3 Reasons Why Coconut Milk May Not Be Your Friend | Chris Kresser
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3 Reasons Why Coconut Milk May Not Be Your Friend

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Coconut milk is often a staple fat source for those following a Paleo diet. From a nutritional perspective, it’s an excellent choice. It’s high in saturated fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are both easily burned as fuel by the body. MCTs are particularly beneficial in that they don’t require bile acids for digestion, and they’re directly shunted to the liver via the portal vein.

Coconut milk and fruit can be a great snack for Paleo folks, and coconut milk smoothies make a great Paleo breakfast choice – especially in the summer.

So what could be wrong with coconut milk? Here are three things to consider.

Bisphenol-A

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical that has been used in consumer goods since the 50s. It’s found in reusable drink containers, DVDs, cell phones, eyeglass lenses, automobile parts and sports equipment. While the research on BPA is still mixed (some studies indicating harm and others not), given the uncertainty I think it makes sense to avoid it whenever possible.

BPA is used in the lining of certain canned foods. BPA especially leaches into canned foods that are acidic, salty or fatty, such as coconut milk, tomatoes, soup, and vegetables.

Is BPA exposure common? You bet. This CDC report found BPA in the urine of 93% of adults. Perhaps most troubling is that companies like Nestle, Similac, Enfamil and PBM all use BPA in the linings of metal cans holding baby formula. This is scary in light of a recent study which found an association between neurobehavioral problems in infants and high levels of BPA in their mothers.

So what’s the solution here? In short, if you want to be on the safe side and reduce your exposure to BPA, you have to reduce your consumption of canned foods (including coconut milk) as much as possible. I made this recommendation in 9 Steps for Perfect Health-#3: Eat Real Food. A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that families who ate fresh food for three days with no canned food, and using only glass storage containers, experienced a 60% reduction of BPA in their urine. The reductions were even higher (75%) for those with the highest BPA levels at the beginning of the study.

The good news, however, is that there are at least two brands of coconut milk that don’t have BPA in them. One is Native Forest, which you can purchase on Amazon if it’s not available at your local store. The other is Arroy-D, which is a brand imported from Thailand. You can get it here (but you have to scroll down and order the version that comes in cartons, not the cans at the top). I’m a little suspicious of Arroy-D, though, because one Thai reader mentioned that it does contain other ingredients aside from coconut milk. I don’t read Thai, so I can’t confirm this. If anyone out there can, please leave a comment below.

Coconut milk can also be made quite easily at home, with coconut flakes, a blender and cheesecloth. Here’s a video to show you how (get a load of the soundtrack). I find that blanching the coconut flakes prior to blending improves the results.

Guar gum

The other potential problem with canned coconut milk is guar gum. Guar gum is a galactomannan, which is a polysaccharide consisting of a mannose backbone with a galactose side group.

It’s primarily the endosperm of guar beans.

Beans and legumes have a variety of compounds in them that make them difficult to digest, especially for people with digestive problems (1 in 3 Americans, from the latest statistics). In my clinical experience, many patients with gut issues improve when they remove guar gum from their diet—including canned coconut milk.

Unlike BPA, there’s no evidence that guar gum may cause serious harm. So, if you’re able to tolerate guar gum, there’s no reason to avoid it. If guar gum does give you digestive trouble, Native Forest has just released a new version of its product that doesn’t contain it, and Arroy-D also does not have it. The other option, of course, is making coconut milk at home.

Fructose malabsorption

Fructose malabsorption (FM) is a digestive disorder characterized by impaired transport of fructose across the small intestine. This results in increased levels of undigested fructose in the gut, which in turn causes overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Undigested fructose also reduces the absorption of water into the intestine.

The clinical effects of FM include: intestinal dysbiosis, changes in motility, promotion of mucosal biofilm, and decreased levels of tryptophan, folates and zinc in the blood.

Symptoms produced include bloating, gas, pain, constipation or diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue (to name a few). Recent research has also tied fructose malabsorption to depression.

Lest you think this isn’t a common problem, studies have shown that up to 40% of people in Western countries suffer from fructose malabsorption.

Even in healthy people without fructose malabsorption, however, only about 20-25g of fructose can be properly absorbed at one sitting. Glucose assists in transport of fructose across the intestine, so in general foods with equal amounts of glucose and fructose will be better absorbed than foods with excess amounts of fructose (in relation to glucose).

While fructose malabsorption can cause symptoms in anyone, those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are particularly affected. While the prevalence of FM is the same in healthy populations and those with IBS & IBD, the experience of FM appears to be more intense in the latter group. This is probably due to the increased visceral sensitivity common in IBS and IBD patients.

In fact, one of the most promising clinical approaches to treating IBS & IBD right now is something called the FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides And Polyols. These include:

  • fructose (fruits, honey, HFCS)
  • fructans (wheat, onions)
  • lactose (milk sugar)
  • polyols (sugar alcohols like sorbitol, xylitol & mannitol, along with fruits like apples, pears and plums)
  • galactooligosaccharides (legumes & beans, brussel sprouts, onions)
  • other sweeteners like polydextrose and isomalt

Studies have found that restricting FODMAPs can significantly improve the symptoms associated with IBS, IBD and fructose malabsorption.

What does this have to do with coconut milk, you ask? According to Drs. Gibson & Barrett, experts in fructose malabsorption, coconut milk is a FODMAP and should be avoided by people with digestive conditions like IBS & IBD.

According to NutritionData.com, coconut milk has very little sugar of any kind – including fructose. Nevertheless, I do have patients that cannot even tolerate homemade coconut milk (which has no guar gum in it), even though they are fine with coconut oil. I assume that they are reacting to the fructose in the coconut milk – but I can’t be sure.

Recommendations

Let’s bring this together into recommendations for three different groups of people:

  • Women who are trying to get pregnant, pregnant or breastfeeding, children and other vulnerable populations (chronically ill): should avoid canned coconut milk products except for those that are BPA-free, like Native Forest and Arroy-D. Note: Native Forest is organic, but Arroy-D is not.
  • People with digestive problems (IBS, IBD, GERD, etc.): may want to avoid coconut products entirely, except for coconut oil
  • Healthy people: may be fine with canned coconut milk, provided they don’t react to the guar gum, and provided they’re willing to take the side of industry scientists that claim BPA doesn’t cause harm in humans

Want organic coconut milk – but without the BPA and guar gum?

The good news is that with a little extra effort you can easily make this at home yourself.

  • Purchase coconut cream (Let’s Do Organic and Artisana are good choices) and blend with water to make coconut milk.
  • Purchase shredded coconut (again, Let’s Do Organic is a good choice), and follow the instructions below for making homemade coconut milk.

Homemade coconut milk instructions

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat water until hot (but not boiling).
  • Add shredded coconut and water to blender (preferably a Vitamix!) If all of the water won’t fit, you can add it in two batches.
  • Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.
  • Pour through a colander to filter out the coconut pulp, then squeeze through a cheese cloth or nut milk bag to filter the smaller pieces of coconut.
  • If you separated the water into two batches, put the strained coconut back into the blender with the second batch of water.
  • Drink immediately or store in the fridge. Fresh coconut milk should be used within 3-4 days of making it for the best flavor and texture.

1,043 Comments

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    • Wings: you’re exactly right. I was going to include that, but the article was getting long as it is. Others may want to note that carageenan is also in all of the fake milks like almond, rice & soy.

      • Are we to assume that Arroy-D 100% coconut milk also contains carageenan although there is nothing on the label?

        • I think I can answer my own question:

          I just spoke to a person at Thai Agri Foods who assured me that Arroy-D 100% coconut milk is, in fact, 100% coconut milk. She denied that the product contains carageenan or any other additive.

  1. I bought the Aroy-D in cartons, and it’s wonderful. Truly the yummiest coconut milk I ever had. I don’t have it every day, but since I ditched milk, this makes great hot cocoa and cold beverages with that milky vibe.

    I used to be a canned foods junkie. No more. I’m ready to pass on most of my stuff to the food bank, cause we’re used to eating fresh now. Pretty much try to buy my oils and sauces in glass jars now, though I still have some “for emergency” canned stuff as I live in a hurricane zone.

    But definitely folks need to try the Aroy-D in the carton. No tinny taste, lovely coconut flavor….it’s all good.

    • And the company claims no BPA in the paper and they aren’t using the Guar Gum that is in their cans.

  2. People with digestive problems (IBS, IBD, GERD, etc.): may want to avoid coconut products entirely, except for coconut oil

    Would coconut butter pose a problem for a Crohn’s sufferer?

    Thanks/Regards,

      • I’m very grateful for your thoughts Chris. I’m very hesitant/cautious to try new things just in case it brings about a flair up, which leaves my diet pretty spartan but such caution has kept me healthy and flair up free for over 2 years and avoided the surgeon’s knife in the process! Once again, thank you for your time.
        Emz

    • Well, that’s the weird part – I never had reflux or GERD symptoms before Paleo, only while having coconut milk.

  3. Thanks as always for the informative article. I’m new to eating a much more pure and healthy diet. Unlike one of the posters here, I don’t see this as an article against coconut milk. I see it as information on why (as I’ve always believed) everything that’s supposed to be good for you isn’t always – especially when the corporate food conglomerates get through with it. In this case, canned coconut milk is especially bad because of the BPA from the can, but there are things you should also consider if you have other health concerns. You continue to inform and provide options and I thank you for that.

  4. Awesome post as always. Thanks Chris. To those people who feel the need to complain – these articles are available to everyone for FREE. You have your own brain to decide for yourself if you agree with it or not. I think it’s terrible when people who spend time and effort writing articles or posting things on youtube, get people being rude. Please think about a more constructive use of your time!

    • I think it’s ok if one doesn’t agree or is skeptical, but, maybe asking an intelligent question or stating one’s position is ok, but to critique or belittle the blogger’s position is arrogant and rude in my opinion. I disagree with many doctors and bloggers but I just do not go to their blog, especially if I strongly oppose their position or their style. Why spoil for others who enjoy that particular blog? idk…jmo

  5. I have a few more somewhat random BPA related questions.

    1. I use 1-2 cans of tomatoes a week. Are there BPA-free brands, or bottled tomatoes available, or do I need to learn to can my own each fall? Hmm…not a bad idea, actually!

    2. Does BPA on receipts get absorbed through skin, or does it need to be ingested?

    3. Would hand washing upon returning from shopping do enough and occur soon enough to minimize BPA exposure?

    4. Does anyone have a link that lists BPA content of a wide variety of foods and other sources?

    I have mild hypothyroid symptoms and am always looking for ways to reduce exposure to environmental things that might be contributing to this. Thanks again for a thought provoking post!

    • 1. The only one I know of is Eden Foods, which makes a glass jar tomato product. But I haven’t been able to find it locally.
      2. It gets on the hands, then the hands touch the eyes, mouth, nose etc. and it gets absorbed that way.
      3. Better not to touch the receipt at all. You are likely to touch some part of your face between the store and when you get home. But if not, probably.
      4. Here’s an article with some good links: https://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/09/26/waiter-theres-bpa-in-my-soup/#more-4108

      One of the main things BPA does is suppress thyroid function, so yes, it’s a good idea for you to reduce it as much as possible.

      • Thanks for the speedy reply. I researched a bit too and here’s what I found.

        Bionaturae has tomatoes and tomato paste in glass jars. It does travel from Italy, and shipping to your house isn’t the most eco friendly, but it is an option. I found a seller that has free shipping to make the cost manageable, but I am hesitant to post links on your blog. Canning lids have BPA since they are metal. Workarounds exist, but I haven’t looked into that yet.

        Receipts printed on thermal paper will leave a slightly darker scratch mark if you scratch it with a coin. This is one lottery ticket you DON’T want to be a “winner.”

        Using alcohol based hand gels to wash your hands actually increases BPA absorption, so use soap and water.

        Thanks again for the tips!

        • I keep a stainless steel bottle of water to drink in a cooler in my car and a hand towel nearby. When I come out of the store, I wash my hands with the water and dry briskly with the towel. Then I use soap and water when I get home and put that bottle in the dirty dish pile. I started this routine with the swine flu scare, but I like feeling clean and it’s easy so I still do it. Maybe that helps a bit with the receipts. I never use the hand gels because of the obnoxious fragrance.

      • http://www.greenpolkadotbox.com/invite/11774/
        This site, the Green PolkaDot Box will opening next Wed. offering both Eden brand And Native Forest brand canned goods as well as lots of other high quality natural food for home delivery anywhere in the US. Their prices are way cheaper than they are at my local grocer, or even than in a buying club I already belong to. I can’t wait! Members can also earn discounts for spreading the word. check it out.

