This is one of those questions where there is no right or wrong answer. It all comes down to your personal preferences. For some people, the smell and taste of coconut oil may be too strong, and they may prefer coconut milk instead – so that they can get the same health benefits.
The health benefits that you get from coconut milk and coconut oil are very similar. After all, it is the same plant. The most significant difference is that coconut oil is extracted by drying the coconut meat out and mechanically cold-pressing it.
Coconut milk, however, is extracted by soaking the coconut meat in hot water and skimming off the cream.
Both coconut oil and coconut milk are sold in stores. You must purchase them from a reputable manufacturer and go with the natural extraction methods.
Now let’s look at the health benefits. Since both coconut milk and coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids, the properties are very similar. The main ingredient that’s present in both and yields the most health benefits is lauric acid.
Lauric acid is antibacterial and antiviral. It boosts your immune system, which makes it very difficult for germs and other pathogens to make you sick. The lauric acid makes conditions in the body very inhospitable for diseases to take root.
Coconut milk is also good for your bones. It is rich in vitamin D and calcium. In fact, coconut milk is better than milk from cows.
It’s also rich in iron, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin C, and fiber. All these vitamins and minerals are needed by the body for optimal cell function and to protect against free radicals from ravaging the body.
Coconut oil has a lot of these vitamins and minerals too. So, it all comes down to how you wish to use the two ingredients. Coconut milk has been used in Indian cooking for centuries when making curries and so on.
In the West, coconut is mostly used in desserts or when making cocktails, and we wonder why obesity is an epidemic. It all comes down to diet choices.
Coconut milk, when consumed in moderation, can be used to aid in fat loss. This may run contrary to popular belief. The common misconception is that coconut oil clogs up your arteries while coconut milk is fattening.
The reason for this misconception is because coconut oil and milk are calorie-dense. However, coconut oil does not raise your blood cholesterol levels the way fat derived from animal products do.
Coconut milk is calorie-dense, but when consumed in moderation, it’s a medium-chain triglyceride that’s quickly assimilated into the body. What that means is the body quickly digests and processes the fat in coconut milk and oil. Your body loves it.
When it has access to coconut oil/milk regularly, it will rapidly burn off the stubborn fat stores in your body. Since ample fat is coming in, it has no need to hold on to fat for future use.
The really harmful fats are those found in processed foods. People concern themselves with the wrong things. Instead of eliminating the processed and junk foods that are high in unhealthy fat and additives, they demonize coconut milk and oil that’s beneficial for them.
It’s all topsy-turvy thinking, but now you know the truth. Go ahead and give both coconut milk and coconut oil a try. They are NOT mutually exclusive. You can consume both and get the benefits of both.
On some days, have the milk. On other days, have the oil. On all days, you’ll be healthy.