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I’ve heard coconut milk is high in saturated fat. Is that bad?

I’ve heard coconut milk is high in saturated fat. Does that mean it’s bad for me?

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Nuts, coconut milk, raw
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 100g

Amount Per Serving
Calories 230 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24 g 37%
Saturated Fat 21 g 105%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 15 mg 1%
Potassium 263 mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 6 g 2%
Dietary Fibre 2.2 g 8%
Sugars 3.3 g
Protein 2.3 g 5%

Vitamin A   0 IU 0%
Folate   16 mcg 4%
Vitamin C   2.8 mg 3%
Vitamin D   ~ IU 0%
Calcium   16 mg 2%
Iron   1.6 mg 9%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

No. Coconut milk is a vegetable saturated fat, not an animal saturated fat. It melts at body temperature so it goes through your system rather than clog your arteries. It is akin to the ‘good’ fats like avocados and walnuts. Its medium-chain fatty acid actually raises HDL’s (the “good” cholesterol).

Coconuts contain significant amounts of fat, but unlike other nuts, they provide fat that is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) in particular, one called lauric acid. Lauric acid is converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms. It is therefore now thought that consumption of coconut milk may help protect the body from infections and viruses.

MCFAs are rapidly metabolised into energy in the liver. It is thought that unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are used up more quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat. This does not exempt them from contributing to heart disease – they are still a fat – but they have a different effect than saturated fats.

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