    • Freeze your tomatoes vs. canning. Much easier! We harvest, cook our sauces and freeze for the winter. We gave up canning many, many years ago. Sterilizing jars was such a drag.

    • I use Pomi tomatoes, which come in a carton. They are tasty, and best of all the diced tomatoes are literally just diced tomatoes. The carton is 28 oz, which makes it an almost perfect substitute for the large cans of tomatoes. My Whole Foods carries them on the very bottom shelf of the canned tomatoes. I think you can also order them online.

    • Muir Glen Organics is transitioning to a new BPA free liner for their canned tomato products, if they haven’t already done so.

      Quote from Website:

      “Muir Glen has been working diligently with our can suppliers to develop and test alternative linings that do not use BPA, and we have successfully identified and tested an alternative that has proven safe and viable in our processing of tomatoes. We are transitioning to cans with liners that do not use BPA as we are canning this year’s tomato harvest.”

  6. Thank you Chris
    This explains some things I’ve dealt with relative to a particular client of mine consuming grass fed animal proteins, wild salmon, some leafy greens AND coconut milk.

    She actually began to feel better once eliminating fruit so I’m going to share this with her.

    I believe Whole Foods is working to use a no BPA can in their 365 brand.

    • Then I’d have to do a challenge, as I love WF organic coconut milk. Maybe like Melissa, I need to let my gut heal first. I was so no-fat, low-fat for so long that I wouldn’t doubt my gall bladder wasn’t secreting much. They should take out the guar while they’re at it.

  7. I just purchased some coconut cream from tropicaltraditions.com. It hasn’t arrived yet, but it comes in a glass jar and I read that you can take a few tablespoons and mix it with water and viola. Coconut milk.

    • I’ve done it this way. The consistency is quite different than canned coconut milk, but still tastes good. I prefer to make using the flakes and cheesecloth.

  8. I used to have some major issues with coconut milk. When I would eat it, it would be like the food in my stomach was unable to digest properly and would just sit there. I had bad burping and bloating. I suspect I had gastroparesis. Either way, I am healthier now and digest it fine. I’m glad to hear that the brand at my grocery store, Native Forest, is BPA-free, but I usually buy creamed coconut and dilute it to make milk since it’s the same price for a can of creamed coconut. I’d suggest people who have trouble with it might want to mix it with broth.

    • “I used to have some major issues with coconut milk. When I would eat it, it would be like the food in my stomach was unable to digest properly and would just sit there. I had bad burping and bloating.”

      Melissa, exactly how I felt, physically and rationally! More than half the time you can’t even burp and the pain is incredible. I’d have the first bite of a meal and the indigestion and lack of burping would start, even some immediate regurgitation. Abandoned the coconut milk, and all this stopped.

      • I had that problem and it turned out to be the guar gum. Making my own solved the problem.

  9. A bit of an aside, but you did bring up “BPA especially leaches into canned foods that are acidic, salty or fatty,…” Is this a problem with tuna? If so, would you point me to a post on that? Great post!

  10. I thought it was a good article Chris. The BPA is the most concerning issue to me as I am otherwise healthy and have put down cans of coconut milk at a sitting with seemingly no issues. However, my main sources of coconut oil WERE chefs choice, Thai Kitchen Organic, and whole foods’ 365 organic coconut milk. How are you sure about the BPA content of coconut milks. No companies list it on their labels. I ordered the BPA free kind but it is more expensive of course.

    • Canned coconut milk is one of the highest sources of BPA in canned food (along with canned tomatoes). However, as Tony pointed out, that pales in comparison to BPA exposure from cash register receipts. It’s hard to know whether the BPA you get from canned coconut milk has a significant health impact, but the study I linked to in the article does suggest that eliminating canned foods and using only glass for food storage decreased BPA levels by 60-75% in the study cohort. That clearly indicates that canned food is capable of raising BPA levels.

        • Aroy-D All Natural Coconut Milk is now in a box – this may have been mentioned elsewhere – and they are publicizing the problem with BPA in cans and their paper boxes are free of it. They also removed the Guar Gum that is in their cans from it – the ingrediants are : Ingredients: coconut milk 55%, water, potassium metabisulfite (as perservative). Unsweetened.

    • As far as i know the BPA is VISIBLE in the can, it is a white plastic looking coating inside the can. If your can insides just looks metallic it shoud be fine. BTW, never scrape out the contents of a BPA lined can!

      • our pet food cans ARE lined with BPA, admitted from our pet food company (Wellness) but they are not white. They are metallic. So, being white is not always true.

      • I think any plastic looking lining has BPA. The purpose of the lining is to protect the consumer from exposure to lead in the solder of the seam of the can. Plastic: bad, Lead: bad. Real food, for most people, good.

  11. The problem with BPA is not so much that it is estrogenic (it has a rather low estrogenic effect), but that it interferes with the thyroid hormones (just compare the chemical/structural formula of BPA to T3/T4).
    See here: http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/reprint/87/11/5185.pdf

    And by far the biggest troublemaker with regards to BPA are really the receipts. I think you would need to *eat* dozens of plastic bottles, to get the same exposure to BPA as with a single touch of a BPA covered receipt.
    http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/2008/10/toxins-bpa-estrogens.html
    http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/2009/12/bpa-in-thermal-printer-ink.html

    And I think the biggest problem with coconut milk are the other ingredients (all kinds of things to thicken or emulsify the product), whether declared or undeclared…

    • I completely agree that the BPA in receipts is a far greater problem. But this article was about coconut milk.

      Re: estrogenic activity, the papers I’ve seen is that BPA binds more strongly to alternative estrogen receptors, and its physiological effects are thought to be mediated by these alternative pathways. This in turn triggers changes in hormone concentration, enzyme function, protein synthesis, and more.

      • Hey Chris,

        Question, if I am only giving my daughter Coconut milk because she doesn’t like regular milk, should I be giving her a certain brand and unsweetened? I do use So Delicious Coconut milk out of the cartoon and it looks like it is fortifided with some stuff but overall seems like a healthy alternative to cows milk. Are there any side effects from her drinking this instead of cows milk? Also doesn’t look like there is added sugar but is that something they typically do, cause I wouldn’t want her having a ton of sugar.

        Thanks!
        Cameron

        • The So Delicious brand of coconut milk has ingredients that I wouldn’t want to drink myself, especially carrageenan which has been implicated to be a carcinogen and cause digestive upset in several studies. It also has guar gum which Dr. Kresser explains above, and folic acid as opposed to folate, which has also been implicated with some problems.

          If your daughter doesn’t seem to be having any negative reaction to the coconut milk itself, I would switch to one of the brands or methods of obtaining coconut milk Dr. Kresser lists above, but I would not keep drinking the So Delicious brand.

          The other thing I would ask is WHY are you giving your daughter coconut milk? If she isn’t interested in milk, she can have her nutritional needs met elsewhere. Many of us use it as a replacement for cows milk because we miss the texture in things like smoothies, but if she isn’t interested in that then there might not be a reason to give it to her.

      • I asked my local Whole Foods if BPA was in the receipts and they said No – just confirm that with your store. I think they must just be saving paper when they ask if you want your receipt- but not sure. I have a hard time not taking receipts just because of habit and needing to check pricing over. I am trying to ask all the vendors I use from banks to gas, so far most do not know what I am talking about- not a good sign.

        • Would you really trust the companies to tell you the truth? I am refusing receipts now but another alternative might be to hold out a ziplock bag and let them drop them in there.

          Thank you for this article Chris. I had forgotten about BPA in cans. Yuck. I eat tuna and sardines and wonder in BPA is in these cans too, is it in all cans?

      • Hello Chris,

        I find this somewhat interesting however, I always consumed coconut milk maybe since I was 7yrs old and now I am 28. I come from a puerto rican family and so we usually make and consume a lot of “limbers de coco” which is a frozen coconut beverage, similar to a pop sickle, but instead we call them limbers.Of course everyone prepares there own version of coconut limbers. Most of these limbers are prepared with loads of sugar which obviously kills the benefit. I still make them at home and I do buy a couple of cans at a Bravo (Hispanic market) because I just love them specially for the summer and because it is part of my culture. I am also a health cautious but I never experienced anything of a sort till date other than yes I believe I might be lactose tolerant, but the fact that I get some bloating after any type of milk, and not just the whole coconut milk itself. I also know a lot of people that try to avoid it because of the fat content and the cholesterol levels but I am very slender and including my other cousins that also is a coconut nut worshiper. lol. I also for some reason never trusted on any type of can foods, but to really try to find a good coconut milk can be a headache. I also have the habit of drinking it with Bacardi rum which is similar to white Russian, it is very delicious my god, but of course not healthy maybe because of the alcohol. I only have it like once in a while and I look younger normally like 12yrs of age. That should mean that there is something good going on, I mean if I am in great shape right? I also believe that it is the way you train your body & soul into exposing everyday things in life and understanding it.

        • I also would like to know some of your opinion about what I just mentioned “the limbers’ frozen coconut milk and I forgot to mention that it is inside a plastic cup which probably would lead to some leads. I just would love to learn some more and since I eat this like everyday. I prepare the milk with brown splenda sugar, cinnamon, vanilla abstract and real chunks of coconut which a break on the floor. I mix all the ingredients together and pure them into the small plastic cups and up on the freezer. I take like two or three everyday. Thanks for the article! 😉

  12. Oh yes! The world is a highly contaminated environment. With arsenic in chicken, mercury in seafood, dioxin in milk and now, BPA in coconut milk. With 9 billion inhabitants what more can one say.

    My grandfather always said: Don’t shit in your own nest.

    Unfortunately, that is exactly what we have done.

    Bon Appétit!

    • very unfortunate of course.
      and where all this shit has originated ? of course from USA.
      If not, these chemicals would have never spread around the world.
      It’s the american greedy companies like Monsanto and hundreds of others, if not thousands, who have created these chemicals in food, in crops, in plastics, in car dashboards…even in the air. Everything with one thing in mind:: to make more more more money.
      It’s a capitalistic system. The only thing these corporations care is money, nothing else.
      And mafia like Monsanto keeps acting like a Nazi Machine, using every possible tool to force farmers around the world to grow GMO crops, and this is all for money. But Monsanto is not only GMO. They started with Agent Orange stuff that was dropped on Vietnam during the vietnam war, making millions and millions of people in Vietnam sick and causing cancer. And of course thousands of americans got affected as well to suffer years after the war has ended.
      I don’t think there is other more evil company than Monsanto. Monsanto was a “pioneer” in spreading deseases around the world thru pesticides, herbicides…etc. And they keep spreading it.

      This is from: http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/agentorange032102.cfm

      ” From 1962 to 1970, the US military sprayed 72 million liters of
      herbicides, mostly Agent Orange, in Vietnam. Over one million
      Vietnamese were exposed to the spraying, as well as over 100,000
      Americans and allied troops. Dr. James Clary, a scientist at the
      Chemical Weapons Branch, Eglin Air Force Base, who designed the
      herbicide spray tank and wrote a 1979 report on Operation Ranch Hand
      (the name of the spraying program), told Senator Daschle in 1988,

      “When we (military scientists) initiated the herbicide program in the
      1960s, we were aware of the potential for damage due to dioxin
      contamination in the herbicide. We were even aware that the ‘military’
      formulation had a higher dioxin concentration than the ‘civilian’
      version due to the lower cost and speed of manufacture. However,
      because the material was to be used on the ‘enemy,’ none of us were
      overly concerned. We never considered a scenario in which our own
      personnel would become contaminated with the herbicide.”

      • You are condemning a nation [or by implication it’s white European portion] for the actions of an untouchable elite. It’s unfortunate we cannot separate dietary Puritanism from left-wing politics, for I suspect that many here consume coconut in part – whether they care to admit it or not – because it is a tropical food and therefore ‘ethnic’ in some sense. Combine white self-loathing with the encouragement it affords the inverted snobbery and sense of entitlement of minorities and, in addition to the stern pieties of lectures like this one, we find that what permits identification of an obscure Asian food technology [thanks for the pronunciation guide Jose] but probably couldn’t tell us the 32nd President of the USA becomes a guiding principle of culture. I am not American. I am an Englishman. Leave America alone. Hasn’t corporate food has been poisoning the U.S.A. no less enthusiastically than other regions of the earth for many decades? It is no fault of the American people if under-development and political corruption abroad allows commerce to go about its business less furtively, with fewer restrictions. Conspiracy theorists claim the elite wants a significantly reduced population across the globe. Adulterating our food and, when we get sick, handing us over to the Big Pharma to pick over our bones in the sure and certain hope that what they prescribe will never make us better might be one way of going about it, in which case your focus, however emotionally satisfying, is altogether too narrow.

