The difference between coconut water and coconut milk

Coconut is a common plant found in tropical regions. Two popular coconut drinks are coconut water and coconut milk. However, they are two very different products. What makes the difference between these two drinks?

1. Coconut water

Coconut water is a sweet, liquid that you can drink directly without having to process it. It occurs naturally in coconuts. As young coconuts begin to mature, coconut water begins to harden to form coconut flesh.

However, the maturation process does not fill the coconut flesh, so you can still find some coconut water in mature coconut. Coconut water is a popular refreshing drink because of its health-promoting effects.

2. Coconut milk

Unlike water, coconut milk is a product from processed coconut. It is made by grinding the flesh of mature coconuts and boiling in hot water. The mixture is then filtered to remove any solid residues. The amount of water used to make milk determines its consistency. Coconut milk is mainly used as a substitute for cow’s milk, used as a thickener for dishes such as sauces or traditional recipes in many Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines.

3. Pros and cons of drinking coconut water and coconut milk

3.1 Advantages:

Coconut water has become quite popular among people who do a lot of physical activity due to its ability to replenish electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, lost through sweat during exercise. Also coconut water can help reduce oxidative stress, lowering blood sugar levels. Coconut water can support heart health by lowering blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol (harmful) while increasing HDL (beneficial) cholesterol levels.

As for coconut milk, about 89% of its fat content is saturated fat, studies show that it does not cause adverse effects on blood lipids, which can even aid weight loss and fat loss.

3.2 Disadvantages:

Coconut water levels can help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, people with kidney disorders need to limit its use.Once impaired kidney function usually leads to hyperkalemia, potassium levels in the blood increase due to the inability of the kidneys to excrete potassium. Therefore, excessive consumption of this mineral can have a harmful effect on the body.On the other hand, while coconut milk can have a positive effect on weight loss, it is still a high-calorie drink. Therefore, try to limit the amount of intake into the body to keep calories balanced compared to controlled calories. In addition, some experts advise that because coconut milk is a high FODMAP drink, you should limit its intake if you are FODMAP intolerant or are on a low FODMAP diet.

However, some people classify it as a low FODMAP food. Therefore, you may want to assess your own tolerance to it to determine whether you should limit your intake or avoid it altogether. In addition, Although very rare, there is still a phenomenon of coconut allergy. Therefore, you should avoid drinking coconut water and milk if you are allergic to them.

Summary: Coconut water and milk are often confused because they are both popular coconut drinks. However, they are two separate drinks, since coconut water occurs naturally in fruits, while coconut milk is a processed drink. They also have different nutritional composition and are used for different purposes. Although both offer many health benefits, people with kidney disease need caution when drinking coconut water, while those with FODMAP intolerance should also limit coconut water.

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