This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Coconut Milk Every Day

Many people these days are turning away from dairy and animal-based staples and embracing vegetable and fruit-based ones instead. One of the most popular beverages to come out of this movement is coconut milk, a rich, creamy, and slightly sweet delicacy that people often discover they prefer to cow's milk. But when it comes to the adage, milk "does a body good," how well does coconut milk hold up?

It turns out coconut milk is a superfood that actually outperforms cow's milk, nutritionally speaking. One cup of coconut milk contains over 100% of the USDA recommended daily intake of the mineral manganese, and more than 20% of the recommended intake of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and copper (via NutritionData). It also contains Vitamin C, folate, and niacin, plus dietary fiber. Coconut milk can be a great addition to a healthy diet, thanks to its impressive nutrient profile plus a particular type of saturated fat.

Coconut milk and MCTs for weight loss

Coconuts are one of the world's best sources of a type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Coconut milk contains less of this fatty acid composition than pure coconut oil, but a 2000 study published in West Indian Medical Journal showed that it still contains an impressive amount — about 24% of what is present in pure coconut oil, which is 100% fat. Adding coconut milk to your daily diet means getting a pretty solid dose of MCTs. And that could lead to some surprising health benefits.

Several studies have shown that MCTs may have a potent ability to help people lose weight. A 2016 study, for example, showed that giving MCTs to people with obesity on a daily basis not only promoted weight loss and fat metabolism but actually altered participants' gut microbiota in ways that improved their overall digestive health. Additionally, a 2014 study found that daily intake of MCTs led to feelings of fullness and a decreased appetite in overweight men, which resulted in lower food intake and subsequent weight loss. 

Coconut milk and the Keto Diet

One of the most popular diets today is the keto diet which consists of foods low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and high in fat (per Food Insight). This diet promotes fat burning by stimulating ketosis, a state in which your body stops using carbohydrates for energy and starts using stored fat instead (via WebMD). A 2020 study published in Frontiers in Nutrition found that medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) play an important role in ketosis.  

Bodybuilders and those who want to lose weight quickly and in a healthy way are big fans of the keto diet. But according to Harvard Medical School, while keto diets can work as a short-term diet for weight loss if done correctly, they shouldn't be used for the long term. On the other hand, simply adding coconut milk to your daily diet may help you maintain a healthy weight and will also provide a solid source of important vitamins and minerals.