        • +11111 Joe Saponic!

          And please remember that the main driver (originally; maybe not so much now) of the experimentation and work to grow more food (that led, alas, to Monsanto) was the desire on the part of those (mainly) white-European-Americans to feed a starving majority non-white-European-American world population! Ever heard of the “Green Revolution”? That was when mainly American ingenuity led to massive increases in (granted, unhealthy — but they didn’t know that then) food, mainly grain, production. While I’m all for leashing Monsanto with extreme prejudice, will you also count those (countless) millions who would have *starved* if not for the food bounty provided by America and Americans?!

          NO ONE is wholly evil, Zal. Not even the America you apparently hate so much!

  13. I make fresh coconut milk in the vitamix. I use a wooden bench-type tool I bought at an Asian grocery store that allows you to sit on it and use a small blade to scrape out the coconut. Not sure what it is called, but they use them in the Pacific Islands.

    Also, I know boxed coconut milk has bad additives, but do the box linings have BPA?

    • I buy Aroy-D at the local Asian grocery store. There are many different kinds of Aryo-D. There is milk, cream, etc. There is the one I use (for Thai Curry) which states “for cooking,” its ingredients are “60% coconut extract, water.” I assume this differs from the one that states “for desserts.”
      Personally, I’m not giving up my curry and the Aroy-D is delicious and inexpensive.

    • I use this Turtle Mountain in a carton as well marketed as So Delicious. I get it at our local IGA here in Canada and it comes from Eugene, OR. Not sure why so many Americans would drink it from cans since the product must be widely available in the U.S.

      (Canda prohibits the use of plastics containing BPA in baby bottle liners, and all baby foods. Maybe someday we’ll get around to the adults)

  14. According to NutritionData.com, coconut milk has VERY LITTLE sugar of any kind – including fructose. Nevertheless, I do have patients that cannot even tolerate homemade coconut milk (which has no guar gum in it), even though they are fine with coconut oil. I ASSUME that they are reacting to the fructose in the coconut milk – but I can’t be sure.

    Sorry but I just don’t see enough data or evidence here to make that conclusion/ASsumption.

    • Emilee, God forbid that I should tell anyone not to be opinionated on someone else’s blog, since I am myself from time to time and I’d be a hypocrite–but you are just being rude. I see plenty of loopholes here for someone who wants to continue consuming coconut milk and it’s not like Chris has a gun to your or anyone else’s head. Go take a cold shower and soak your head a while, you’ll feel better.

      • There was absolutely nothing wrong with emilee’s posts. They evidenced critical thinking. You are overreacting.

        • There was absolutely nothing wrong with Emilee’s posts if you were rating them for high levels of snarkiness. Extra points for sneaking in sarcastic commentary through clever use of capital letters.

          I don’t see a lot of critical thinking in many of these comments, but I do see a lot of criticism.

          I gained useful perspectives from this article and found the title catchy and not misleading. And even if you’re incredibly smart and know more about something than most of the human race, sometimes you need a little reminder.

          Thanks for putting this information out there, Chris.

    • I don’t need any more evidence than this: certain patients feel bad after eating coconut milk (even homemade), and then feel better when they remove it. Period. That’s enough for them, and it’s enough for me. Science isn’t perfect, so sometimes we can only speculate on the mechanisms. Your reaction is strange. I can only assume you sell coconut milk or have some other ulterior motive. Otherwise, there’s absolutely no reason to respond the way you are.

      • Dana, exactly it is hypocritical so take your own advice. The problem is I see so many “well meaning” natural foods/health blogs which I follow many are so quick to jump and say, this is BAD don’t eat/drink it etc…and coconut is an amazing food source. it just think the article sets a bad tone and people are quick to forward on these messages and then the message gets more exaggerated each time…all based on a small assumption. Lots of healthy foods make otherwise healthy people ill and they can’t tolerate it, or they need some gut healing to be able to tolerate it. If coconut milk makes someone feel bad they can stop drinking it, that doesn’t mean coconut milk is bad and needs to be warned against. Sorry if I was a little overzealous I had come across several articles like this on other topics and “news” type sites, it sets a bad example in the natural food/health community that as soon as we see one little iota that something could be “bothersome” to some people it’s “bad” gotta get a warning out or else.

        And nope I don’t sell a thing. just dont’ understand all the fearmongering going on within the natural community lately.

        • I completely agree about CANNED coconut milk…

          For example those same people with the fructose intolerance, certainly can’t eat honey then because it’s got about 4times the amount of fructose…so is Honey a danger? Would you warn the dangers of honey? No because it most likely benefits more people than not and is an amazing healing food.

        • Emilee,

          The title of the article is “3 reasons why coconut milk may not be your friend”. I am a health care practitioner. My job is to help sick people get well. These articles aren’t written for the “healthy general population” – for the most part. They’re written for people that are either struggling with some health problem, or want to optimize their health to the greatest extent possible.

          Please don’t put words into my mouth. I didn’t say coconut milk is bad, nor did I say people should stop drinking it. Your job, like anyone else’s, is to THINK. I outlined the reasons why coconut milk MAY be a problem. Nowhere did I make a single absolute statement about coconut milk.

          • Hi Chris. In this response to Emilee you go back and forth between coconut oil and milk. I’m assuming you meant milk. Not trying to nitpick but it seems like people want to explode on this post, so I thought I’d mention it!

      • Well, thanks to Dr. Kresser again for me. He first wrote about methyl B12 being more easily absorbed than cyano and after three yrs of neuropathy in my left leg, it is now gone since starting methyl 13 days ago.

        As for coconut milk, I got an upper GI bleed (with GERD symptoms) 3 or 4 mths into going Paleo and no explanation for it. Ironically, about the same time I heard Dr. Kresser say on a podcast that some people can’t tolerate guar in coconut milk. I had been drinking a lot of it. I cut out the coconut milk, increased my whipping cream, and all GERD symtoms (belching, excruciating pain in chest and left arm numbness/tingling, pain in the sternum, etc.) went away! So, if Dr. Kresser had not said so, I would have undergone an unnecessary endoscopy. Dr. ruled out a couple other things on exam and blood tests. But they also wanted to put me on PPIs which I didn’t do. Kresser’s not fear mongering. He’s enducating us for free.

        By the way, where’s your PAYPAL button Dr. Kresser? I’d like to donate some of my savings to you!

        • In response to Sandra. What a brilliant comment. A true example of someone taking their health in to their own hands and not waiting for a doctor to come up with a solution, by doctor I mean your typically GP with too many patients to have the time to care. Dr. Kresser definitely deserves donations, where is that paypal button.

        • you go girl! i personally liked the article. its good to understand as much as we can about everything that we consume. this info was very useful for me, as I am currently exploring new eating habits for my family and I to PREVENT health problems (of which I fortunately don’t have), so I personally have concluded that too much of anything is not good for you…

      • “I don’t need any more evidence than this: certain patients feel bad after eating coconut milk (even homemade), and then feel better when they remove it. Period. That’s enough for them, and it’s enough for me.”

        This is a breath of fresh air! I had IBS for 20 years pre-paleo, and I would often tell various medical professionals that a particular food caused me a particular problem, to be told, “there’s no scientific evidence for that.” Gaah! I would then have to resist the urge to shake them and scream, “the rapid onset of explosive diarrhoea is all the evidence I need!” Your patients must love having a doctor who actually listens to them.

        I’ve just discovered your site, and I’d like to say thanks, I’m really enjoying reading it. 🙂

        • jean…..I will have to clap clap clap! I was just wanting a safe coffee creamer and all articles led to coconut milk until this….Your delightful visual has made me drink my coffee mate sugar free hazelnut with a whole new enjoyment this Sunday Morning! I swear I laughed HARD for 5 straight minutes, No-Way will I take the chance of this comical visual becoming my reality! Lordy No!

          You have a great day, I have you to thank for a real good start to mine!
          Louisa

      • Read my response above and please tell me how long does it take to stop the bloating and especially the pain in my abdomin after I stop drinking it? Is there anyting I can do to help it along? Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Emilee I cannot tolerate coconut milk at all – and I love it – however, I do tolerate heavy cream just fine – Guar Gum and all (I do try to avoid GG as much as possible on general principles, but it’s hard when you are out and about)

    • Apparently you didn’t read the article. The last section explains why even homemade coconut milk can cause problems for people.

        • for >>1 in 3 people, which is a lot. I am one and can attest to what Chris said. I have improved by removing canned coconut milk AND most container dairy free milks because most of them have CARAGEENAN and Gums. Look up Carageenan article by Ray Peat and see how damaging to the gut it is.

          • yes, and the same 1 in 3 people are going to get problem from a whole lot of other natural foods too. the truth be known that such digestive problems are caused not from the natural foods, but through years of continued ingestion of processed foods and/or foods for which our digestive systems are not evolved to consume- the reaction to these natural foods that are suppose to be part of the human diet are will in the majority of cases be a symptom.

            • Aha!! I have refrained from commenting on these postings, but Ric has stated something I have suspected from the begining. After years of subjecting a digestive system to crap, anything that would cleanse or mitigate inflamation may have an initial adverse reaction. It is then easy to think that that new thing you ingested is the culprit. Best example is when people suddenly for the first time ever increase their fibre comsuption. This fibre would unleash a ton of toxins making people very ill which would cause people to think that fibre is bad. It’s like asbestos removal; it’s fine until you attempt to remove it. It is further complicated if commercial coconut milks have stuff it shouldn’t have and that may actually be aggrivating the situation. Not an easy diagnosis for doctors and the best tool is knowlwdge to empower people to diagnose themselves accurately.

              • No, your gut reacts badly to the introduction of more fiber because you’re not used to having it in your gut. And it’s probably mostly insoluble fiber which can actually damage the gut lining–so if you have to do this, get as much of your fiber soluble as possible. If you have any questions about what a food contains, the USDA nutrition database breaks down the fiber content of foods by type of fiber. So just look it up.

                • No, gut reaction and damage to gut lining, with the introduction of more insoluble fiber, is caused from not drinking enough fluids. I have worked with diets of the elderly (90-102 years in age) for many years, and ALL of them never experienced any constipation or intestinal or gut disturbances when given a very high insoluble fiber diet (30-45 grams daily) WITH plenty of fluids. Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables are important as well. Health overall also improved greatly. In the case of diverticulitis, the only way it clears up is to not have any insoluble fiber in the diet for a few weeks…UNTIL it clears up, and then the ONLY way it will not recur, is to introduce slowly a diet high in insoluble fiber WITH lots of fluids. NO white/processed grains. Most 100% whole grain bread has very little whole grains in it with white/processed grains mostly added along with it. Insoluble fiber comes from many sources, not just whole grains. On the other hand, insoluble fiber is for carrying cholesterol out from the body. This has worked in 100% of all cases.

                • You are right, I brutally decided to become a vegetarian despite my love of meat and dairy. I wanted to be healthy to say goodbye to my acne, to my constant fatigue, to my dull complexion. I stopped eating animal protein all together, and it was 50% of my daily diet ! I replaced it with whole raw carrots and fresh spinach and fruits and salad etc…within one week I developed a bad case of bowel obstruction, I thought it was appendicitis, and it could have turned that way. I fasted for 3 days, only water and honey and finally, managed to have a bowel movement. Now I eat brown/white rice every time I eat veggies and I also snack on gluten free bread.

              • When someone switches over from a “processed food” diet to a natural diet of whole foods, the body doesn’t recognize the natural food. You may experience stomach upset or other symptoms while the body adjusts to the change. It will pass. Detox is a good thing to do under a health professional’s guidance, or use clay to safely detox before switching. (www.aboutclay.com)

              • No. Some people just react to certain foods. Period. I drank coconut milk occassionally for at least a couple of years. Now that I’m on the autoimmune paleo diet I have significantly increased my coconut consumption from a couple of times a week to several times a day and my stomach is going nuts. I dont even remember the last time i was so bloated. And for the record, I’ve maintained a healthy diet since college.

                • What is “healthy” can vary widely from one individual to another and can change as we age, move to new locations, experience trauma, etc. You might try eating slivers of fresh ginger root, eating pineapples, sipping lemon water, and/or drinking aloe vera juice. These all alleviate the symptoms of my chemical sensitivities and boost digestion. Best wishes!

        • This is so disheartening. I have had GERD since last year and have had to restrict my diet for that. I’ve also gut out gluten and reduced rice consumption (due to arsenic levels), so my diet is restricted even further. Coconut cream, flakes, coconut water and coconut milk (I use another BPA-free brand you didn’t mention) have become staples in my current diet and now I find I can’t have those either? Good Lord, what is left for me to eat?! 🙁

          • Buy a coconut, clean it and drink the water, eat the meat. Why buy processed junk if you can have the real thing?

