Food Composition and Taste

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Ever tried Coconut Milk?

In modern Western civilizations, almost everyone drinks dairy milk their entire life after possibly relying on their mother’s milk during infancy. Surprisingly, this is actually strange in the rest of the world; coconut milk is a very popular food ingredient in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines. In China and Taiwan, sweetened coconut milk is common drink during the spring and summer. In this post, we’ll go over some different to things you should know about coconut milk.

Fresh coconut milk derived from the meat.

First, let’s discuss coconut milk, since it is much less well-known than is dairy milk. Coconut milk is derived from the meat of coconuts, and its color and rich taste are the results of a high oil content. The meat is soaked in warm water and then squeezed through a cheese cloth to extract what is known as thin coconut milk. In addition, coconut milk contains a very wide range of minerals and vitamins, and is also a good source of protein. You can look at a more detailed nutrition breakdown in the following table:

Nutritional value per 100 g
Carbohydrates 2.81 g
Fat 21.33 g
-saturated 18.915 g
-mononunsaturated 0.907 g
-polyunsaturated 0.233 g
Protein 2.02 g
Water 72.88 g
Vitamin C 1 mg (1%)
Calcium 18 mg (2%)
Iron 3.30 mg (25%)
Magnesium 46 mg (13%)
Phosphorus 96 mg (14%)
Potassium 220 mg (5%)
Sodium 13 mg (1%)
Zinc 0.56 mg (6%

Even better, coconut milk can be an alternative for people with lactose intolerance because, unlike dairy milk, coconut milk does not contain lactose. Furthermore, it is unique in that it contains lauric acid, which is anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-protozoal. Therefore, drinking coconut  milk can be another everyday way to protect against infections and viruses. Lastly, coconut milk has many antioxidant properties, which also means that it takes longer to go bad.

While both dairy milk and coconut milk are high in saturated fats, there is a key difference in this comparison. Coconut milk mostly contains medium-chained fatty acids, which are easier for the body to metabolize quickly. Dairy milk, on the other hand, contains a lot of long-chained fatty acids, which are more difficult for the body to break down.

By Jonathan Yu