A reader wrote in to ask NurseGail.com if coconut milk is better than cow’s milk. Nurse Practitioner Keilynn Hopkins answers:
Food is a true love of mine and I want to consume the best products to maintain a healthy body. When it comes to choosing milk, I look at overall nutrition and choose a milk source that connects with my taste buds since this will be a long-term relationship. Commitmentphobe? No problem. There are many types and brands out there to choose from.
Since coconut milk is derived from plants, it is a cholesterol-free and lactose-free alternative to cow’s milk. Here’s an 8-ounce cup comparison of each. On average…
A cup of whole cow’s milk:
- 150 calories
- 8 grams of protein
- 8 grams of fat
- 300 mg of calcium
A cup of enriched coconut milk:
- 45 calories
- 0 protein
- 4.5 grams of fat
- 100 to 450 mg of calcium
It is clear that overall coconut has less calories and fat when you look at the numbers. But protein is missing and levels of calcium depend on the brand.*
To answer the original question (coconut or cow milk?), coconut milk offers many benefits that cow’s milk lacks. But always look at the labels when choosing coconut milk. Notice how much saturated fat (the bad fat) and artificial sweeteners are added to the milk. If one coconut milk brand doesn’t suit your taste, there are many others to try.