            • That is what I do but I like some milk in my breakfast and I don’t want dairy anymore I am in Thailand I just bought Aroy-D (that means very tasty) and Chaokoh, in small carton box, they both say no preservative but the way they achieve it concern me about the lost of enzymes and other during the process .I wander if would loose many benefits because of it, I shouldn’t worry given the really small daily amount I need but I would like to increase it if the benefits are worth it.

              • Riki, I’ve got the perfect solution (to which Chris allluded to as well).
                Make your own milk – it’s so easy, fast, delicious, less expensive and more flavorful. Unlike Chris’ recipe, I do not heat the water or use already processed coconut flakes/meat. Buy 1 organic coconut, crack it open (David Wolfe has a great tutorial on youtube), peel off the thin brown skin with a vegetable peeler, through it in a blender and add 4 cups spring water. Blend for several minutes, then strain. The less water you use, the creamier the product. I have very successfully substituted this coconut milk/cream for half & half in an occasional cup of coffee and use it regularly with my quinoa cereal and in smoothies. It is delicious!! Good luck!

                • Thank you Nancy … Im excited to make my own milk starting with coconut and moving on to other types of nuts… Thanks for sharing your info. JT

                • Just a quick bit of info I learned from someone who experimented enough to know… There is a purpose/reason for heating the water, even though it may seem quicker to use cold water and skip the heating of the water. Not sure of the “science” behind it, but the heated water somehow (safely) breakdowns the coconut flakes and allows the trapped natural fats within the coconut to be released. This is what makes your “end-product” creamy, instead of resembling slightly scented coconut water… You actually end up with home-made coconut MILK. By this theory… MAYBE less warm water vs water just below the boiling point- would give you a lower fat milk??? Obviously not a scientific method… Just a thought? ALSO, those looking to use fresh coconuts, PLEASE BE SAFE! True fresh coconuts, not sprayed with chemicals to extend shelf-life, ONLY HAVE A FEW DAYS BEFORE THEY START MOLDING/ MILDEWING!!

              • Hi Rikki

                I usually live in Thailand. I used to drink a lot of the 2 coconut milks you mentioned. They are both full of crap.

                You cannot believe packaging here. There is no real regulation in Thailand (Indo etc.). Thai’s even joke about this. Packaging (and what anyone tells you) is absolutely meaningless. In all the corrupt countries I’ve been to.

                Wherever you are, you live 5 minutes from a local market. Most sizeable markets have coconut grinders where you can buy milk (which will have MSG added as soon as it’s made) or freshly shredded coconut. Buy the shreds and make your own. Massage fresh shreds in a bowl with hot water for 5 mins – no blender necessary. Dry the shreds out after milking for yummy course coconut flour (I grill mine a bit for colour and flavour).

                There is MSG in everything you eat in Thailand plus thickners, emulsifiers and preservatives in the coconut milk. You will laugh when you see real coconut milk for the first time. It texture is thinner (even when reduced), it tastes different to canned crap, and goes off in 1 day.

                You could insulate a house with aroi-D et al.

                Chok dee!

            • Exactly! And the TJs can lining doesn’t have BPA.

              While I don’t want to discount the benefit of a low FODMAP diet for some people, the *majority* of people CAN tolerate FODMAPs. FODMAPs are in lots of very healthy, nutritious foods as well as bad, processed ones. I wouldn’t want to discourage people from eating broccoli, onions or even using coconut milk (sans additives/BPA) if they don’t have adverse effects.

            • Hi Judith

              Trader Joe’s coconut milk is a product of Thailand (from the labels I’ve seen online). It’s only distributed by TJ’s. I would be very, very, very surprised if the product wasn’t full of junk.

              There is no regulation in Thailand. Nor are there any laws that are enforced rigorously. Things are different there.

              You can’t trust what manufacturers tell you. Locals know it, expats know it. It’s a running gag. I see Thai products on supermarket shelves in my home country and I know for a fact there are unlisted ingredients.

              Importers in my home country aren’t expected to send all the products they bring in off to a spectrometer to quantify ingredients. I assume it’s the same in the states.

              Make coconut milk yourself and compare it to TJ’s.

              PS Don’t get me wrong I love Thailand and choose to live there!

            • Trader Joe’s sells coconut milk in a waxed cardboard box for $1.99 per quart (where I am at least). It does have a small amount of carrageenan in it as well as some evaporated cane sugar. I use it on cold cereal and wherever else I previously used dairy milk, which I no longer consume. It also makes the best dark chocolate pudding (from scratch—GMO-free cornstarch and rich dark chocolate 85% or above) that you’ve ever tasted.

              • The Kroger grocery chain has a line of foods called Simple Truth that are often marked organic. They also have coconut milk by the quart in a waxed cardboard box. Don’t happen to have one in the closet right now, so I can’t check the label, but I’ve used it and like it as much as Trader Joe’s, but it costs about 30 cents more per quart.

          • my 3 year old son drinks lots of coconut water daily and had gerd. I’d like to understand why coconut water is bad.

            • Fructose maybe the cause, after all coconut contain natural sugar and people with GERD react with every kind of sugar. I say so because i have GERD and SIBO and sometimes i have gerd when i drink coconut milk, soy milk or almond milk.

              However i can tolerate honey, especially the honey not refined and pasteurized, that i go buy direct to the farm (i live in Italy).

              Everyone have different tolerance especially when you have some health issue cause by refined food.

      • I was also disapointed as I only drink So Delicious.
        The article makes it sound like those are the only non canned coconut milks.
        Thanks for the info you did provide, but inwas looking for more, like Emilee, and I did indeed read the entire article.

        • So Delicious Coconut “Milk” is not just the coconut extracted milk; it is a “beverage”. Read the ingredients.

          • And one of those ingredients is guar gum, so the article still applies for 2 out of 3 points.

        • Equally as good as So Delicious is the Trader Joe brand, and less expensive. The article is disappointing though.

      • Seriously? That’s the best you got? BPA, fructose, and guar gum? I’ll show you why your article sucks.
        BPA- buy coconut milk in widely available cartons
        Fructose- not a problem if you are tolerant
        Guar gum- totally harmless

        What’s next? An article on the dangers of distilled water?

        • The vast majority of people buy coconut oil in cans. Many people have IBS or other gut issues, which are worsened by fructose intolerance. Guar gum also causes digestive distress in a substantial number of my patients with gut issues. The point of this article is to bring attention to these concerns, not to condemn coconut milk itself.

          • If the article isn’t meant to condemn coconut milk itself, why is it named, “3 reasons why coconut milk may not be your friend?” I definitely felt misled after reading the article. There are many, many products that come in cans and contain fructose.

            • I think the title was perfect.

              “3 reasons why coconut milk MAY not be your friend?”

              Dictionary.com;
              May
              1. (used to express possibility): It may rain.

              You are confusing “may” with “is” or some other word implying something definite.

            • Maybe I’m missing something here?

              To me the article basically states coconut Milk is good for most people, but canned coconut milk (and canned foods/drinks in general) should be avoided in favour of cartoned milk.

              If the article was meant to condemn coconut milk, why on earth would links to retailers of coconut milk be provided along with a recipe for readers to make their own?

              Sabrina I really do think you are way off the mark in assuming a negative portrayal of coconut milk in this article, and I for one will be either buying or making my own coconut Milk on the strength of the information given by Chris here.

              • I agree!!! I was happy the title caught my attention, as I learned some info I didn’t know, although I drink carton not canned – thank goodness! But I had been considering trying canned…. And now I know not too, and I know that making your own is still way better and why so! AND I HAD NO IDEA that BPA was in canned goods (and honestly learned more about why BPA is so bad) – is everyone MISSING THAT POINT – HELLOOOOOO PEOPLE!?! There are ALOT OF CANNED GOODS ON THE GROCERY STORE SHELVES!!! Doesn’t this CONCERN YOU!?! It does ME – for me, my family, and the general public! I mean – what DID YOU WANT to read in the article??? What would have been worthy of that title??? How about “YOU CAN LOSE 50lbs in a week IF YOU STOP DRINKING COCONUT MILK!” – Would that have been good enough?? You know, since so many are always looking for that miracle weightloss cure, instead of doing it right (portion control, exercise, and eat a balanced diet). THIS GUY WAS DOING HIS JOB!!! BRINGING US INFORMATION THAT WE DIDNT HAVE TO GO RESEARCH OR FIND OR WRITE OR VALIDATE OR DO ANYTHING FOR…. AND shamefully people sit behind a screen and type complaints instead of THANKS!!! Thank you sir – for your hard work and information and contributions and care for your readers/followers/fellow human beings – for bringing us this information!!! I – for one – AM GRATEFUL!!!

                • 100% agree
                  agree with the title
                  agree with you

                  complainers and negative people are every where

            • Judging an article by its title, rather than its content, is the proof of illiteracy in people. Try reading first, rather than assuming blindly like an idiot people.

          • Hello, I agree with the information provided and thought it was well written. The people responding by attacking you makes it seem like they are emotionally disturbed after all the article is about coconut milk and your experience with it in your practice and how it MAY disturb some people. People here are responding as if you said something bad about their mom. I have been drinking a lot of canned coconut milk in shakes lately, it’s sooooo delicious, but I have started to have stomach issues. Thank god for this article because now I can eliminate it from my diet for a while and see if it is the culprit. If it is this article will have saved me an expensive trip to the doctors & LAN work. As I don’t have insurance. People calm down if the information doesn’t suit you it doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable to someone else and there is no reason to negatively attack someone who’s goal has good intentions which is to help others.

            • Betsy:
              “there is no reason to negatively attack someone who’s goal has good intentions which is to help others”… but you just called all who responded differently than you “emotionally disturbed”. Isn’t that an attack??
              I don’t see how emotions come into play about this either…
              This article is informational, but misleading due to a poor choice of a title and that’s where most of the fuss is coming from. That’s all.

          • I am testimony to the effects of coconut milk and IBS. I bought cartons and started to feel grumbly tum and then diohrea. I checked about coconut milk and found it was no good for IBS sufferers. I was using it in hot drinks and on cereals. 🙁

          • I know this comment was posted almost a year ago, but I do have to agree with what Sabrina wrote. This post and title are misleading. As we are trying to navigate through all of the Do’s and (soo many) Don’ts of the Paleo life style, it is very disheartening to read post where the intention is not clear. If the first impression you want to give people is a negative one (like using a title that “condemns” coconut milk) then no one will appreciate the message or information you are trying to convey.
            Even though I am little confused on FODMAP, I think the information was useful and I will start making my own coconut milk rather than buy canned.
            Hope this helped

            • The title is “misleading” because it’s actually a copywriting trick. Copywriters are taught to snag a reader’s attention by creating attention-getting headlines. Seems like it worked :-).

              • Agree with Julia, the title seemed to be a bait to get you to read thinking what is bad in coconut milk. Didn’t appreciate that. But article is informative otherwise.

                And saying the fructose in it is not tolerated by people with gut problem coupled with the title makes it look like coconut milk, even home made may not be good in general. Such generalization is not fair. If we apply same logic and generalize we can use lactose intolerance by some as the reason for generalizing ‘ why Milk may not be your friend’.

                It is true that if you go word by word and argue the title uses ‘may’ and not ‘is’, so grammatically such a generalization is not put forward, but the tone of the article and the first impression on reading the title misleads one or puts the thrust on coconut milk rather that some things to consider when consuming Coconut Milk. I would have considered a more appropriate title would have been ‘ Things to consider while consuming Coconut Milk’

              • I’m glad you mentioned the need for attention-grabbing headlines. Sometimes things just need to stand out in the inbox, away from all of the other clutter – or articles just don’t get read. But there’s a difference between attention-grabbing and misleading. I don’t think this article misleads!

                My partner and I have been piecing together this information ourselves, but the information has been acquired from different sources and I haven’t read a post before that combines all these threads. Thanks to Chris for doing the research and presenting this information in this format. I am very sad that coconut is not my friend!! Partner gets on extremely well with coconut milk but sadly I get cramps and bloating. I don’t get on well with FODMAPs. Very frustrating as coconut is a great ingredient in smoothies. Have tried BPA-free Arroy-D for the reasons mentioned above but it just does not agree with me … Apologies for all of the rude readers who simply criticise without reading and understanding the content!

            • If you have digestive disorders or are guar gum intolerant, the title of the article is perfect for you. I can’t believe people are complaining about the title.

            • I agree. The title left a negative feeling with me before I even began to read it. No big deal, though. No-one is perfect. I still learned a heap and am grateful for the information.

