Coconut Milk: Brands to Choose, Brands to Avoid

If you’re a coconut milk fan, you’ll definitely want to read on!

Coconut milk isn’t just for pina coladas and Thai curries anymore but has become one of the most popular alternatives to cow’s milk.

Especially since it has been fully embraced by those on the Paleo diet who love everything coconut including coconut oil and coconut water.

However, there are so many brands in our grocery stores that it can be hard to choose a brand/variety that is healthy.

Here’s some help!

Carton Coconut Milk

Silk Unsweetened Coconut Milk

silk coconut milk unsweetenedSilk is one of the most popular and the best variety to choose is the unsweetened.

  • Unsweetened has 45 calories, < 1 gram of sugar, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein per one cup serving.
  • Original has 80 calories, 7 grams of sugar, 5 grams of fat, and 0 grams of protein per one cup serving.
  • Vanilla has 90 calories, 9 grams of sugar, 5 grams fat, and 0 grams of protein per one cup serving.

Coconutmilk (Filtered Water, Coconut Cream), Contains 2% or less of: Vitamin & Mineral Blend (Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D2), Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Lecithin, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum.

Learn more at

So Delicious

Healthy Choice
so delicious unsweetened coconut milkThe unsweetened is the best variety of the So Delicious Brand of coconut milk.

  • Unsweetened has 45 calories, < 1 gram of sugar, 4.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Original has 70 calories, 7 grams of sugar, 4.5 grams of fat, < 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of fiber per serving.
  • Vanilla has 80 calories, 8 grams of sugar, 4.5 grams of fat, <1 gram of protein and 0 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Chocolate has 90 calories, 15 grams of sugar, 2.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of protein, and <1 gram of fiber per serving.

Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (water, organic coconut Cream), calcium phosphate, magnesium phosphate, selenium, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D2, zinc oxide, vitamin B12, sea salt, organic sunflower lecithin, organic locust bean gum, gellan gum.

Learn more at

Trader Joe’s Coconut Milk Beverage

TJ's Unsweetened coconut beverage
Unsweetened Original is the way to go at Trader Joe’s.

  • Unsweetened Original has 50 calories, 5 grams of fat,
  • Vanilla has 90 calories, 5 grams of fat, 7 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein per 1 cup serving.

Ingredients: organic coconut base (water, organic coconut cream), calcium phosphate, magnesium phosphate, guar gum, xanthan gum, vitamin a acetate, vitamin d2, l-selenomethionine (selenium), zinc oxide, folic acid, vitamin b12.

Questionable Ingredient(s)? Carrageenan

Coconut Dream

coconut dream unsweetenedEnriched Unsweetened is the way to go with Coconut Dream Coconut Drink.

  • Unsweetened has 60 calories, 5 grams of fat, < 1 gram of sugar, and 0 grams of protein per 1 cup serving.
  • Original has 80 calories, 5 grams of fat, 7 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein per 1 cup serving.
  • Vanilla has 90 calories, 5 grams of fat, 8 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein per 1 cup serving.

Ingredients: filtered water, coconut cream, tricalcium phosphate, carrageenan, gellan gum, sea salt, natural flavors, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamine).

Questionable Ingredient(s)? Carrageenan

To learn more visit

What about Vitamin A Palmitate?

This ingredient is essentially a way to supplement vitamin A and is generally considered safe. UNLESS you already consume adequate vitamin A in your diet. (People who consume a lot of fruits and vegetables are probably getting an adequate supply.)

Vitamin A can build up in the body to toxic levels (especially synthetic forms like Vitamin A Palmitate), which can damage the liver and other organs. You may wish to avoid products with added vitamin A if you already eat a healthy diet or take a multivitamin supplement.

Canned Coconut Milk

Canned coconut milk varieties abound and the single most important thing to watch out for is BPA lined cans.

Also, canned coconut milk isn’t usually fortified with vitamins and minerals since it’s not made to mimic cow’s milk like the carton varieties are.

Trader Joe’s Canned Coconut Milk

Healthy Choice
canned trader joesTrader Joe’s Light canned coconut milk is the brand to choose.

  • Reduced Fatย has 70 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein in a 1/4 cup serving.
  • Organic has 110 calories, 11 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein per 1/4 cup serving.
  • TJ’s Coconut Cream has 90 calories, 9 grams of fat, <1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein per 2 tablespoons serving

Ingredients: Organic Coconut and water in a BPA-free can

Questionable Ingredient(s)? None.

Native Forest Organic

Healthy Choice
Choose the SIMPLE organic coconut milk.

There is also Light and Classic (both of which contain Guar Gum).

  • Light has per 1/4 cup serving has 45 calories, 4 grams of fat, <1 gram of sugar, and <1 gram of protein.
  • Classic has per 1/3 cup serving has 140 calories, 15 grams of fat, 0 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Ingredients: Organic Coconut Milk (organic coconut, purified water). BPA Free.

