut milk is produced, with a 5–7% fat (2).

Industrially, the screw press or hydraulic is employed  to extract the milk. The efficiency of extraction and composition of coconut milk from coconut meat are governed by operation parameters such as the temperature of added water and the pressing condition (1).

Top health advantages of coconut milk.

Coconut milk has been shown to have three key health advantages, according to research. Weight reduction, heart health, and immune system health are all discussed in the following sections. However, coconut milk cannot be considered as an equivalent to milk (2).

Weight reduction

Coconut milk contains from 5 to 22% coconut oil. This kind of fat has been related to weight reduction by studies because it includes medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), also called medium chain fatty acids (MUFA). Thermogenesis, or the generation of heat, is the mechanism through which MCTs help the body produce energy. MCFAs are burned up immediately after consumption and therefore the body uses it instantly to make energy, instead of storing it as body fat (1).

MCTs have been shown to help people lose weight and decrease their waistlines, according to certain research. They may also help to stabilize the bacteria in the intestines. Obesity may be linked to a lack of this stability.

Effect of coconut oil on LDL oxidation in cholesterol, blood coagulation factors, and lipid levels fed Sprague–Dawley rats were studied. Antioxidant levels were higher and also reduced the triglyceride and cholesterol levels in coconut oil fed animals (1).

MCTs have been shown to boost insulin sensitivity, which may lead to weight reduction, according to a study published in 2019. Glucose is broken down and blood sugar levels are maintained by insulin, an important hormone. Coconut products are shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower insulin levels thereby lowering the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (3).

Good  heart health

Saturated fat-rich diets have been related to an increased risk of heart disease and excessive cholesterol. Coconut milk, due to its high-fat level, may not be considered heart-healthy by certain individuals.

However, the body’s response to saturated fats may vary depending on the source. Saturated fat metabolism and its effect on health are also influenced by hereditary factors. Coconut milk’s cholesterol-lowering properties have not been thoroughly studied. Coconut oil, on the other hand, has been the subject of many studies.

However, a study was made on diabetic rats and demonstrated the antidiabetic, hypolipidemic and renal protective properties of various coconut products, including coconut milk. Diabetic rats with a significant increased lipid parameters, including triglycerides, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-cholesterol) and decreased high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) were treated with virgin and filtered coconut oils, coconut water and coconut milk. This resulted in a significant reversal in the levels of above studied parameters in diabetic rats. Further, these coconut products markedly prevented diabetes induced histopathological changes in kidney tissue (3). 

“Bad cholesterol,” or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, was not substantially increased by coconut oil, but “good cholesterol,” or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, was (HDL). Even though the study lasted only four weeks, it is vital to remember that there were no controls in the investigation.

In addition to protecting the heart, HDL cholesterol eliminates LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. It transports LDL cholesterol to the liver, where it is broken down and excreted by the body. Even though coconut oil may not elevate levels of LDL cholesterol, the fat and calories in coconut-based items are rather high indeed. They should be consumed in moderation by everyone.

It’s important to remember that coconut oil has a far higher fat content per serving than coconut milk, making it less of a risk to your cholesterol.

Boost immune system

Lauric acid, a lipid found in coconuts, is thought by some experts to strengthen the immune system. Lauric acid may have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, according to certain studies. Researchers cultured numerous bacterial strains and subjected them to lauric acid in Petri dishes as part of a study on the antibacterial properties of coconut lauric acid.

The medium chain lipids are similar to the fats presented in mother’s milk, which provides immunity for babies against disease. Similar advantageous effects are also found in adults. coconut oil possesses anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties and boosts the immune system and showed high antimicrobial activity and inhibited various pathogenic bacteria for example Listeria monocytogenes (1).

The apoptosis, or cell death, that is caused by lauric acid has also been seen in breast and endometrial cancer cells, according to other studies. Research suggests that this acid suppresses cancer cell proliferation by activating receptor proteins that control cell growth (1).

How to use coconut milk in your meal?

There are many ways to include coconut milk into your diet, from smoothies to desserts. For example, milk is a common element in many Asian recipes. Dishes with coconut milk, such as

·         Cereal. Try substituting coconut milk with regular dairy milk.

·         Smoothies. If you’re looking for a healthy, green coconut milk smoothie, try this recipe.

·         Soups. Soup broth, veggies, and curry powder may all be added to a foundation of coconut milk for a Thai-inspired Thai-inspired soup. Full-fat canned coconut milk contains far fewer calories than cream.

·         Oatmeal. When making oats, use coconut milk instead of water. To make coconut milk, bring a can to a boil. Add 1 cup of oats to the mix. For the milk to be fully absorbed, cook for 15 minutes. Then sprinkle some cinnamon and a few slices of banana over the top. Here is the whole recipe.

·         A chicken curry. Add spices and curry powder to a can of coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Serve with rice or quinoa and a side of cooked chicken and veggies. This is the whole recipe.

·         If you don’t want to buy it, you may create your own coconut milk at home by blending unsweetened coconut with warm water. Strain the mixture through a strainer after pulverizing it.

Risks of consuming high coconut milk

After ingesting coconut milk, a person with a coconut allergy may have stomach discomfort. Coconut milk has health advantages when consumed in moderation, but overconsumption might have negative consequences.

There are a lot of calories and a lot of fat in coconut milk. Weight gain may occur if one consumes too much milk and eats a diet high in carbohydrates. Fermentable carbohydrates may be found in coconut milk. Irritable bowel syndrome sufferers may have diarrhea or constipation as a result of this.

Coconuts are classified as tree nuts by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, they are fruits. Coconut products are generally safe for those who are allergic to tree nuts. As a result of the similarities between the part of the coconut protein and that found in tree nuts, some people may have an allergic response.

Reports of immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated coconut allergy are rare and only a handful of cases have been reported in the literature in adults and children. However, despite the low prevalence of coconut allergy, reactions tend to be systemic and all cases reported so far have involved anaphylactic reactions. In the United States, coconut must be disclosed as an ingredient on package labels (4).

Most people who are allergic to coconuts aren’t even aware they have the condition. Coconut milk should not be consumed by anybody who has an allergy to the fruit of the coconut palm. As with other food allergies, symptoms of a coconut allergy might be identical. A person may encounter:

·         Nausea

·         Stomach discomfort

·         Diarrhea

·         Vomiting

·         Anaphylaxis — a serious, life-threatening response that produces swelling, wheezing, and hives

·         Mouth, throat, eyes irritation

Other FAQs about Milk that you may be interested in.

Do Oreos Contain Milk

Does Oat Milk Make You Poop?

Does Nonfat Milk Have Lactose


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can you drink coconut milk?” and discussed the possible health benefits of coconut milk.


  1. Patil, Umesh, and Soottawat Benjakul. Coconut milk and coconut oil: their manufacture associated with protein functionality. J food sci, 2018, 83, 2019-2027.
  2. Scholz-Ahrens, K.E., Ahrens, F. & Barth, C.A. Nutritional and health attributes of milk and milk imitations. Eur J Nutr, 2020, 59, 19–34. 
  3. Alatawi, Karemah A., and Fawzia A. Alshubaily. Coconut products alleviate hyperglycaemic, hyperlipidimic and nephropathy indices in streptozotocin-induced diabetic wistar rats. Saudi J Biol Sci, 2021, 28, 4224-4231.
  4. Anagnostou, Katherine. Coconut allergy revisited. Children, 2017, 4, 85.

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