Almond Milk Calories Vs Coconut Milk

Almond Milk Calories Vs Coconut Milk

A Nutrition Comparison

Almond milk and coconut milk are two popular plant-based milk alternatives that are lower in calories and fat than cow’s milk. But how do their nutrition profiles compare, and which one is healthier? Almond Milk Nutrition vs Oat Milk

This in-depth guide examines the calories, carbs, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals found in almond milk versus coconut milk to help you determine which option best fits your dietary needs.

🥥 Coconut Milk Benefits 🥥🥜 Almond Milk Benefits 🥜
Higher in protein 🚀Lower in calories ⚖️
Rich in vitamins and minerals 💊Less fat than coconut milk 🍦
Natural creaminess perfect for cooking👩‍🍳Fortified with calcium and vitamin D 💪
Heart and blood sugar benefits❤️May support weight loss 🏋️‍♀️
Antimicrobial and antibacterial properties 🚯Fewer calories aids weight goals 🌡️

Almond Milk Nutrition Facts

Before diving into a side-by-side comparison, let’s first look at the basic nutrition information found in one cup of unsweetened almond milk ([1]):

Nutrition FactsPer 1 Cup (240ml)
Calories35-40
Total Fat2.5g
Saturated Fat0g
Cholesterol0mg
Sodium200mg
Total Carbohydrates1g
Dietary Fiber1g
Total Sugars0g
Protein1g
Calcium500mg

 

As you can see, one cup of unsweetened almond milk is very low in calories and carbs. The total fat content is also low at just 2.5g per serving. Almond Milk Calories Vs Coconut Milk

It does contain a decent amount of calcium at 30% of the daily value, making it a good option if you are looking to boost calcium intake from non-dairy sources.

However, almond milk is not a significant source of protein or other vitamins and minerals. The protein content is only 1 gram per cup.

Next, let’s look at how the nutritional value of coconut milk compares.

Almond Milk Calories Vs Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk Nutrition Facts

Here is the nutrition information for one cup of regular coconut milk ([2]):

Nutrition FactsPer 1 Cup (240ml)
Calories552
Total Fat57g
Saturated Fat52g
Cholesterol0mg
Sodium36mg
Total Carbohydrates7g
Dietary Fiber1g
Total Sugars6g
Protein5g
Calcium18% DV
Iron11% DV

Coconut milk contains far more calories and fat than almond milk. There are over 500 calories in one cup of full-fat coconut milk, compared to just 40 calories in almond milk.

The total fat content is also very high at 57 grams. This is mostly saturated fat (52 grams), which is well over the American Heart Association’s recommended daily limit of 16 grams ([3]).

However, coconut milk offers slightly more protein at 5 grams per serving compared to only 1 gram in almond milk. It also provides around 18% of the daily value for calcium and 11% for iron.

Now that we have covered the basic nutrition stats, let’s compare some of the key differences between almond and coconut milk more closely.

Almond Milk Vs. Coconut Milk: Key Nutrition Differences

Calories

  • Almond milk: 35-40 calories per cup
  • Coconut milk: 552 calories per cup

Winner: Almond milk by a landslide when it comes to calories and fat content! Almond milk clocks in at just 40 calories per cup, while coconut milk contains over 550.

Fat Content

  • Almond milk: 2.5g total fat per cup
  • Coconut milk: 57g total fat per cup

Winner: Almond milk. Coconut milk is very high in saturated fat at 52 grams due to its high content of medium chain triglycerides. Almond milk is far lower in fat.

Carbohydrates

  • Almond milk: 1g net carbs per cup
  • Coconut milk: 7g net carbs per cup

Winner: Tie. Both contain low amounts of carbohydrates. Almond milk is slightly lower.

Protein

  • Almond milk: 1g per cup
  • Coconut milk: 5g per cup

Winner: Coconut milk. It contains a modest amount of plant-based protein at 5 grams per cup. Almond milk’s protein content is negligible.

Calcium

  • Almond milk: 500mg (50% DV)
  • Coconut milk: 18% DV

Winner: Almond milk. Thanks to being fortified with calcium carbonate, almond milk provides half the daily recommended calcium in just one cup. Good for bone health.

Vitamin D

  • Almond milk: Vitamin D fortified options available
  • Coconut milk: No vitamin D

Winner: Almond milk. Many brands enrich almond milk with vitamin D to help nutrition match dairy milk. Coconut milk does not contain added vitamin D.

Almond Milk Calories Vs Coconut Milk

Uses in Cooking and Baking

When it comes to choosing a milk substitute for coffee, smoothies, pouring over cereal or baking, almond and coconut milk each have advantages and disadvantages:

Almond milk: Has a light almond taste and thinner consistency. Works well for drinking, smoothies and baking.

Coconut milk: Imparts a sweet coconut flavor and creamy richness. Excellent for curries but can separate in coffee drinks.

Winner: Tie. Personal preference will determine whether almond or coconut milk works better for different uses based on flavor, consistency and nutrition desires.

Potential Health Benefits

Beyond basic nutrition, some research has uncovered potential health benefits linked to almond milk and coconut milk consumption:

Almond milk health benefits may include:

  • Improving blood sugar control ([4])
  • Reducing risk for heart disease and stroke ([5], [6])
  • Promoting weight loss ([7])
  • Reducing inflammation ([8])

Coconut milk health benefits may include:

  • Boosting HDL (good) cholesterol levels ([9])
  • Aiding weight and fat loss ([10])
  • Supporting immune function ([11])
  • Promoting blood sugar regulation ([12])

More research is still needed, but both almond milk and coconut milk show promise when it comes to possible health perks.

Risks and Downsides

There are also a few potential downsides to consider:

Almond milk:

  • Not suitable for nut allergies
  • Nutritionally inferior to dairy milk for growing children

Coconut milk:

  • High in saturated fat
  • Possible gastrointestinal issues

Both almond and coconut milk lack the protein and nutrients offered by cow’s and breast milk. They may not properly support growth and development in infants and young children.

Cost Comparison

On average, unsweetened almond milk tends to be more affordable than regular coconut milk.

However, almond milk nutrition cannot compete with the healthy fats, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and protein found naturally in coconut milk.

Almond Milk Calories Vs Coconut Milk

Final Thoughts

In Summary:

  • Almond milk is lower in calories and fat compared to coconut milk. It provides calcium, vitamin D and vitamin E.
  • Coconut milk is higher in healthy saturated fats, protein, iron and magnesium than almond milk. It also contains antimicrobial lauric acid.
  • Almond milk works better for drinking, pouring and baking due to its light taste.
  • Coconut milk has a richer coconut flavor and creamy texture excellent for cooking.
  • Both almond and coconut milk show promise when it comes to potential heart health, weight management and blood sugar benefits according to early research.

So in the end, is one nutritionally “better” than the other?

The answer: It depends.

Almond milk is lower in calories and fat, making it the better option if you are watching your weight. Coconut milk has more protein, vitamins and minerals.

Both can be part of a healthy diet. Choose unsweetened varieties and consume in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet for the best nutrition and health.

Making the Best Choice For You

When deciding whether almond milk or coconut milk fits better into your diet, there are a few key factors to consider:

1. Dietary Needs and Restrictions

If you follow a vegan or dairy-free diet, both almond and coconut milk can be great alternatives to milk from animal sources.

Almond milk is naturally lactose-free and low in calories, making it a safe choice for those with lactose intolerance, calorie-controlled diets, or weight concerns.

However, almond milk should be avoided if you have a tree nut allergy. Coconut milk is nut-free.

Coconut milk is a bit higher in calories and fat, but contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that may support faster metabolism and fat burning ([13]). This makes coconut milk a nice choice for low-carb or ketogenic diets.

If dealing with high cholesterol or heart health issues, almond milk would likely be recommended over higher-fat coconut milk to keep saturated fat intake in check.

2. Vitamins and Minerals Needs

Almond milk and coconut milk each boast an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Evaluating your nutritional needs can help determine which option may have more benefit.

Almond milk is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D, along with vitamin E. This makes it great if you need to boost calcium, want to improve bone density, or don’t get much sun exposure ([14]).

Coconut milk offers iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, selenium and zinc for bone health, circulation, thyroid function and immunity ([15]).

If trying to get adequate vitamin D and calcium from plant-based sources, almond milk is likely the better choice. Coconut milk excels more when it comes to minerals.

