Speaking of health halos, coconut milk is our last milk option up for comparison, and certainly one that seems to be having it’s time in the sun.
Despite its name, coconut is not actually a nut, so it is safe for many with nut allergies. Firstly, typical coconut milks for drinking are very different from the stuff you’ll get in a can and use for your curries or desserts. ‘Coconut beverage’ drinks are based on coconut cream, but diluted with water to make them less thick and rich (never-the-less, a decent source of fat at around 5g/cup). The predominant fat in coconut milk is the saturated variety, and controversy rages between the scientific and alternative health communities as to whether this fat (thought to act more like medium chain triglycerides than other saturated fats) is healthy, harmful or somewhere in between!Putting fat controversies aside, we can also tell you that coconut milk contains virtually no protein, calcium or vitamin D unless it’s been fortified, and can have an eye-raising ingredient list when it comes to sugars and other fillers. Once again, it’s a good idea to look closely at labels to understand what you’re buying, compare brands using the nutrient panel ‘per 100mL’ column, and favour calcium-fortified varieties. And in the case of coconut milk, you may want to keep an eye on your cholesterol count.