On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m answering the following viewer question, do all coconut products have the same nutrition benefits?
What’s the difference between coconut milk in a can, coconut milk in a carton, coconut water, coconut cream, coconut oil, coconut butter, and shredded coconut?
This was a question from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 016.
@zinskykat from Twitter wants to know: Do coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut shavings, and coconut oil have the same benefits? Do you prefer grass fed butter, yogurt, or coconut oil?
In other words, do you get benefits from all coconut products?
Here’s the answer.
You do get benefits from all coconut products, however you get different types of benefits from different variations.
Even though they all contain coconuts, the amount of coconut, and how they are processed is different.
Based on this, each coconut product can be higher or lower in calories, fat, and nutrients.
Let’s first compare coconut milk and coconut cream.
Coconut milk and coconut cream taste similar since they are both made from the meat of the coconut and water.
The difference is coconut cream is thicker and has a higher calorie and fat content, since it’s made with more coconut and less water, when compared to canned coconut milk.
Canned Coconut Milk Ingredients: coconut, water, guar gum
Canned Coconut Milk Nutrition Facts (per 1/3 cup serving):
Coconut Cream Ingredients: coconut, water, guar gum
Coconut Cream Nutrition Facts (per 1/3 cup serving):
When it comes to canned vs carton coconut milk, the coconut milk in a carton is more diluted with water, therefore it’s lower in calories and fat.
I much prefer the canned coconut because it’s contains more the natural fat from coconut.
Coconut milk in a carton is more watered down.
Based on this, the calories and macronutrients are very different.
Coconut Milk From Can Ingredients: coconut, water, guar gum
Coconut Milk From Can Nutrition Facts (per 1/3 cup serving):
Coconut Milk From Carton Ingredients: coconutmilk (filtered water, coconut cream), guar gum, vitamin and mineral blend (calcium phosphate, magnesium phosphate, calcium carbonate, l-selenomethionine (selenium), vitamin A acetate, vitamin D2, zinc oxide, vitamin B12, xanthan gum
Coconut Milk From Carton Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup serving):
Shredded coconut flakes or shavings is the dried variation of the white coconut flesh.
This the main ingredient in coconut milk.
Simply add the dried coconut to a blender with water and you have coconut milk.
Just make sure you go with the unsweetened kind.
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut Ingredients: coconut (shredded and dehydrated)
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut Nutrition Facts (per 2 1/2 tbsp serving):
Coconut oil is only derived from the oil of the coconut meat, meaning it is 100 percent fat.
This means there is more fiber in coconut butter compared to coconut oil, which is just the fat.
Coconut Butter Ingredients: whole coconut puree
Coconut Butter Nutrition Facts (per 1 tbsp serving):
Coconut Oil Ingredients: coconut oil
Coconut Oil Nutrition Facts (per 1 tbsp serving):
Coconut water comes from the water inside the coconut, but it doesn’t contain the white flesh.
This makes it much lower in fat when compared to coconut milk.
Coconut Water Ingredients: coconut water, sugar, vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Coconut Water Nutrition Facts (per 330ml serving):
We love coconut oil for so many purposes.
If you don’t consume dairy, you can use coconut oil as a butter substitute.
From a health perspective, all whole food coconut products are healthy as long as they naturally come from coconut.
It’s important to look for coconut that does not contain a lot of added ingredients, especially sugar.
However, each coconut variation and brand may have different nutrients and calorie and macronutrient breakdowns, based on what is taken out or left in during processing.
Remember, coconut is higher in calories because of the fat.
However, this fat is healthy for you, so work it into your daily calorie and macronutrient needs.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.