Both regular and canned versions of coconut milk seem like they’re almost tailor made for the keto diet. After all, coconut milk is a thick and creamy dairy substitute that’s low carb and provides an abundance of dietary fats, along with a modest amount of protein for good measure. But is coconut milk keto? Let’s take an in-depth look at coconut milk and the keto diet in order to find out.
What Makes Coconut Milk a Popular Choice for Low Carb Diets?
It’s really no surprise that coconut milk is as popular as it is for low carb dieters. Here are just a few of the reasons why it’s such a popular choice:
- Coconut milk is both calorie-dense and low carb, which make it ideal for low carb diets focused on weight loss.
- It’s thick, creamy, and highly satiating thanks to its high fat content (57 grams of dietary fat per one cup serving size).
- The type of fats found in coconut milk are medium chain triglyceride (MCT) fatty acids, which have been shown to help with achieving a state of ketosis quickly.
- Coconut milk is a viable substitute for dairy products that you can use in many types of low carb recipes.
- It adds a delicious hint of coconut flavor to smoothies, protein shakes, desserts, and more.
Is Coconut Milk Keto?
Coconut milk is definitely 100% keto-friendly.
Even if you’re running a strict version of the keto diet where you’re limiting your carbs to 10 grams per day (or less), you can still include coconut milk rather easily – especially if you’re using full fat coconut milk.
Indeed, we strongly recommend opting for full fat coconut milk whenever possible. With that being said, regular coconut milk is still quite keto-friendly as long as you remain aware of your macros.
One of the best reasons to include coconut milk, and other coconut products like coconut oil, as part of your keto diet is the fact that the type of fats found in coconuts are MCT fats, which can be especially helpful for entering ketosis quickly. (1)
Last but not least, coconut milk is an especially great choice for keto dieters who are trying to stay dairy-free as well; it can be easily used as a milk replacement for making low carb protein shakes, for example.
Coconut Milk Nutrition Facts
Here is the approximate nutritional breakdown for one cup of regular coconut milk (not canned):
- 552 calories
- 57 grams fat
- 5 grams protein
- 13 grams carbs
- 5 grams dietary fiber
- 8 grams sugar
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 36 mg sodium
- 631.2 mg potassium
Coconut Milk Health Benefits
Coconuts, and coconut milk by extension, are known to provide some pretty great health benefits. Here are a few of the top health benefits that coconut milk can provide you:
- Provides anti-inflammatory relief. A type of lipid found in coconuts known as lauric acid has been found to contain both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. As there is mounting evidence that chronic inflammation in the body is linked to numerous diseases (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.), this makes it doubly important to make sure that your diet includes plenty of anti-inflammatory foods. (2)
- Helps with keeping hydrated. Coconuts are an excellent source of electrolytes like magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. As many people experience rapid water weight loss after lowering their carb intake, it’s incredibly important to ensure that you’re keeping properly hydrated.
- Provides protection against heart disease. We now know that saturated fats don’t cause heart disease; in fact, there’s actually evidence to suggest the complete opposite is true. Studies have found that the saturated fats found in coconut milk are able to lower the levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, while also raising levels of the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol by as much as 18%. (3)
Keto Coconut Milk Alternatives
In the event that you can’t fit coconut milk in with your daily macros, you’ll still have quite a few viable keto-friendly alternative options. Try one of these instead: