Almond Milk Nutrition Vs Coconut Milk

Almond Milk Nutrition Vs Coconut Milk

As plant-based milks grow increasingly popular, two of the most common choices on grocery shelves

Almond Milk Nutrition Breakdown

Before diving into how almond stacks up against coconut milk, let’s analyze the nutritional profile of almond milk on its own. Almond Milk Vs Oat Milk Calories Starbucks

Key Takeaways: Almond Milk 🥛 vs Coconut Milk 

Calories 🟢 Low🔴 High
Fat 🟢 Healthy fats🔴 High in saturated fat
Taste🥜 Nuttier, mild🥥 Sweet, coconutty
Texture💧 Thin, watery🍦 Creamy, thick
Vitamin E🟢 Excellent source🔴 Minimal
Calcium🟢 High in calcium🔴 Low in calcium
Price🟡 Mid-range cost🟡 Mid- to high-range
Environment🟡 Moderate impact🟢 Integrates well naturally

Nutrients in Almond Milk

Almond milk has exploded in popularity in recent years as a plant-based milk alternative. Here is an overview of the nutrition found in a typical serving (1 cup) of unsweetened almond milk: Almond and Coconut Milk Nutrition

  • Calories: 37kcal
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Vitamin E: 49% DV
  • Calcium: 448mg (45% DV)
  • Vitamin D: 107IU (25% DV)

Now let’s analyze each of these nutritional components in more detail.

Almond Milk Nutrition Vs Coconut Milk

Calories and Macros

  • Low calorie count at just 37kcal per cup
  • Primarily comes from healthy fat content
Total Fat2.5g
Saturated Fat0g

The macronutrient ratio shows almond milk’s calories come mainly from monounsaturated fats while providing nearly no carbohydrates or protein. The minimal carbs and protein result from the nuts being pulverized with the oils removed to make the milk.

Vitamin E

  • Delivers 49% daily value of vitamin E per serving
  • Works as an antioxidant protecting cells from damage
  • Most Americans do not meet vitamin E daily needs

Almond milk is one of the best sources of vitamin E among plant-based milks. The vitamin E found in almonds carries an antioxidant effect, helping prevent free radical damage to cells.

Calcium and Vitamin D

  • 45% DV for calcium makes it one of the richest plant milk sources
  • Cobalamin fortification boosts B12 levels
  • Contains 25% daily value for vitamin D

In addition to being a great vitamin E source, almond milk truly shines when it comes to calcium and vitamin D for bone health. Its naturally high calcium levels combined with added vitamin D makes it a sound choice for preventing osteoporosis.

The vitamin D is generally derived from mushrooms or lichens. For best absorption, choose brands with added vitamin D2 or lichen-derived D3.

Taste, Texture and Uses

So what about taste and uses for almond milk? Here is a quick rundown:

  • Taste: mild nutty flavor, not overpowering
  • Texture: more thin and watery than creamy
  • Best Uses: cereals, smoothies, coffee creamer, substituting in recipes

The mild nutty notes make it adaptable for both sweet and savory uses without dominating other ingredients. Just keep in mind the thinner, more watery consistency that doesn’t work as well for dishes wanting a creamy profile.

Cost and Sustainability

Two other factors important for consumers choosing milk alternatives are affordability and sustainability impacts. Here is how almond stacks up:

  • Price: mid-range cost but cheaper than most dairy milk
  • Land use: relatively low water demands but bees required for pollination leads to sustainability concerns
  • Transportation: major production regions like California lead to high miles traveled to reach consumers across the country

In terms of price, almond milk hits that middle-ground of being costlier than soy or oat milk, but cheaper than brands like coconut or flax milk. The convenience does come at an environmental price though with commercial honey bees needed for orchard pollination.

Now that we have a detailed picture of almond milk’s nutritional pros and cons, let’s analyze how coconut milk compares.

Almond Milk Nutrition Vs Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk Nutrition Profile

Coconut milk has also enjoyed immense growth as a non-dairy milk option praised for its uses in curries, lattes, and health trends like ketogenic or paleo diets. But how does its nutritional value compare to nut-based alternatives?

Here is an overview of the vitamins, minerals, calories and fat found in coconut milk:

  • Calories: 230 kcal
  • Fat: 24g
  • Saturated fat: 21g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Iron: 22% DV
  • Magnesium: 15% DV

Since coconut meat is high in saturated fats and oils, the resulting milk is devoid of protein while packing in a hefty serving of fat and calories. Let’s analyze what these high fat and mineral counts really mean.