              • Thank Goddess for this article!!!! The title really helped me to understand, sadly, after the fact, why drinking home made, organic, in a vitamix, coconut milk that I then cultured with organic keifer grains, made me soooooo very sick. Wish I had read your article earlier, Chris. And thank you for your excellent work.

                It is now 2 days after drinking the homemade coconut keifer and I have been in bed all day: exhausted, dizzy, brain fogged. . .
                Tried the above after a whole extreme AIP 30 including no FODMAPS, no fruit at all.

          • I was told that ALL processed (not from actual coconut) products are of no nutritional benefit since they are pasturized hence removing vital nutrients. Even the ones that add vitamins back in are not adding in electolytes etc.. I do like the idea of making it from fresh coconut chips.

          • Wow; you got your work cut out for you sir – that or the banter results form a nation’s battle with ADD.

            • What your are referring to is NOT coconut milk – it is a coconut beverage. Not the same.

            • I wondered the same with boxed Organic Almond Milk. When I tried it in my cappuccino it tasted like cardboard. Then I read the ingredients on the carton – WOW! Btw, Carageenan is a known carciogenic. I started making Almond Milk in my Vita-Mix – OMG what a difference! I will start doing the same with Coconut Milk.

          • Why does guar gum cause digestive issues? We have gluten dairy and egg allergies so gluten free baking is difficult because without gluten or eggs to “glue” it together it usually falls apart. I was using guar gum which I purchased at a health food store to substitute. I have no idea if we are having a reaction. Are there other ingredients in place of it that someone can recommend?

          • Chris … thank you for your article… I agree with a handlful of people that also commented on how your article was more imformitive than hurtful.One woman specificly may be a Crossfit/paleo extremist. As there may be possibilities to purchase already made product, I’m excited to try and make my own. Thank you

          • Chris, great information that you give. Any comment on So Delicious Coconut Milk; i have tried it for the last year and have had great success with it. Haven’t went back to milk since. Its in a carton rather than can.

        • I have to agree. The header of the article sounds ominous, specially for those who depend on coconut to manage their digestive conditions.
          If canned coconut milk is the issue then write an article about canned stuff, not coconut.. dughhh

          • Did you read the article? One of the main points is that coconut milk causes digestive problems for people, especially when it has guar gum.

            • Hi Chris

              I’m just wondering if by the same rationale that coconut aminos would present a problem?
              I found it, love it, but just a couple days ago started getting some major digestive upset a few hours after consumption. This has happened twice now. Maybe coincidence?

              • Hi Chris,

                I’ve asked the same question twice, and lack of response indicates to me that you either don’t know or don’t care. As far as me being on the fence as hiring you as a consultant, I have to now say: why bother?

                • Liz: I get about 50-75+ comments on my blog and about 40+ questions sent to me via email every day, in addition to my the work I do for my radio show, special reports, Facebook page posts, and tweets – all offered free of charge. There’s no way I can get to every question or comment posted. I’d have no time for my family, taking care of myself or doing the work I love that also happens to support me financially (working with patients) so I can provide all of this for free. Admittedly, which questions get answered is somewhat arbitrary, and depends mostly on when I am able to login and scan the comments and how much time I have to respond. I also try to answer a wide range of questions rather than focus on one person or one thread.

                  In any event, to answer your question, coconut aminos won’t have the same issues listed here because they are amino acids (protein), do not contain guar gum and are not generally sold in cans that would have BPA.

                • Hey Liz

                  Chris has very kindly responded to your insolent comment and you have not even bothered to respond with a simple thanks. This indicates that you either don’t know or don’t care.

                  Thanks for all that you do Chris!

            • yea, but then you said ALL coconut (homemade or not) is bad for GERD and IBS.
              so canned or not, we should not use ANY coconut foods ????

              • I think the point is to test it and see how you personally do on it. Because it “may” give you problems. I do okay with coconut oil and water but not as well with the milk or flesh.

            • Oh my goodness… ‘people’ have lost their reading comprehension abilities. The title and content of the article are perfectly fine. Chris, great article.

              • Agreed Jon (March 28) and down below to Jewels (July 31).

                Chris, very informative and very detailed article. It was exactly what I was looking for. 🙂 and the fact that you provide this information for free is very nice.

            • The article was just fine. You gave many reasons why coconut milk may not be good fro SOME people. Never once in the article, nor the title, did you condemn coconut milk all across the board or make a generalized comment that it is bad for everyone.

              Your article was full of the various reasons it could be friend or foe. If a person can tolerate coconut milk but buy it with these additives or bad cans, it is not really your friend. If you can’t tolerate it doesn’t matter how it is made it is a foe. You were extremely thorough and accurate.

              I think the people taking the article to the negative extreme are; 1 – putting words in your mouth, 2 – making total assumptions. They read it a certain way and assume everyone else is going to read it that way as well. They are the ones taking the article out of context. It is like they are looking for someone to banter and argue with.

              You were very clear Chris that it may be harmful to some people. You pointed out which brands and containers and varieties one can use (concentrate), and which are best to buy. You explained how to make it from scratch in case people can’t buy the safer canned ones.

              Those posters were being very ridiculous. It MAY not be your friend……. or it MAY be your friend people.

              I think they are taking it way too serious, like on an emotionally involved level. Weird!

            • I Have a comment and question for Chris
              I have started making coconut milk smoothies for breakfast as part of a move towards paleo eating and have noticed a grippy, grumbly pain in my gut about 20 mins after drinking which gradually disappears an hr or 2 later. I didn’t link the symptoms to possibly the coconut milk but now it makes sense due to the timing of the episodes. Can I replace the tinned milk (which says is pure and organic! – no mention of guar gum) with coconut cream (which I can buy in a cardboard container) and coconut water (also available in cartons)?

              • Hi Jules.
                Sorry about your tummy issues with the canned coconut milk. If your coconut milk is, indeed, guar gum free, then you are probably having an issue with the fructose in the coconut, or just the coconut itself. If that is the case, then switching to a coconut cream and water combo will probably not help at all.
                What other ingredients go into your smoothie? Could one of those possibly be the culprit? Have you tried eliminating one ingredient at a time and noting the results?
                Maybe you could try Kefir, instead. That could actually help with a grumbly tummy.
                Good luck!

          • what is wrong with you people….this article is for people to empower themselves, I want to know, I am thankful for the information, I can now make a better decision of my choices.

        • Oh, brother! Excellent article if you read and comprehend. It helped me a lot because I want to have a healthy gut. If I buy coconut milk, I will not buy canned. However, since coconut milk is a FODMAP, I may avoid it.

          Don’t shoot the messenger.

          • I think some people don’t understand the definition of the word “may.” I don’t think your title was misleading or fear-inducing or whatever else people are complaining about. It simply draws attention to potential problems with something that is otherwise a nutritious food.

            I’m curious how much fructose is actually in coconut milk. On the nutrition labels it shows the sugar content as only 1 gram per serving.

            • Why are people being so rude and jugmental on here? I thought it was a good article. I have gut issues and it’s good to know these things. I’m sure if you met the doctor in person you wouldn’t be speaking to him this way.

              • People jumping the gun are not getting the gist of the article. If the author has some great info, take that out of it, but to get stuck on themes and semantics….jeeez!

                A note. For some folks this food may exacerbate the condition of diarrhea. But, if you’re like ME, and have IBS with severe constipation, coconut oil and fat is considered a remedy. Enough said.

              • I was going to say the same thing. Give the guy a break!! Hes a doctor that is giving free advice…This is something he does on the side to help people and you are going to sit and complain because his header was misleading???? Who cares???? Wow!You act like you never make a mistake!

              • People are upset because the contents of the article was different from its packaging. Some may find this article useful if they drink canned coconut milk or have digestive problems. For the other half who drink from a carton and are fairly healthy, it would have been useful if it were more like a LiveStrong article containing nutrition facts about coconut milk, which is what we expected out of the title.

                If I met him in person it would most likely be doctor to patient. Personally, I think it would be highly unprofessional for a doctor to mislead patients first hand by making them think they shouldn’t drink coconut milk.
                If he were to walk around the hospital saying “There are 3 good reasons why coconut milk is bad for you” , people would instantly believe him because he is a doctor, they wouldn’t doubt that he has 3 good reasons for why it is bad for them. That’s because doctors know the science of the body and we need their help to keep our bodies healthy. It is their job to help people.
                Reeling someone in with a title like ‘3 reasons why coconut milk may not be your friend’ is a sleazy trick people use to get more views. Which is why its link was on the top of the first page in Goggle when I searched ‘What is coconut milk made of?’.
                It appears as if he is just trying to help by stating some widely unknown facts about canned coconut milk, and how coconut milk is just one of the food items you should avoid if you have digestive problems. Yes, this information is not going to hurt me to know, even if its useless for me since I’ve never even heard of canned coconut milk and I am young and healthy with no digestive issues so far. Yes, this information probably helped some people. Yes, he is a doctor during his work hours (I assume). Common sense says, doctors who are writing articles to help people will write with truth. They will keep things strictly professional, clear, factual, and organized. A doctor who’s writing to help people, will title his article very appropriately as to guide people in the right direction like a professional with years of education would do. That is their job.
                Having a catchy title to draw the audience in may be a golden rule of good writing but there are two extremely different reasons for writing, one being for entertainment and the other for education. Its a plus to have entertaining education, sure, but its meant to make learning fun and exciting for people, not to trick you into reading something.

                So with that in mind I want to say first that the readers of this article are almost all adults seeking nutritional facts about something we consume ourselves or know of someone who does. If a poll were taken on the reason why people read this article, I’m sure the number one reason would be because they wanted to know what they are putting in their body. Not because it had a playful title. Not because they have digestive problems. Not because they wanted to know specifically about what they put in canned coconut milk that makes it unhealthy.
                We do not need a badly chosen, playful, title about 3 reasons a drink you like may not be your friend. We aren’t children and we aren’t looking to be entertained. This isn’t a tabloid magazine we are looking at, we aren’t looking to be thrown some random information like in a gossip column.
                People seeking to learn scientific facts are looking for specific, organized, information. Which is why some of us were annoyed by this article. If every link I clicked on to educate myself about coconut milk lead to misleading articles like this which did nothing for me but take about 5 minutes of my time to shove useless information into my head, I would never learn about how it effects me which is why I clicked the link.

                So even though its harmless, I learned a few random things, and he appears to be helping like a doctor does, this article still sucks. He’s obviously an intelligent man. He could have easily changed the title to ‘Watch out coconut milk lovers’ or ‘Coconut Milk: 3 Things You Didn’t Know’. He would still get views.

                Overall its just sloppy and misleading and there’s nothing wrong with people expressing how they feel about that. Its better that the writer know what they can do to improve. He may be arguing that he’s done nothing wrong, but a person who truly means right will be honest with themselves.

                • Stephanie,
                  You, and the others are too emotionally attached to this to be objective. As most of the people have pointed out, the title was clear and in no way misleading. I have never tried coconut milk but because I am trying to learn the ins and outs of the Paleo way of life, I was very interested in what this article had to say. I have the feeling most of those who objected to the title and/or the article have not read many articles written by Chris. He always provides clear concise information that is not tainted by the hysteria encountered in so many places on the Internet. I was in disbelief when I read the first complaint and bemused when more followed. The people posting these negative comments have one thing in common. They are inordinately emotionally attached to the subject. I suggest that these folks would benefit greatly from a bit of empathy in their emotions. We all have better things to do than engage in accosting someone who’s intentions are obviously the best. I, and many others, value every word Chris takes his time to share. I don’t always find every word to be relevant to my situation, but neither should anyone else.
                  Cheers!!

                • Man are you serious. I didn’t even read all your post as it just went on and on and on. I always thought that coconut milk was good for me so persevered with eating it knowing that it didn’t really agreed with me. NOW I know why (I have IBS) and I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t seen the catchy title. Thank you. Some people are just soooo anal

          • Loved this article. My hubby was at the grocery trying to pick out the healthiest coconut milk ( wanted to try it since I’ve heard good health benefits exist from the use of coconut milk. So I did a search to let him know which brand to get…and thank goodness I landed on your site! Your information is excellent-of course I am a RN and understood every word you shared -an RN with IBS and other gut related issues…so I called hubby right back upon completing this read and said don’t buy any of it yet. I think it is a most informative read. Thank you for sharing your expertise. I am a writer too…and find the best way to deal with catty responses is to treat them with benign neglect. That said…you have no need to dignify haughty comments with any response at all. You are the expert and those of us who understand the functions of the body understand your perspective completely.

            Thank you for sharing your expertise.

          • Coconut in all forms are safe on a Low FOPMAP diet. This comes from Kate Scarlata who is an expert on the Low FODMAP diet. It was tested in Australia where the cutting edge research is being done. That’s not to say some people may have individual issues with it.

