Is Coconut Water Fattening? Weighing In on the Debate

January 7, 2024

Coconut water is low in both fats and calories. However, consume enough with a high calorie diet and you may notice weight gain.

Many of my clients who are trying to maintain or lose weight are constantly looking for low calorie, low fat alternatives to food and drink. As such, I am often asked is coconut water fattening. Well, I’m in the perfect position to break this down for you!

This post focuses on the concept of fattening foods and whether or not coconut water fits this category. Let’s begin!

fresh coconut water

Fattening vs. Calorie Gain – What You Need to Know

Before I get into the explanation of why coconut water isn’t necessarily fattening, I need you to understand the difference between the terms fattening and calorie gain.  

Now, fattening tends to be used as a catchall phrase. This is why you may use it to define a food that causes you to gain weight. Despite how it is utilized, though, fattening tends to have a different meaning.

Scientifically, this terms describes foods that are high in either unsaturated or saturated fats. Most of these foods do lead to weight gain when consumed in excess. However, fat isn’t the only thing to consider.

This is because eating a significant more number of calories than your body is capable of using up can also result in weight gain. In fact, after a while, those additional calories – regardless of the food source – will turn into fat stores.

Therefore, eating or drinking foods that’s are low in fat but high in calories can put you in the same position as eating fattening foods.

Can You Gain Weight Drinking Coconut Water?

Now that we’ve got that sorted out, let’s take a look at whether coconut water can cause you to gain weight in any capacity.

Here is a breakdown of the nutrient profile of coconut water per cup (a little over 8 ounces):

  • Calories: 45.6
  • Fat (Saturated): 0.5g
  • Carbs: 8.9g
  • Protein: 1.7g

As you can see, coconut water does contain a small amount of fat and has a calorie value as well. Does this mean that it is fattening?

According to the experts, only around 7 percent of your daily calorie intake should be made up of saturated fats. This means that if you are on a 2000 calorie diet, then about 140 of those calories should be made up of saturated fats.

In terms of grams, this means that someone on a 2000 calorie diet will need to eat less than 22g of saturated fat. As you can see, coconut water contains a lot less than this.

Nevertheless, you do have to consider the rest of your diet. Remember that meat contains saturated fats as well. Due to this, you need to ensure that your combined consumption of saturated fats – coconut water included – is lower than the recommended quantity.   

Coconut Water and Calories

Now, coconut water is certainly not what you would consider a high calorie food. In fact, when compared to juices and sugary sodas, coconut water comes out on top. Once again, though, you have to be mindful of how these calories can add up.

For instance, if you are drinking several cups of coconut water a day – a practice that isn’t recommended due to its high potassium content – and eating a high calorie diet, then you will be contributing to the problem. On the other hand, if you enjoy the drink in moderation, there is nothing wrong with that!

girl drinking coconut water at the beach

The Final Verdict – Is Coconut Water Fattening?

Coconut water is relatively low in both fat content as well as calories. Therefore, your consumption of the drink will determine whether or not it is fattening. If you drink too much, then it may qualify as a mildly fattening beverage. Limit your intake, though, and you will not have to worry about this effect.

Is Coconut Water Good for Weight Loss?

OK, coconut water will only make you gain weight if you consume it in excess. In that case, can coconut water also be used to encourage weight loss? Well, there is certainly potential for this. It is all about how you include coconut water in your diet.

For instance, coconut water can be a great alternative to drinks that may be laden with calories. Once again, though, this will only work as long as you don’t go over a cup a day. At the same time, you should be mindful of the rest of your calorie intake as well.

It can also be a good way to stave off hunger and is certainly a better option than a snack. Not only is coconut water low in calories, but the small quantity of fats should help to satiate your hunger without compromising your diet.

At the same time, the pleasant taste of the coconut water can make up for any cravings that you may have. Thus, when utilized properly, coconut water can make it easier for you to stick to your weight loss program.

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Finding the Right Coconut Water for Weight Management

It should be noted that not all coconut water is the same. The exact nutrient content of coconut water can vary from one brand to another. This is because brands can often add sweeteners and other ingredients to boost the taste of the beverage.

Due to this, it is important to always read the label for any coconut water that you want to buy. This will give you a clear idea of how much fat and calories is in each serving. It is a good idea to stay away from sweetened drinks as these will just pile on unnecessary calories.

Always follow the serving that is mentioned with each brand. This way, you will find it a lot easier to track how many calories and fat you are consuming with your coconut water intake. In turn, you will be able to stay on top of it a lot better.

Did you enjoy this post? Then make sure to check out our Pinterest page! We have tons of other content for you on coconut water and all things coconut!

An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
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