If you’re lactose intolerant and are allergic to nuts, there is still one dairy-free, plant-based alternative milk you can consider — coconut milk. Women’s Health says there are two types of coconut milk in the market today: coconut milk beverage, which is a blend of water and coconut cream with a few additives, and canned coconut milk, which is great as an ingredient because of its thicker, fat-packed nature — the latter, though, isn’t good for drinking.
Women’s Health also says coconut milk (not the canned kind meant for cooking) can be a daily go-to for those on the keto diet because while the beverage may not contain any protein, it’s higher in fat: specifically, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are supposedly easy for the body to be turned into energy.
Some studies indicate that MCTs could help you lose weight because it helps you be less hungry during the day. MCTs are also said to boost insulin sensitivity, which can also help you lose weight (via Medical News Today).
Coconut milk boosts your immune system
Drinking coconut milk every day could give you one more benefit. The MCTs found in coconuts, in general, have one more secret natural ingredient — lauric acid, which our bodies turn into monolaurin. Our bodies use monolaurin as an antiviral, antifungal, as well as an antibacterial compound, and it can kill off dangerous bugs that might cause disease (via BBC). Other research has shown that lauric acid triggers cell death in cancer cells located in the breast and the uterus.
But there are downsides to coconut milk. Because the American Heart Association recommends that you keep saturated fat at 5 to 6 percent of your daily allowance, just remember coconut milk is high in fat — and one cup of coconut milk could easily take up most of that allocation.
So keep an eye on your total consumption to make sure you continue to reap the benefits of coconut milk — and keep that saturated fat number in mind. In addition, drinking too much coconut milk can result in gastric distress, so if you do drink coconut milk every day, make sure you do so in moderation.
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