High Saturated Fat Content

  • Contains 21g saturated fat per cup
  • No protein or carbs since the oils dominate
  • Provides medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)

All the calories and fat content comes from concentrated coconut oils with protein, carbs, and micronutrients stripped. A positive feature of the high tropical oils is medium-chain triglycerides that may have therapeutic benefits.

But, the American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats which makes up nearly all coconut milk’s fat content. For heart disease prevention, coconut oil’s risk-benefit ratio remains questionable.

High Iron and Magnesium

Despite minimal protein or carbs, coconut milk delivers a meaningful level of minerals:

  • 22% daily iron helps transport oxygen via red blood cells
  • 15% daily magnesium aids bone health and muscle function

The catch is the absence of other crucial nutrients found in whole foods like vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. But for two minerals hard to obtain enough of from diet alone, coconut milk contributes useful levels.

Taste and Uses Differ from Almond

In addition to a radically different nutritional makeup, coconut milk differs in taste, texture and uses:

  • Taste: dominant sweet coconut flavor
  • Texture: thick, creamy, even canned
  • Best Uses: curry dishes, coffee creamer, baked goods

The naturally sweet taste and thick texture even from canned varieties makes it suitable for both sweet and savory dishes wanting a creamy, coconut kick.

Almond Milk Nutrition Vs Coconut Milk

Higher Price but More Sustainable

Compared to almond milk, coconut milk’s price and sustainability profile contrasts:

  • Price: among the pricier milk alternatives
  • Land use: grows well in tropical coasts so less water and transportation demands
  • Foraging: relies less on commercial agriculture and controlled bee pollination

Although pricier and often imported, coconut farming integrates better with surrounding ecosystems compared to intensive nut orchards dependent on commercial bee migrations trucked from farm to farm across California and the arid West.

So in a holistic comparison, coconut milk trades higher costs for potentially greater sustainability than almond milk requiring carefully managed inputs and controlled pollination.

Now that we analyzed their distinct nutrition profiles and aspects individually, let’s directly compare almond milk and coconut milk.

How Does Almond Milk Kill Bees?

Almond Milk Compared to Coconut Milk

After breaking down their nutrition stats individually, a direct side-by-side almond milk versus coconut milk comparison shows some key differences:

Almond MilkCoconut Milk
Calories37 kcal230 kcal
Saturated Fat0g21g
Vitamin E49% DVLow

The table highlights significantly higher calories and saturated fats in coconut milk balanced by more vitamin E, calcium and protein in almond milk.

Let’s analyze a few of the key differences and similarities:

Calories and Fat

  • Coconut milk packs over 6 times more calories and 10 times the fat mostly from saturated sources.
  • Almond milk better suits low calorie or fat-conscious diets.

For managing calories, fat, or avoiding overconsuming saturated fats, almond milk aligns far better nutritionally. The high oil content gives coconut milk more concentrated calories.

Vitamin E and Calcium Higher in Almonds

  • Almond milk delivers 49% DV for hard-to-obtain vitamin E compared to minimal in coconut
  • Almond also naturally higher in calcium; 45% DV aids bone health
  • Both provide magnesium but almond contains more vitamins overall

If you don’t eat nuts or wheat germ, vitamin E deficiency is common since few plant foods provide a meaningful amount. Between the two, almond milk makes the better choice by pairing vitamin E with calcium.

Protein and Carbs Lower in Both

  • Minimal protein or carbs in either since fats dominate
  • Adding berries, bananas or greens boosts nutrients
  • Choose unsweetened to limit added sugars

Due to production methods extracting the oils, both almond milk and coconut milk supply negligible protein or carbs. Adding fresh or frozen fruits enhances the nutrient density significantly.

Taste and Uses Differ

  • Coconut milk shines in baking or strong-flavored dishes wanting creamy fats like curry
  • Almond milk adapts well to sweets and smoothies with a lighter nutty taste

While coconut milk suits recipes benefiting from sweet coconut flavor and fatty richness, almond milk aligns better with lighter dishes, smoothies, oatmeal or on its own as a drink. But both work for coffee creamers or substituting in baking.

So in summary, almond milk better suits low calorie diets, vitamin E needs, or avoiding excess saturated fats while coconut milk shines for uses benefitting from thick, fatty creaminess. But both function well in a variety of dishes, desserts and beverages.


Almond Milk Nutrition Vs Coconut Milk

Comparing Vitamin and Mineral Fortification

When analyzing the nutrition of almond milk and coconut milk, it’s important to note that many brands in stores contain added vitamins and minerals. This fortification can significantly impact the nutritional value.

