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Is Coconut Milk Good for Weight Gain?

author image Natalie Stein
Natalie Stein specializes in weight loss and sports nutrition. She is based in Los Angeles and is an assistant professor with the Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Stein holds a master of science degree in nutrition and a master of public health degree from Michigan State University.
Is Coconut Milk Good for Weight Gain?
Coconut milk is a high-calorie source of vitamin E and folate. Photo Credit nata_vkusidey/iStock/Getty Images

If you're naturally skinny and looking to bulk up, or you lost weight due to illness, you may be wondering how to pack on the pounds. Gaining weight can be challenging for some people, but high-calorie foods, such as coconut milk, can help. Coconut milk can be used in a variety of recipes, such as Thai cuisine and simple smoothies you can make at home.

Choose High-Calorie Foods to Gain Weight

Coconut milk is good for weight gain because of its high calorie content. You need to consume 3,500 more calories than you expend to gain a pound of body weight. Each cup of coconut milk contains 552 calories, so adding a cup of coconut milk per day to your diet can help you gain more than a pound per week. Add coconut milk to your diet by stewing chicken in curry sauce with coconut milk instead of grilling chicken.

Drink Your Calories

A good strategy for gaining weight is to drink beverages with calories, such as coconut milk, instead of calorie-free options, such as water and black coffee. Stir coconut milk into black coffee or hot tea to make your beverage creamier while adding extra calories. If you are busy in the morning and need a portable breakfast, take with you a smoothie made with coconut milk and bananas, blueberries and ground flaxseed or peanut butter.

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Make High-Calorie, Nutritious Recipes

Make nutritious, calorie-dense recipes with coconut milk. Add it to broth-based or butternut squash, potato or split pea soups to make them creamier and higher-calorie. Make Thai-based curries with coconut milk, chicken breast and tomatoes, chili peppers and garlic, or serve broiled fish or roasted chicken breast with mangoes and sauce made from coconut milk and seasonings such as black pepper, ginger, garlic and lemon juice.


High-calorie foods, such as coconut milk, are also often high in fat. Each cup of coconut milk contains 57 grams of total fat, or 87 percent of the daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet. The fat in coconut milk is predominantly saturated. A diet high in saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease. Tree nuts, peanuts and other plant-based oils except for palm oil are lower in saturated fat than coconuts.

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