When it comes to nutrition, the differences between coconut milk and water are vast. It’s no surprise to learn that coconut water is mostly water, whereas coconut milk is mostly fat. Even though the main difference between the two is the fat content, there are also substantial variances in calories, sugar, carbs, and protein.
Side-by-side, a one-cup serving of unsweetened coconut milk has 57.1 grams of fat compared to the 0.48 grams found in unsweetened coconut water. A cup of coconut water has 45.6 calories, whereas a cup of processed coconut milk contains 552 calories. The amount of sugar is comparable but coconut water contains a little less with 6.26 grams compared to the 8 grams found in coconut milk. The carbohydrate content of coconut water is 8.9 grams next to coconut milk’s 13.3 grams. And there is significantly more protein in coconut milk with 5.5 grams per cup in comparison to 1.73 grams of protein in one cup of coconut water, according to USDA.
Per Medical News Today, coconut water is touted as a natural source of electrolytes like potassium — containing more than a banana. It also offers calcium and magnesium as well as antioxidants. According to Verywell Fit, coconut milk is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals because of the small quantities it’s consumed in, but it does contain lauric acid, which has been speculated to improve cholesterol.
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