Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Myth: Coconut water is a healthy drink.

Answer: Well, it depends on your definition of “healthy”

Coconut water (not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk) has been on the grocery shelves and the Internet and in magazines for about 3 years. Let’s dig a little deeper. Just what is coconut water? It comes from inside young green coconuts and it has a lot of potassium along with some calcium, magnesium, sodium, and sugar. Coconut water also has a small amount of fiber. What you need to watch out for is that some coconut water has added sugar or fruit purée – this adds calories and unnecessary sugar. A cup of coconut water with no “extras” added to it has 46 calories. Coconut water has a lot of sodium (salt) – 252 mg. in 8 ounces – that’s more than twice the sodium in milk and way more than what is in orange juice. Lastly, coconut water is pretty pricey.

Looking for information on nutrition and health topics? Visit the Missouri Families website.

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, schusterer@missouri.edu, 573-882-1933

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