          • Dear Chris, Thanks for the great articles, I really appreciate the care and expertise you put into your work. Would like to add a bit of info; the reason for the lining on the cans is because they found that lead from the seam of the can was leaching into acidic foods. So a can without the lining might not be the best choice for health. I know that this problem is extreme with high acid foods such as tomato products, but might also be a problem with fatty foods as well.

            • My God! I would have read the article, bookmarked under it under health and fitness and moved on. As I read the comments; in some instances they prove to be useful. I began thinking to myself, “People need to really get a grasp on what is important in life.” Admonishing a man who is offering us information for free, that we might not have known is a futile waste of time. You would think he was aiding in the development of the Iran nuclear arms program for goodness sake. My father was recently killed in a motorcycles accident. I literally was watching tv and got a call at 9:11 p.m. on a Tues. evening and in 2 sec. your life changes. Concern yourself with those realities of life not this petty nonsense. I don’t bring my dad up for any exploitive measures simply to make a point. Stop being an argumentative and miserable bunch. Take life with a grain of salt, go for a run with your dog, listen to your favorite song and dance or really live life on the edge and open up a can of coconut milk and get on with it.

              • Sarah — THANK YOU for this reply!

                And Chris Kesser, thank you for offering millions of people free health information instead of aiding in the development of nuclear arms! The title of your article was carefully-worded — please keep up your work.

              • On one hand I agree but your argument is kind of silly since you are also taking part in the discussion you find so ridiculous. I think you have the right idea though.

                People seem to waste time and energy on things that don’t matter to us or to anyone. If it is a waste of time and energy to you, then that is all it can be. You cannot judge what others are passionate about to be wasteful for them or anyone else.

                I’ve argued in this article, youtube, and other places on the internet. I’m not miserable at all. I enjoy a good debate if its something I truly believe in. I don’t get angry, its not a fight to me. Even when people say nasty things to me, I continue to debate without feeling offended.

                Recently, I replied to a comment on Youtube which stated that graphics don’t make a game good. I stated that in my opinion, having graphics that I can enjoy makes up a large portion of what makes a game fun for me. I also stated that many people who play video games feel the same way.
                A month or so passed and I noticed in my email that tons of people replied to my comment. They flagged my comment until it was removed from youtube. I was called a troll, slut, whore, fake gamer girl who just wants attention, that I don’t deserve to be called a gamer. None of the comments bothered me. They were expressing their passion for video games in an extreme way, they were enraged with me.
                I replied to each person calmly. Telling them it was just a personal opinion and I didn’t mean to offend anybody. And to each person who insulted me, I said that it doesn’t matter who they think I am or if they like me because I know I’m a kind, loving, talented, intelligent, and beautiful person, who works hard to be the best I can. And to the young man who called me a slut right off the bat, I told him that insults like that don’t work on grown women, and that anyone who is quick to call someone they don’t know a slut over something like that, must feel disconnected from everyone around them.

                I didn’t say that to insult him, and I didn’t write back to each person who expressed anger toward me out of my own frustration. I did it because I want to help people.

                You mentioned that your father passed, and how hard it was for you. I can’t imagine losing my dad, he held onto my sister and I through very hard times, and I was always close to him growing up.
                Everything changed because you finally understood the value of life.. right?
                Or was it more like you already understood, but you were a bit lost without realizing it?
                Making the wrong turns unintentionally. Making mistakes without even realizing it. Until you lost a loved one. That’s when you remembered who you really are. Which direction is the right one. But you will still make mistakes. Each time you do, you realize it faster than before when you were lost. You feel stronger inside than before.

                I know that its true that you knew deep down who you were. You’ve always known that you are truly a good person. You’ve always known that you deserve happiness and freedom. All of the times you struggled in life, when you felt alone, misunderstood. You struggled the most, felt the most alone, and misunderstood, when you would look at who you are inside and wonder why you deserve to struggle. And sometimes, you would think about how much better you are than to let people or life walk all over you, and you would become strong for a moment. Until another steep hill stood in your path.

                I know this is true because we are all the same. We were all children once, all we wanted was to be loved and accepted. Almost all of us go through the same past. Lack of love and acceptance as a kid is usually where it starts. Then we go on into a life where materialistic things are what make us feel confident on the outside. But we never forget what we truly desire. Love.

                We all go through hard times and sometimes it gets harder to handle as we get older. People who are lost do destructive things. A lot of it is unintentional. Changing our appearance with surgery and cosmetics. Lying. Going behind peoples backs. Judging one another. Disconnecting.

                I think that most people go through that. Which is why I don’t allow myself to measure my hardships to be less or more than anyone else’s. Even though I’ve been through times I can’t believe I survived. I believe that just like our life in these bodies, our souls need to experience death and birth. There cannot be life without death, or birth.

                It may not look like it at first, but we struggle the most with ourselves. When we become lost and are in complete denial of it, there is no death or birth of our souls. Our lives then, are lived through our physical selves. But no matter how hard we try to give life meaning through our physical selves, with money, clothes, cars, anything materialistic, we still feel unsatisfied. People sometimes don’t even see how unhappy they are. They feel unhappy without those items, they feel hateful towards others, they need new stuff to stay satisfied with life.

                Nowadays people get stuck in that phase where we feel alive through materialistic things and stay that way for the rest of our lives. Where we judge everyone and they judge us.

                When you lost your father, your soul experienced death. You felt like you were dying inside at first, but here is why it changed your life in the end.

                Love.

                I believe that when we pass away, love is all we leave behind for the people we became close to. That our bodies die but our souls which are built upon love, break apart and give pieces of strength to our loved ones.

                Love exists in death and birth. That is why you don’t feel alive inside when you don’t have love. Love gives us life. Love is what our souls are made of. Your loss brought you back to life through love.

                People who are disconnected push pain away pretending they are happy and don’t care. They know deep down that they aren’t happy though. So how do these people take their lives back? Without losing someone close?
                That is what I had to figure out on my own.

                I found that a lost person cannot be found until they see they are lost. In order for us to see we are lost, we need to remember who we are and the importance that love holds inside of us. We need to love ourselves, be ourselves, accept ourselves. Sometimes all it takes for someone lost to see that they are, is for someone to come along and remind them. Show them that they are wrong.

                The only way to do that is by always giving people respect and staying calm as much as possible. When you are kind always to people, or show them respect even when they don’t show it to you, that moment will stick with them. They will wonder why you would do something like that for them even after they treated you horribly. They will remember how it felt to be respected. Its like showing them acceptance they never had from anyone else. Like you understand which is why you don’t try to hurt them back.

                Maybe it sounds like it will never work to some people. But people need to remember that we are all the same. Love is powerful and if you love yourself and others, you can live happily.

                I can converse with people and disagree without getting upset because I do know whats important in life.

                (Rant rant rant, but seriously there’s nothing I can be more passionate about than love)

                • Stephanie B, darling, do you realize this article is about coconut milk? I will say this as gently as I can. You might consider staying off of the Internet and seeking professional counseling. Your posts are too long, way off topic, and full of “red flags” indicative of deeper psychological and emotional issues. I say this with love. God bless you. Kay

                • Stephanie B ~ reading your lengthy, histerical, negative and emotionally charged rants made me physically ill. Whatever is unbalanced in you bleeds through and is infectious. Please get Help.
                  Chris ~ I love all things coconut and appreciated your very “clear” and informative article. You have a new fan 🙂

        • Actually, drinking distilled water will remove minerals from your body. Distilled water is so pure, it will pull minerals out of things it contacts – rocks, living cells, etc. Drinking it infrequently probably won’t make a difference; the minerals can be replaced from other food and drink. But, if distilled water was the only water you drank…bad idea.

          • Oh! Mark, not only did this make me laugh that you would choose to make this point it truly shocks me….Now I will definitely keep paying more for the bottled drinking water from Hawaii that has minerals in it!!!!

            • Where I live, normal mineral water is way cheaper than distilled water and there’s also always the tap water option.

          • Ha ha! Yes I agree. Extremely bad for health to drink distiller water as the main source of drinking water on a daily basis. Maybe ok if you add minerals back but seems like a lot of hassle unless you know exactly how much minerals to put in to make the water “live” again. Distilled water has been referred to dead water because everything is “processed” out of it and it supposedly changes the structure of the water making it hard for it to actually hydrate the body when it’s consumed.

          • I was going to make a legitimate comment about coconut milk and how I like it, and how I’m going to consider making it for myself to avoid the BPAs, but now I’m super concerned that my beta fish is upstairs getting the life sucked out of him as he floats around in distilled water!

            • Sue,

              You just made me laugh out loud for the first time today. No offense to the fish. I hope he is doing fine.

        • Paul,

          You may want to ingest BPAs, preservatives, and guar gum along with your pink slim and genetically modified and hydrogenated food stuffs. That is fine, but for people with health and digestive issues you may not be familiar with these items are known to cause problems. The issue is why these things are not labelled so we can all make a choice on which product to purchase. Use your imagination and think of the possibility were someone with an illness might have no problem using 100% natural or homemade coconut milk but have severe allergic reactions or other acute responses to something with potassium metabisulphide, guar gum, or other unlisted ingredients.

        • Actually, a lot of us buy organic coconuts and make our own milk and cream ’cause we know better than to buy anything in a can.

        • Paul, look up CARAGEENAN by Ray Peat, which IS a problem to the human gut long term and produces Tumors. It’s in 99% of all dairy free milks, dairy free cheeses and even some dairy products now as a thickener.

          “In the 1940s, carrageenan, a polysaccharide made from a type of seaweed, was recognized as a dangerous allergen. Since then it has become a standard laboratory material to use to produce in-flammatory tumors (granulomas), immunodeficiency, arthritis, and other in-flammations. It has also become an increasingly common material in the food industry. Articles are often written to praise its usefulness and to claim that it doesn’t produce cancer in healthy animals. Its presence in food, like that of the polyester imitation fat, microcrystalline cellulose, and many other polymers used to stabilize emulsions or to increase smoothness, is often justified by the doctrine that these molecules are too large to be absorbed. There are two points that are deliberately ignored by the food-safety regulators, 1) these materials can interact dangerously with intestinal bacteria, and 2) they can be absorbed, in the process called “persorption.” — Ray Peat, Ph.D

        • Actually i heard about distilled water having a ph of 5 when left out in the open. Thats why you shouldnt drink distilled, i agree with your post tho.

        • Guar gum is not totally harmless. Many people have difficulty breaking it down. I have to avoid it along with Carageenan.

        • Paul, just a few questions for you, Do you have patients like the article writer? Do they come to you complaining of problems after they consume coconut milk and the three ingredients mentioned here? Do they experience problems when those items are removed from the diet? If you answer no to any of those questions, then you are not qualified to criticize the article at all. Please get a degree and start helping patients. Those of us with gut issues are very grateful for articles like this because it alerts us of things to watch out for that we might not be aware of. Medical doctors just give us two alternatives: drugs or intestine removal. I prefer the diet and lifestyle approach and I consider this article a must read for us, victimized by the pharmaceutical and food industries and the medical profession.

        • The argument is not about what causes the problem, just what exacerbates the symptoms. What worsens them. And you can get yeast overgrowth from eating a no sugar good diet too. Often it is the fruit sugar and milk sugar and not washing fruit before you cut into it can expose you. So if you are eating ground fruit out of your yard over and over in a moist, warm geography, you can have a problem. Antibiotics can set you up for it also. It is probably more likely if you eat crap, but it can happen if you aren’t also.
          Get your ego out of it. And…not everyone is like you. You might not know everything.

        • They add fake vitamins to the coconut milk in the cartons (So Delicious in particular). No thank you.

        • Yes,you can make all those decisions once you are informed. The article is informative. What you do with what you learned is up to you. Balking at free advice? Not nice, not nice.

        • Many cartons are plastic lined these days too. I remember when milk cartons were caoted in some sort of wax. I actually remember when milk came in glass to front doorstep…..i used to go and lick the cream from the lids before anyone got to it.

          Also, have heard that distilled water isnt the best as it is no longer living and has been stripped of nutrients. Some people add these back in, but its rather hard to add life unless parts of your filtration system runs it through living things….plants planted in sandy soil and the like.

      • This is for those of you, like me, who may read this article 1.5 years or more after it was written.

        I ordered a case of Natural Value Natural coconut milk, from Amazon.
        Ingredients: Coconut extract, water. That’s it!
        Also BPA-Free cans!
        No preservatives. A family company.

        You can’t ask for more…well some of the people who left bizarre messages below, would… but shouldn’t. 🙂

        It’s awesome stuff. BTW it DOES have 7g of carbs in 4oz…so if you have a sugar issue…uh heads up.