Here’s a closer look at some of the key micronutrients added to store-bought varieties:

MicronutrientAlmond MilkCoconut Milk
Vitamin DOften addedSometimes added
CalciumSometimes addedRarely added
Vitamin B12Often addedSometimes added
  • Almond milk more likely to contain added vitamin D and B12
  • Coconut milk less frequently fortified with micronutrients
  • Check labels for calcium, vitamin D if bone health a priority

Paying attention to the specific brands and labels allows you to choose the milk with nutrients added to best suit your individual nutritional needs and diet priorities.

Comparing Homemade Varieties

Much of the analysis so far focuses on store-bought almond and coconut milk varieties which often differ nutritionally from homemade.

Here is a quick comparison if you prepare your own almond milk or coconut milk at home:

  • More Control Over Ingredients – avoid unnecessary additives, preservatives, stabilizers
  • Money Saving – significant cost savings from making your own
  • Freshness – homemade tastes better and lasts 3-5 days
  • Nutrition Changes – less or no vitamin/mineral fortification

While home varieties offer cost savings and let you control additives, the tradeoff is missing the vitamin and mineral boost seen in many packaged alternatives.

If opting for homemade, be intentional about eating vitamin/mineral-rich foods providing the nutrients no longer added-in like vitamin D, calcium and vitamin B12.

Environmental Considerations

In addition to nutritional differences, comparing the environmental impacts offers another layer to choosing between almond and coconut milk.

A few key differences regarding sustainability:

  • Water Needs: almonds far more water-intensive, especially in drought-prone California
  • Land Use: coconut palms suited to tropical coasts and grown more diversified
  • Food Miles: most North American almonds shipped long distances within U.S. or imported
  • Pollinators: almond orchards require scarce honey bee colonies trucked from farm to farm

So while neither milk scores perfectly across environmental metrics, coconut milk aligned better with ecosystem preservation based on current production methods and regions.

Factoring in sustainability ramifications on top of nutritional needs empowers even more informed plant-based milk choices.

Almond Milk Nutrition Vs Coconut Milk


To wrap up this comparison of almond milk versus coconut milk, key takeaways include:

  • Almond milk lower in calories and fat with excellent vitamin E, calcium plus more protein
  • Coconut milk very high in saturated fat delivering iron and magnesium but little else nutritionally
  • For heart health almond milk with healthy fats and vitamin E the better choice
  • Anyone needing vitamin D or calcium better supported by almond milk
  • For a creamy texture in coffee or recipes, richness of coconut milk ideal
  • Environmental impacts differ regarding bees for pollination versus tropical farming
  • Use both for diversity since some nutrients better in almond milk, others in coconut!

So while both tasty alternatives to cow’s milk in their own ways, almond milk delivers better all-around nutrition thanks to healthy fats, vitamin E and fewer calories. But coconut milk shines for the creamy texture and tropical kick in certain drinks or dishes.

I hope this detailed nutritional comparison empowers you to feel confident choosing between these popular plant-based milk options based on science-backed information rather than hype or habits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is healthier, almond milk or coconut milk?

Overall almond milk is healthier due to being significantly lower in calories, fat, and saturated fat. Almond milk also contains more beneficial nutrients like vitamin E and calcium. The minimal protein and carbs in both is a drawback.

What is the difference in taste?

Almond milk has a lighter, nuttier flavor working well cooked or uncooked. Coconut milk features a richer, sweet coconut taste best for dishes wanting that strong coconut profile.

Can I add nutrients to homemade almond or coconut milk?

Yes! Blending in a banana adds potassium and vitamin B6. Berries add vitamins while spinach or kale amps up vitamin and mineral density. Nuts/seeds like chia or flax add healthy fats and fiber. Fortified non-dairy milk contains added vitamins too.

Which milk alternative better supports bone health?

Thanks to substantial calcium and added vitamin D, almond milk aligns better for bone health, especially important for preventing osteoporosis. Adolescents, menopausal women and elderly should choose calcium-rich plant milks.

Is one more sustainable from an environmental perspective?

Coconut palms generally integrate better into tropical coastal ecosystems compared to intensive almond orchards needing significant water resources to produce high yields. Transportation miles also favor coconuts grown closer to North American consumers in tropical regions.

Can I use almond and coconut milk interchangeably in recipes?

Largely yes. But coconut milk works better in baked goods, coffees, and dishes wanting creaminess or sweet flavor. Almond milk adapts well to both sweet and savory uses with its mild taste. But best to choose based on the specific recipe or use.