It’s been neat to watch my body adjust to a high-fat diet. When I first tried straight coconut milk I couldn’t eat much. Three spoonfuls made me full, and a bit queasy. Three days later I was happily downing six spoonfuls. A week later, half the can. Now I sometimes have a whole can in one day. Dietary fat doesn’t make me queasy anymore and leaves me satisfied. My body has literally switched to being a fat-burning machine.
Coconut contains a really interesting fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are easily burned by the body as fuel. They don’t even require normal digestion and are instead directly shunted to the liver via the portal vein. How efficient!
To be clear, by coconut milk I mean (A) what typically comes in cans and is often used for cooking, not the coconut milk (B) in a carton that is now popping up next to the almond and soy milk as dairy alternatives. Coconut milk A has 42g of fat per cup, coconut milk B has 5g. Coconut milk B still subscribes to the low-fat paradigm, which is too bad because the the fat is what we’re after. So while it may be fine as far as a dairy milk replacement, it can’t be the cornerstone of a high-fat diet. Besides, if you want coconut milk that is more watery and milk-like, just add some water to coconut milk A. It gets you all the good stuff at half the cost.
As for what brand of canned coconut milk, you’ll want one that doesn’t line their cans with (BPA) which is another modern chemical in widespread use that is (surprise) turning out to be nasty stuff. Native Forest is one of the few brands that doesn’t use BPA.
And let’s not forget the most affordable and safely packaged of all coconut products: the coconut. I bought a coconut the other day for $2. First I got to drink the delicious coconut water. Then I tossed the meat into a blender and made 4 cups of fresh coconut milk. It definitely takes more time (and sometimes a hammer), so unless you’re after the experience, there’s no shame in sticking with the can.