3. Intended Uses

How you plan to use non-dairy milk can also help guide your pick between almonds and coconuts:

  • For drinking, smoothies, pouring over cereal or whipping into coffee drinks, almond milk is ideal. It has a pleasantly nutty taste and consistency similar to skim milk.
  • Coconut milk works best for cooking Asian stir fries, Thai curries, or fusion dishes wanting that signature coconut flavor. Its naturally creamy texture also improves the richness of soups, chilies and stews.
  • When baking, almond milk adds moisture without overpowering flavor. Coconut milk can lend tropical essence but may alter texture in more delicate baked goods.

Think about how you will use plant-based milk most when deciding. Almond milk brings sweetness without coconut domination. But coconut milk takes dishes up a notch with silky body and tropical essence.

Health Benefits and Conditions

Emerging research reveals almond milk and coconut milk may positively influence certain health conditions thanks to their nutritional profiles:

Almond milk shows particular promise when it comes to:

  • Heart health – Reduces LDL “bad” cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, improves artery function ([16])
  • Blood sugar control – Lowers fasting glucose and A1C levels ([17])
  • Weight loss – Increases feelings of fullness compared to dairy milk ([18])

This makes almond milk potentially beneficial for managing cholesterol, diabetes risk, Metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Coconut milk may additionally help:

  • Boost HDL “good” cholesterol levels ([19])
  • Control blood pressure – More potassium than a banana! ([20])
  • Stabilize blood sugar – Rich in dietary fiber which slows sugar absorption ([21])

So coconut milk consumption may help improve cholesterol ratios, hypertension risk, and insulin sensitivity.

Factoring health issues into the almond milk versus coconut milk decision can ensure you choose the most advantages option.

Almond Milk Calories Vs Coconut Milk

Sustainability and Ethics

With rising interest in eco-conscious consumerism, the sustainability and ethics behind almond and coconut farming matter too. Which choice aligns more with your values?

Almonds tend to have a larger environmental impact due to substantial water needs. But largescale almond operations are implementing more water-efficient agriculture methods ([22]).

Many almonds also come from organic and ethical farms that avoid pesticides and provide fair worker treatment. Choosing organic helps encourage more sustainable practices.

Coconuts have been associated with monkey slave labor in Thailand, but technology advances and auditing programs have helped crack down on unethical practices ([23]). Worker safety and fair wages still require attention.

When possible, look for fair trade certifications on coconut products and organic, water-conscious almond production. This helps vote for foods sustainably supplied through ethical business standards.

Doing a bit of research on how almond milk versus coconut milk manufacturers source ingredients can help you pick the option aligning with your values regarding people, planet and animals.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

Along with all the benefits almond milk and coconut milk offer, a few potential downsides are worth keeping in mind:

Phytic Acid in Almonds

Almonds contain phytic acid, an antinutrient that can bind to minerals and inhibit absorption ([24]).

However, soaking nuts and then straining almond milk reduces phytic acid levels, as does consuming vitamin C along with almonds to improve mineral uptake.

Fat and Calories in Coconut Milk

The medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut milk provide therapeutic fat-burning effects – but portions matter.

Watch intake to keep calories from all sources balanced. Consuming too many calories from any source contributes to weight gain over time.

Carrageenan Content

Some almond and coconut milk brands contain carrageenan additives to improve texture and shelf stability.

Carrageenan is derived from seaweed and controversial regarding gut health impact and safety ([25]).

When possible, choose almond and coconut milk beverages labeled as carrageenan-free. Organic varieties avoid this additive.

Overall, both almond and coconut milk offer important nutritional benefits with only minor potential downsides related to production practices, anti-nutrient content, or unnecessary additive use.

Being an informed consumer helps maximize advantages while minimizing any negatives.

Homemade Almond Milk vs. Coconut Milk

Want to take total control over ingredients while saving money in the process?

Making homemade almond milk and coconut milk is simple, fast and delicious!

Benefits of Homemade Varieties

Better Ingredient Control – You choose what does (and doesn’t) go into your dairy-free milk. Avoid unwanted additives and sugars found in some commercial brands.

More Economical – Homemade nut and coconut milks can cost just a fraction compared to store-bought.

Greater Freshness – DIY milk alternatives taste fresher and last longer in the fridge without preservatives.