      • I love your site but I have to say you’ve got this one wrong. Yes, coconut milk used to be considered a FODMAP, but recent research by Sue Shepherd, the leading researcher in the area of fructose malabsorption, has now declared coconut milk safe for people with fructose malabsorption. They suggest that the high fat content may perhaps be the reason that some people can’t handle it.

        I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption 2 years ago and am part of a group on Facebook where we share all our experiences and symptoms. Many people in the group have found that their absolutely fine with coconut milk since adding it back into the diet.

        I’m lucky enough to live in Melbourne, Australia where the majority of research into fructose malabsorption takes place, so I’m lucky enough to receive very up to date information regarding safe and unsafe foods. There are constant changes being made.

        • Research is all well and good, and of course I rely on it. But I also rely on my clinical experience, and many people with FODMAP intolerance do not do well with coconut milk, regardless of what the studies say. That is why I always suggest personal experimentation rather than relying on what studies or experts say on subjects like this. Your body is the final arbiter.

      • For me it’s the sulfites.. coconut is naturally high in sulfites sadly.. cannot even have it straight from the fruit..

      • Honestly, there are very few foods that are 100% healthy for us. There are health hazards everywhere people. I agree with her comment, the article was disappointing and makes coconut milk itself look bad. The first 2 facts for why its “so bad” state that you can avoid those health hazards simply by either buying one of the two brands of more organic coconut milk or by making it at home.

        The third reason may seem like a good one but there are no supporting facts in that section to prove that you will get Fructose Malabsorption from drinking coconut milk. People who already have this issue or are at risk should stay away from things with high fructose obviously. I would think that to take in too much fructose from coconut milk in order for it to irritate a normal, healthy, person, you’d have to drink quite a bit, quickly. I don’t know about you but I don’t chug a big glass of coconut milk when I treat myself to some. Large amounts of almost every food can have risk factors. Which is why you don’t have coconut milk for every meal, drink some water.

        I could write an article just like this one talking about how its not be the best idea to shop at the grocery store. I could say that its a health hazard to buy and be around manufactured, chemical packed, grocery items. I could also say that you have the chance of getting some sort of infection from the people germs or whatever that you’re being covered in when you are there.

        This article would have been more educational and useful if it had listed pro’s as well as cons. What I learned is that the 3 reasons its not good for you is because 1) Manufactured products contain dangerous chemicals that you shouldn’t consume. 2) Manufactured products contain substances that you shouldn’t consume. And 3) Consuming large amounts of fructose can cause health issues and should be avoided by people with digestive conditions like IBS.

        So, all in all I learned that manufactured/canned coconut milk is not good for my health and if I have digestive problems I shouldn’t drink coconut milk.

        Also, Chris, the last section does explain that coconut milk in general “CAN cause problems for people” doesn’t it. Just like you said. Can cause problems doesn’t mean it will. BUT, look how many times the article mentions canned milk and how bad it is. This article is mainly about health risks of canned coconut milk, not homemade. Which is why they gave a recipe for homemade coconut milk at the very end. Therefore her comment was correct in saying that it appears to make coconut milk in general look bad when really its processed/canned coconut milk that is the issue. The article says it all.

      • I love tour blog! Thank you só much for all information. But i have a huge doubt: i kive in brazil in a big land fulo of cocconuts trees. Everyday I pick up a cocunut for my breakfast and also when the whether is roo hot. Could it also be harmful or your mean only coconuts on cans/ packs?

      • I love coconut milk i always make my own i buy the coconut at joes market it i great it wake the milk and drink i also make coconut oil love it .

      • She is right. Sorry, i never write on these, but as a clinical nutritionist in Boston, and lecturer on FODMAPS, i contacted the folks who invented FODMAPS (which i suggest you also do), in Australia. Monash Univ. There are NO fructans in coconut, and very very little fructose. per 100 grams, 0.2 grams. So, it is NOT a FODMAP. This is why i stick to research and not these websites, but it is so hard to read this and not write. I work in gastroenterolgy and my patients do great with coconut milk, especially those with IBS , gastroparesis and Chron’s. Thank God us clinicians take the time to do the work and research before giving our patients advice. I spend half my time in my practice disseminating internet stuff. Exhausting. And due to its MCT activity, it suits most folks find, however, but due to hi fat content, that is why IBS patients have bloating, not due to any ? fructans/fructose i.e. fodmaps. The article should have been one sentence. “dont eat canned goods due to BPAs’. Period. I have got to get another job………

        • I sincerely thank you Joanne Turner for your information. It is extremely helpful and answers my questions. Thank you for taking the trouble to ask the FODMAP people at Monash. Your right, we should all do the same.

      • That is dumb. That goes with any food of causing problems. I think people know what causes them problems. But….if they are eating lots of chemicals and garbage in their foods, its probably not the healthy stuff bothering them and it stems from junk. The main thing is, if it is close to how Yahweh made it, eat it. utter, whole raw milk, try to buy organic and non GMO. Do as best you can as they are trying to poison us. You have chemtrails spraying stuff on us every day. Just try to eat as best you can.

      • Coconut milk is GOOD FOR YOU. soy milk ( no gmo shit ) is good for you, almond milk is good for you….rice milk is good for you..Any milk that is made from naturals ingredients, or nature life food is absolutely good for you …If you follow the science go ahead…but really educate or elaborate more before you even post something like that. I’m not clinical rabbit and never will be the one…Please go live in nature for days or months before you poison ppl with your science research

      • You are so wrong. Coconut milk saved my life. Dairy was eating away at my stomach lining, and making me tired all the time. Coconut is good for you. 🙁 So Delicious© is better than anything else, don’t bring that amazing company’s sales down.

      • Salicitates are high in coconut cream and oil according to some website and may be the reason some people cannot tolerate it. I am testing this at the moment.

      • I’d just like to say I”m one of the people who can’t tolerate coconut milk, even home made and it stinks cause I’m allergic to milk and I think almond milk is horrid.

        I was wondering what the reason was for the stomach pain til I came across this article. Good to know it’ s common in people with IBS/SIBO, which I have been dx’d with. Although they say coconut is okay on the Fodmaps diet. For me it’s not.

      • I think this is a great article, it has helped me a lot as I suffer from acid reflux and digestive problems.

        Thanks again for the insight and great information.
        Debora

    • I agree with emily. i thought there wa going to be more evidence that coconut milk was worse for ppl than anything else-not the can, or based on disorders. ppl are so worried about their diets that i feel many exploit that fear for clicks on their website. you can find someone who cannot tolerate anything-but seriously most ppl get far more sugar from things other than cocnut milk!!! geez.

      • Candace, for some people with digestive problems, as mentioned in the article, even the small amount of sugars in coconut milk can cause problems. This is useful knowledge as sometimes we assume things are ‘safe’ and it can make it hard to identify what is causing upsets. If you’re generally healthy you don’t need to worry about it, but as someone with a raft of food sensitivities, this is a useful insight.

        • Is it a mystery that coconut milk has a little bit of sugars in it? Was this a hidden fact covered up by The Coconut Powers That Be?

          I agree with other commenters that this article draws you in with a seeming warning about coconut milk itself and then veers off wildly into complaining about packaging and disorders that do not affect the majority of people.

          It’s not the coconut milk that is bad, per se, but that it falls within the insanely large group of foods that has (at least) a tiny bit of sugar. Heavens, no!

          • Sorry, but you’re wrong. These issues I mention in the article affect the vast majority of people who consume coconut milk products. I’d say 99% of people that consume coconut milk buy it in cans that have BPA in them. You’re saying this isn’t relevant? That’s crazy. And IBS, which is strongly associated with fructose malabsorption, is extremely common – with recent estimates suggesting up to 1 in 3 people in the U.S. suffer from it. It’s the 2nd leading cause of people missing work, behind the common cold. BPA is a neurotoxin that affects anyone and everyone that is exposed to it. So, these are issues that everyone drinking coconut milk in cans should be aware of.

            I clearly state in the article that the problem isn’t with coconut milk, but in the way it’s processed and stored. I also made it clear that for people without the health issues, BPA-free canned coconut milk may not be an issue. This is all right there in the article.

            • Chris,
              Thanks for all you do! I can’t believe all the negativity from this post – Wow! I just have to say I love your site and all the great info you provide. I don’t know how you keep up with all of it (and then have to deal with negative comments on top of it).
              Have a great day!
              Megan

              • Amen! I found this article by googling fodmap + coconut, and found the information extremely helpful. The negativity here is sickening.

            • The lion’s share of the relevant warning in this article is about the cans coconut milk is packaged in. It would have been VERY easy, and far less misleading, for the article to have been titled “3 Reasons Why (Canned) Coconut Milk May Not be Your Friend”. Considering there is a significant proportion of the public who are suspicious or uninformed about less conventional foods (at least to the US palate) and many people who initially look into coconut milk as a good “alternative” food are put off by the high percentage of “saturated” fat it appears to have, the title of this article is unnecessarily defamatory. When people see “may” they don’t necessarily think, generally, “may” in the sense of under certain conditions (per the article); many people who only see the headline will interpret the “may” as in the inconclusive news-speak sense of “some studies claim coconut milk is harmful”. And they will be less curious, not more curious, about a potentially healthful alternative in their diet–as well as all alternative foods. Its obvious by the number of vexed comments to the title that it is potentially misleading. And when one writes, what counts is not what you intend…but what is communicated. Rather than risk turning already unnecessarily skeptical people off a product that might benefit them because -like so many of us- they never got past the headline, why not give them a fair shake 🙂 rather than risk defaming a healthful product. It would probably be better if more people did in fact consume coconut milk (in a carton which is easy enough to come by). But the headline of this article is much more likely to turn health novices off a potential health food, than it is to inform them…because for all the readers that clicked through to the article, there is a-whole-order-of-magnitude greater number of internet surfers who only see the headline, and whose curiosity about this health food, and health foods in general, will be dampened, not rewarded. If the author’s aim is indeed to provide a public service, its worth being sensitive to the well known, and near-universal fact of publishing that many more people see the title of your article, or the cover of your book, than get to its last three paragraphs. I suspect, though, that the author had succumb to a yet more universal fact of publishing: a startling title drives more traffic than does a literal one (even if it is at the expense of the negative impressions of all those people who never clicked through).

              Yes, thanks for the quality of the information in the article. But, (it’s) no thanks to the title.

              • I’m pretty sure most of the people who read this site are not going to have a knee jerk reaction to an article like this. The fact that people are reading it makes them in some way different to the majority who, if they care at all, source their nutrition advice from mainstream media.

                • Agreed! I have IBD and this article makes COMPLETE sense in that context. Of course, I’m more educated on nutrition than most because I have studied it for hours due to my condition.

                  Chris- this is an excellent article and the title is NOT misleading if you are a student of nutrition and the gut brain link.

              • CJG – Totally agree with your comments.
                I am also concerned that many folks don’t seem to know that the Aussie researchers at Monash Uni in Melbourne, who have done the leading research in FODMAPs, have taken coconut products OFF the FODMAPs danger list. Its a concern because I personally have found coconut oil an extremely beneficial supplement to the FODMAPs diet, in eliminating severe long term IBS.
                To my fellow IBS sufferers – do the FODMAPS diet – add in 4 tablespoons of cold-pressed coconut oil and reap the benefits !

                • The FODMAPs wouldn’t be in the oil to begin with – the question is whether they are in the flesh and the milk products. It’s the same situation with ghee vs milk/cream.

            • what everyone is missing is that coconut milk is worthless since it is pasturized just like regular milk. if you drink RAW (milks) most people can tolerate them and not show sensitivities.

              • There’s no reason to pasteurize coconut milk since it’s canned anyway. There is probably some heating involved during that process because coconut milk is not acidic enough to kill any germs in the can. But I’m not clear on the process so I can’t say for sure. I read one account at Yahoo Answers stating that the cans themselves are steam-sterilized prior to the canning process, and another account elsewhere stating that coconut milk is sterile in the first place. I don’t know how reliable any of that is, and I bet you don’t either.

                But raw dairy milk can often kill its own germs if it’s fresh enough, and coconut milk never has that ability, since the former still contains white blood cells (as does human milk) and the latter never does. So if you want to trust an industrial coconut milk without any heat treatment at all, first off good luck finding one, and second off I wish you luck, you’re going to need it.

