Plant-based milks have become popular because they are a nutritious option for those looking to incorporate more plants into their diets. Coconut milk and oat milk offer dairy-free alternatives for those with dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance or those who simply want to limit the amount of animal products in their diet. Although both coconut milk and oat milk are good options for those looking to follow a plant-based lifestyle, the two are different in terms of taste, lifestyle factors, and nutritional value. Which leads us to ask, ‘Is coconut milk better than oat milk?’ Keep reading to discover more!
Coconut Milk Vs. Oat Milk: An Overview
Coconut milk is made from the white flesh of a mature coconut and mixed or pureed with water and then strained to produce a bright white, creamy liquid. It's a good source of healthy fat and can be used as a cooking ingredient. Most nutritionists agree that coconut milk is low in sugar and contains vital vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that nourish the body's cells and keep them in good condition. Plus, it contains some protein as well as fiber, making it a healthy choice for vegans. The nutrition profile of coconut milk per one cup serving contains 45 calories, 4g fat, and 2g carbohydrates.
On the other hand, oat milk features a light and creamy texture, also making it a good alternative to dairy milk. Nutritionally, a one-cup serving of oat milk contains 120 calories, 5g fat, and 16g carbohydrates and is a good source of dietary fiber.
Oat milk (like coconut milk) is free from nuts and contains all hearty-healthy fats and minerals to form an integral part of a balanced diet for a healthy lifestyle. However, despite its advantages, it may have side effects such as bloat and gas and could interact with medications for managing diabetes and blood sugar. Additionally, it’s not quite as versatile as coconut milk.
Health Benefits of Coconut Milk
Including coconut milk in one’s diet can come with numerous benefits, including:
1. Helps In Weight Management
Coconut milk is a good source of MCTs which are comprised of lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid; all of which are mostly considered healthy fats. These compounds promote satiety which causes you to eat less and/or avoid cravings. Additionally, these fats are converted into energy compared to long-chain fatty acids which are stored as fat and may contribute to obesity.
2. It contains High Levels of Antioxidants
Coconut milk contains antioxidants that help remove dangerous free radicals from the cells that can cause certain cancers. Drinking coconut milk regularly can reduce the risk of cell damage and infections.
3. Aids in Electrolyte Balance and Prevents Heart Disease
Coconut milk is mineral rich and contains plenty of sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium to support cardiovascular health and maintain a healthy heart rhythm. Also, the minerals aid in developing structural components of teeth, bones, muscle and nerve function.
Coconut milk boosts HDL cholesterol and reduces LDL (or bad cholesterol) levels. HDL protects the blood vessels from damage thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, LDL causes the vessels to be thin, which increases the risk of heart disease.
4. Boosts Immunity
Coconut milk contains lauric acid that helps the body fight infections due to its antiseptic properties. It also contains high quantities of iron, vital in forming red blood cells and maintaining normal hemoglobin levels.
Over time, regular consumption of coconut milk (and coconut oil!) can promote healthy skin and hair since the high-fat content works like a sealant that retains moisture on the skin. It can also help in soothing dry skin and preventing itchiness since it contains lauric acid, which is packed with antifungal and antibacterial properties.
5. Gentle On The Stomach
Coconut milk promotes gastrointestinal health, making it a good alternative if you're lactose intolerant. It contains an essential mineral, Zinc, that helps renew intestinal wall cells, preventing harmful bacteria from translocating from the lumen into the bloodstream.
Coconut Milk Products
Coconut milk has been a popular component of South American, Indian, Thai, and Hawaiian cuisine for many years. Luckily these days, you don't have to make the milk yourself from a mature coconut because you can buy it off the shelf of your favorite grocery store or shop online. Here are some examples of coconut milk products you might want to try:
1. Coconut Milk creamer
Coconut Cloud’s flagship collection of coconut milk creamer powders are an easy way to begin incorporating more plant-based, dairy free options into your morning routine. Available in Original, Vanilla, and Salted Caramel flavors, these creamers are not only delicious and low in sugar, but travel-friendly! Available in both a stick pack and pouch format, you can keep them at home or bring them with you when you travel.
2. Coconut cream
The versatility of coconut milk products really shines through in this one. Canned coconut cream can be used as a swap out for traditional heavy whipping cream, and you’ll be amazed at the thick and rich dairy free, vegan frosting you can make with just refrigerated coconut cream.
3. Mocha Frappe Mix - Dairy-Free
If you’re looking for an indulgent, pick-me-up treat, Coconut Cloud has created the ultimate frosty coffee drink that is not only delicious but also dairy-free. The dairy-free Mocha Frappe mix is specially formulated with premium instant coffee and coconut milk powder to deliver a rich and satisfying mocha flavor.
4. Sweetened condensed coconut milk
A complete revelation in the baking and cooking world! Now you can make your favorite fudges, caramel sauces and more with a better-for-you, coconut milk-based alternative. Sweetened condensed coconut milk is a newer addition to grocery store shelves and you will absolutely love it’s subtle coconut flavor with that signature thick and creamy texture.
As noted, coconut milk is a rich and creamy substitute to traditional dairy milk, yet packed with nutritional benefits that may be woefully lacking from oat milk. It has plenty of healthy minerals, including Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), that promote a healthy heart and aid in weight management. Additionally, it's naturally lactose and gluten-free! Compared to oat milk, coconut milk is a healthy choice and a versatile ingredient.
Kirsten Thomas is a health and fitness enthusiast who loves to travel and is passionate about learning new emerging trends in wellness. Her next goals include being an event speaker for successful women in the fitness industry and writing her own book.