Extra Customization – Tailor homemade varieties to your taste and needs with mix-in ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon, maple, fruits, etc.

Easier Digestion – Soaking nuts helps break down phytic acid and lectins to prevent digestive irritation in some. More bioavailable nutrition!

With just a few basic supplies, almonds and coconut can transform into creamy non-dairy milk in minutes.

How to Make Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 4 cups filtered water (or as needed)
  • Pinch sea salt (optional)
  • Mix-ins like vanilla or maple (optional)

Directions

  1. Soak almonds 8-12 hours or overnight
  2. Drain and rinse almonds well
  3. Add almonds and 2 cups water to high speed blender. Blend until very smooth, at least 1 minute.
  4. Place nut milk bag over large bowl or container. Cheesecloth or paint strainer bag may substitute
  5. Slowly pour almond mixture into straining bag. Gather edges and gently squeeze over bowl to extract milk. Reserve pulp for another use if desired.
  6. Add remaining water and optional salt and flavorings to strained almond milk. Whisk well until fully combined.
  7. Store homemade almond milk in airtight container up to 5 days. Shake or stir before using.

It’s that easy to make your own dairy-free almond milk at home for a fraction of the cost of store-bought!

Almond Milk Calories Vs Coconut Milk

How to Make Coconut Milk

While almonds transform into milk simply from blending with water, coconuts needs a bit more coaxing to release their rich, characteristic milk.

The key is simmering shredded coconut meat or flakes in hot water to extract flavor and healthy fats.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes/shreds
  • Pinch sea salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring water to a gentle simmer in a saucepan. Remove from heat.
  2. Add coconut flakes and salt if desired. Cover and let steep 15 minutes.
  3. Pour coconut water mixture into blender. Blend 1-2 minutes until very smooth and creamy.
  4. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Carefully strain, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
  5. Store homemade coconut milk in an airtight container up to 4 days.

Be sure to use unsweetened coconut to avoid added sugar in homemade coconut milk.

Flavor with vanilla, cinnamon or fruit once strained for sweetness instead.

The Bottom Line

All signs point to both almond and coconut milk deserving places in healthy diets and living up to their ever-increasing popularity.

Almond milk offers a low calorie, nutritionally fortified dairy alternative perfect for drinking, pouring and baking.

Coconut milk provides a creamy, coconut-kissed base ideal for curries, blended coffee drinks and other recipes wanting a rich, tropical twist.

At the end of the day, almond milk wins for fewer calories and fat plus more calcium, while coconut milk takes the lead on protein, minerals and healthy fats.

There’s no universally “healthier” option. The optimal choice comes down to your personal dietary needs and restrictions, intended uses, nutrition goals and sustainability priorities.

Keep portion sizes reasonable, and both unsweetened almond milk and regular coconut milk can be smart swaps for dairy milk in any healthy eating plan.

Conclusion

When comparing almond milk versus coconut milk, there is no clear nutritional winner. Both dairy-free alternatives have unique nutrition profiles and potential health benefits based on your needs and goals. Choosing between almond milk and coconut milk comes down to calories versus coconut flavor, low fat versus richness, and striking the right balance for your personal diet.

Frequently Asked Questions: Almond Milk Calories Vs Coconut Milk

Is almond milk or coconut milk healthier?

Almond milk is lower in calories and fat, while coconut milk has more protein, vitamins and minerals. Both can be part of a balanced diet.

Does almond or coconut milk have more calcium?

Almond milk is often fortified with calcium and provides more per cup (500mg) than coconut milk. If you need plant-based calcium, almond milk is better.

Which milk is better for weight loss?

Unsweetened almond milk is very low calorie (35-40 calories per cup), so it can be a better option if watching your weight. Coconut milk is higher in calories and fat.

What milk is best for baking and drinks?

Almond milk has a lighter consistency that works well for baking, coffee drinks and pouring over cereal. Coconut milk can curdle in hot drinks but gives a nice richness to blended smoothies.

Is homemade or store-bought milk better?

Homemade almond and coconut milk allows you to control ingredients and avoid additives like carrageenan. But store-bought varieties have longer shelf stability thanks to aseptic packaging methods.

Which one has a better taste?

Almond milk offers light nutty flavor, while coconut milk lends sweet tropical essence. Taste preference is subjective to the individual.

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