            • Okay, so 1 in 3 people in the U.S. suffer from IBS/Fructose Malabsorption. Canned coconut milk should be avoided for that reason. And 99% of people that consume coconut milk buy it in cans (not sure where you got that). That’s great that you are bringing awareness to the risks of canned coconut milk.
              So when you meet people who have IBS or other digestive problems, I’m sure you list some foods they need to avoid right? So… what is the percentage of people with digestive issues who also drink coconut milk? I bet its a lot lower than 1 in 3.
              Here is why people are making a fuss over your article. The title is “3 reasons why coconut milk may not be your friend”. The title is what draws people in, they want to read why coconut milk may be bad for them. Yes you clearly stated that canned coconut milk is really what we should steer clear of but the article’s title is the summary of the subject. The title says to us, “hey, here are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t drink coconut milk.” period. It doesn’t say anything about canned anything.
              Its like going into a room full of people who love apples and telling them that apples are bad for them. When they ask why, you go on a rant about how 99% of people who eat apples, eat the ones which were chemically enhanced and sprayed with pesticide. This room full of people who love apples are going to think “oh, so its not the apples that are bad for me, its the chemicals the manufacturers cover them with”. The argument that you entered with is not supported by your facts. Its like you started a debate about how all of one category is bad, with an explanation of how it isn’t really bad.
              Another reason people got worked up is because this issue some of us have with the article is going straight over your head. You are repeating what you stated in the article. You say that its all true and that you aren’t wrong. The issue people have has nothing to do with whether your facts about canned coconut milk and digestive issues are right or wrong. The issue is the title of the article. Your article appears to be wrong to people because whats written in it does not support the title. Even if it was unintentional on your part, those 3 reasons for why coconut milk is bad, are wrong.

              The way it looks = Coconut Milk = Bad
              The way it is = Canned Coconut Milk = Bad

              example of how it looks
              Your Mother is mean vs. your mother grounded you for getting an F because you could do better than that.

              Hey sounds a lot like
              Coconut Milk is bad for you vs. canned coconut milk has unhealthy additives in it and you could choose healthier than that.

              Does it makes sense now why people are disagreeing with your article?

              Here’s a fact. 99% of people who read and comment on health related articles are not going to be complete idiots and have pretty good points when they decide to voice disagreement on these forums/articles.

              • I don’t even need to go back and read the article to tell you what 3 things about Coconut Milk may make it less than friendly, and two of them have nothing to do with cans.
                1. BPA
                2. Guar Gum
                3. Fructose malabsorption
                Chris generously supplies the reader with all the material to make an informed decision on each of these possible problems. That is what brought you here, isn’t it?

            • Id like to point out that you are correct on the BPA aspect. I’ll be honest, everything I look like a coconut milk container in stores, the first thing I think about is the plastic and materials being used to bottle the coconut milk. However, coconut itself is extremely healthy whether eating its pulp, eating the oil or having it as milk. As for you talking about the coconut milk process, I can understand that. The process of coconut milk in general can be questioning when it is bottled in those little plastic brand containers..

            • Keep up the good work, Chris. Your article peaked my interest, because I’ve had weak digestion/immune system issues for 30 years, but doctors ignore my complaints. (I’m naturally lean and toned with 20% body fat, 5’4″, 115 lb without exercise. I would be a fit-looking corpse if I depended solely on doctors). I, fortunately, have been careful with my diet and overall health for 25 years. The organic brand of coconut milk I use is BPA-free and guar gum-free, so the temporary aching and tugging I get after drinking my hot coconut milk concoction is more likely due to my poor digestion. Consuming a bit of fresh ginger with a few ounces of pineapple juice or aloe juice seems to alleviate the discomfort. Thank you for all that you do!

        • I agree. I guess he could have put “Why coconut milk may not be good for if you have blah, blah, blah and if it is contained in blah, blah , blah, because of blah, blah” for a long title. Then ppl won’t have to read and maybe learn stuff… whatever.

    • Thank you for the info as I just had serious gas and bowl reactions to the So Delicious Ice Cream. It was the third time, the first two I was sceptical but this time is the charm I was wondering the chicory root extract in there tto Could that be a problem as I was so bad I almost went to the ER or do you think it was the guar gum?

    • Thanks for open discussion for this topic.
      I do have question: how about Natural coconut milk in tetra packaging.

      I personally use this brand and satisfied with the product so far. I saw on the nutrition fact is contains 90% of Natural coconut extract for milk and 99.92% coconut extract.

      http://www.eaglewingsfoods.com/Products.php
      http://eaglewingsfoods.blogspot.com/2012/02/uht-natural-coconut-milk.html

      I believe the real issue the CAN packaging that contain certain chemicals that can be not good for human body system.

      cheers.

    • I wanted to respond to this because it gave me answers I really needed. I started drinking Silk pure coconut milk ( I love this stuff ) and about a week ago, I started also drinking the Silk pure almond ( again, I love this stuff ) HOWEVER, for about a week now I have been extremely bloated, intense pain in my upper abdomin clear through to my back. Feels like someone pushed there fist in the front and ALMOST OUT MY BACK and still trying. The pain is horrible and now I know why. I’m a vegetarian and I don’t drink milk either or eggs, so I tried Silk because it’s not milk. I also have IBS and a 50% blocked celiac artery. I thought I was having a heart attack BUT I realize that this started after I bought alot of the Silk coconut and almond and that’s basically what I’ve been drinking. It does do what this article says and the other cartons I have will be given to my friend because I guess my body just can’t handle it 🙁 and the silk is not canned… but still had a negative effect on me. I guess now it’s back to having cereral again with kool aid or power aid ( don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.. LOL ) If your having problems maybe you should look into this further as I did and then put it into play and see for yourself. If your having problems, stop taking it and see if your problem goes away ( boy am I praying mine does ). Thank you letting me share my experience with you 🙂

      • Hi, thanks Chris for informing us about these things to consider for planning our individualised health care.
        I recently heard Sally Fallon from WAPF state that coconut also has salicylates which can negatively affect those sensitive to them. Hope that helps others too.

        • The salicylates would be causing the itching, I would say. I get hives when my salicylates build up too much.

      • Kathy, I had a problem with the SILK brand. I believe somewhere it states it has to do with the way they process it… I don’t think it’s GLUTEN FREE. Also, have you tried to cut out SOY? I am allergic to soy & let me tell you, the symptoms you describe are what I experience if I have been ‘poisoned’ with soy. Much luck to you. It’s not fun when you have to be so careful with everything you eat & drink because of the repercussions of so many foods & drinks.

        • I only consume what grows in the ground, on bushes and on trees, preferably fresh picked, milled (such as oats or millet) or dehydrated. No dairy, no soy, no eggs, no sugar products except some honey. Eat nothing with a face on it. Life is much simpler that way, and it is good on the pocketbook.

    • yea…. I noticed the so delicious coconut milk ice cream gives me extreme amount of gas and discomfort ugh… it has agave, chicory root, carob and guar gum… you would think they would make it for people who digestive issues but I guess not 🙁

    • I found this to be good article on coconut milk. I am very partial to it, and initially thought this article would bash it. But my cynicism towards it did not turn out to be warranted. The article was merely presenting a few potential concerns towards coconut milk, none of which I have to worry about – except perhaps the BPA concerns. I think it will be worthwhile to try to avoid BPA in the coconut milk, so I will definitely take some of the steps recommended in order to lower my exposure. Altogether I thought the article was well presented, and I appreciate its presentation.

    • you can also scrape coconut form the shell after you break it open….they sell the scrapers at asian groceries…you sit on it as you rasp the flesh of the coconut in the half shell and the residue falls in a bowl at your feet…you then squeeze it out and you have fresh coconut milk….no chemicals except whats in the coconut…

    • First of all: coconut milk is coconut fat dissolved in water. Just look at anything in nature, and you will see, this will seperate in just a few hours. Therefore in ALL coconut milk in cans, tetra of bottle, emulsifiers and stabilisers are needed, declared on the label of “‘forgotten”, see http://www.tropifood.net/coconut%20milk.html
      In many canned coconut milk from Thailand BPA is already no longer used for the last decade, and in all my lab test reports NOT measured ( = under the detection limits of 1.5 microgram per ltr)

    • I found some canned coconut milk at Cost Plus that lists only coconut and water as the ingredients. It is really pretty thick. That’s how I like it. We don’t use it like a milk. I would like to find some that isn’t in a can. Does anyone have suggestions as to really thick, creamy “milk” that is basically like a pudding?

      Thanks!

      Sue

      • Refrigerate it and scoop out the cream, then use the remaining liquid for a smoothie or something. The cream is definitely thick!

    • Natural Value has no guar gum or bpa. Please check the can. Guar gum is a bean as you said but it is also a laxative. It infuriates me that the so called health food industry adds it to so many things. Is there anyone we can trust anymore? NO

    • Well, he clearly states whats bad within processed coconut milk, nothing more than how it comes to you in a can or package. And then, he goes into detail about how to make your own coconut milk.. I don’t think you read this article, if you had, you would of seen the recipe at the bottom of the page.

    • I do not think the article suggests that coconut milk is all bad. In fact, he writes instructions for how to make your own coconut milk towards the end of the article. Instead, he lists reasons why coconut milk might be upsetting your digestive tract. I am thankful for the article, as I just consumed some coconut milk and my gut was immediately upset. Now, I have several things to look for when I purchase coconut milk or any other product from the grocery store. I also am now aware that black beans and apples can also irritate IBS. I am going to try using coconut milk again, as I am aware the body can react funny to a new food item, but this time, I am going to try to make it on my own. Thanks Doc!

    • Fantastic, regular coconut milk in the can $1.50, bpa free coconut milk $5.00 in your can !!!

    • Emilee,
      I don’t understand why you would slam Chris on trying to educate others on this topic. He is very correct on the fact that coconut milk can cause GI distress in people with IBS, IBD, and fructose malabsorption. For all these groups, there are 2 variables to consider. One, is the fructose content of the coconut and the second is the fat content. Coconut milk is very high in fat, and even though it is the healthy fat we want, for many people with GI issues, high fat can be a trigger also. Thus, before you go slamming Chris, do some more research on the subject. Yes, coconut milk is very very healthy, just like many foods are healthy, but for people with compromised GI systems, healthy does not always mean that a person will be able to tolerate a food and digest it without causes havoc. And, if they can’t digest it properly, then it will cause other problems throughout their bodies. On another note, Thanks Chris for educating the public on this issue. My 8 y/o dd suffers from FM, and it is absolutely horrible to see her crying in pain when foods don’t agree with her. She prays to God to help her through these times when we have accidental exposures. Many times she is scared she is going to die. It’s not fun, and many doctors aren’t even aware of this condition.

      • For weak digestion, fresh ginger root (in the produce aisle), lemon, and aloe vera juice are my best friends. They even take the edge off of migraine nausea, so I can focus on the migraine alone. I make hot lemon-ginger tea and drink it with a straw to protect my teeth. I also make lemon spring water and sip it at room temperature throughout the day. Beginning and ending each day with 1-3 oz of aloe juice then consuming a sliver of fresh ginger root saves the day! Probiotics help, too, but I am trying to stick to healing foods. Best wishes!

    • I think the point here is great! The article really points out some real flaws with coconut milk, whether you like it or not. It’s not fair to criticize it just because you prefer coconut milk.
      Thanks for the information!

    • I really like the fresh young coconut. But I am afraid if the palmtrees don’t grow locally as in my country. All the goodness is imported. There’s the catch: all imported tropical goods and foods are gassed (!) before entering europe. This is obliged by law to prevent the spread of tropical bugs. There are different methods: one is vacuuming and all unwanted organic bugs and eggs will explode. However bromine is also used for furniture and mattresses etc..
      Thats not funny if the coconut is bromine gassed you’ re fucked.

    • The title was perfect, it made me want to read more, All I ever read about coconut milk was positive and the something over and over again. The title made me read what I was missing. Thank you Chris for the valuable information. People that are negative to this article are in my opinion unable to understand the message, PEOPLE READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE OVER AND OVER AGAIN, until you get the message. If you still don’t get it and you still think this is all about the title, there is something wrong with your understanding.

    • In no way whatsoever has this article said coconut milk on its on is bad
      They have only indicated if you have issues with the above mentioned chemicals, then they have suggested alternatives..
      Well written and most informative article
      Thank you
      I will try native forest and cartoned organic coco milk

    • Whoever wrote this needs to pay attention to what they say about buying Coconut Milk on Amazon. They say no BPA in that but they said that guar gum is not good and the one on Amazon has that in it. They need to proof read their own work.

    • I make my own coconut milk and coconut cream in my Vitamix blender and store it in Mason style jars. Fortunately, I am living in the Caribbean at the moment and buy whole coconuts off the street for not so much $$. I love it so much. I drink the water as a sports drink, and grind the flesh for coconut milk for smoothies, curries, and making coconut ice cubes to use later. Coconuts rock! Cans don’t.

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