Questionable Ingredient(s)? None.

Learn more at

Available at Amazon.

Thai Kitchen

thai kitchen coconut milkOrganic Lite is the best Thai Kitchen variety to choose.

  • Lite has 50 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein per 1/3 cup serving.
  • Regular has 120 calories, 12 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar and <1 gram of protein per 1/3 cup serving.

Ingredients: Water, coconut milk, Guar gum

Questionable Ingredient(s)? BPA lined cans

Natural Value

Healthy Choice
natural value coconut milk cannedNatural Value’s Lite Coconut Milk is best when choosing this brand.

  • Lite has 92 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber per 1/2 cup serving.
  • Natural’s regular has 200 calories, 18 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber per 1/2 cup serving.

Lite’s Ingredients: Coconut extract and water in a BPA-free can

Questionable Ingredient(s)? None.

Chaokoh Coconut Milk

chaokoh canned coconutThis brand is not recommended because of the preservative used.

Chaokoh has 150 calories, 14 grams of fat, < 1 gram of sugar and 2 grams of protein per 1/3 cup serving.

Ingredients: Coconut extract, water, citric acid, and sodium metabisulfite

Questionable Ingredient(s)? Sodium Metabisulfite and BPA line cans

Goya Coconut Milk

goya-canned coconut milkThis brand is not recommended because of the preservative used.

Goya has 93 calories, 9 grams of fat, < 2 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein per 2 fl oz serving.

Ingredients: Coconut extract, water, citric acid, and sodium metabisulfite

Questionable Ingredient(s)?ย Sodium Metabisulfite and BPA line cans

Useful Fact: Did you know that coconut milk is the only cow’s milk alternative that works great for use in cooked “Jello” type puddings?

Store Brands?

There are many store brands as well as less popular brands of both the carton and canned varieties of coconut milk, so use the following guidelines when choosing one of these brands.

  • Choose brands with no added sugar.
  • Choose brands without carrageenan.
  • Choose brands made with organic coconut when possible.
  • Avoid brands with BPA lined cans.
  • Avoid brands that use preservatives like sulfites.
  • Be wary of vitamin A palmitate based on your total vitamin A intake.

Final Thoughts

Coconut milk can be a healthy cow’s milk alternative for people who don’t like almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk. Also, coconut milk seems to do a better job of whitening coffee or tea than the others but with slight coconut flavor.

It’s also a great way to add flavor and good fats to recipes.

Just use the above guidance to choose the brand that will be the healthiest for you and your family.

Which brand of coconut milk do you like the best?

Be sure to check out our almond milk and our rice milk comparisons as well.


  1. njtotx 4 days ago

    I need the sodium numbers.

  2. Ally 1 week ago

    Califia has a few coconut blends that are good and they are Palm oil free.

  3. Ally 1 week ago

    Vitamin A Palmitate is Palm oil. It is a known carcinogen, it raises your bad cholesterol, and is toxic to dogs and cats. Palm oil is also responsible for the horrendous deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals and tens of thousands of people every year. That’s just in Indonesia and Malaysia alone because that’s where almost 90% of the world’s supply of Palm oil comes from.

  4. Andrea Eller 2 months ago

    I found a organic coconut milk from Calahua here in Mexico. Just coconut milk, water, but also a product called NOVA GUM SD. I have tried to figure out if this is safe, googled it but can’t find it. Someone knows? Thanks

    • Lynneth Lowe 2 months ago

      I have the same question! I canโ€™t find anything about NOVA GUM SD

    • James 1 month ago

      The nearest thing I can find is Novaxan – which is a Xanthan Gum?

  5. Tonia 3 months ago

    I don’t know about silk coconut milk but silk almond milk has dairy in it. I found this out because my 4 year old cannot do milk. If you look on the carton about middle ways down it says milk which just erks me because why should almond milk have regular milk that’s the reason you buy it or suppose to.

    • James 3 months ago

      All Silk products are dairy-free, lactose-free and casein-free. There is nowhere on the label that states it has dairy.

  6. cor de wilde 7 months ago

    I would like to see nutritional value. ie . what % is coconut flesh (meat) . what % is water . Would like to see price before I buy it. REGARDS. Cor

  7. Judy Hazen 7 months ago

    Actually, carrageenan, all the gums[guar, gellan, etc. are not good for you, so, all of the boxed milks are unsafe and questionable.

    • Sara Davis 6 months ago

      Yes, I recently had a bad reaction with the guar gum in canned coconut milk. Not good for people with auto immune diseases.

      • Amma 3 weeks ago

        I just made a steamer with Native Forest’s organic “Simple” coconut milk for the first time (it doesn’t have guar gum), and I was amazed — because it tasted like coconut?? I still have cans of the “Light” variety, so I taste-compared. Apparently I’ve been using coconut milk that doesn’t even taste like coconut, because of the guar gum. No more guar gum for me! Because I loooove coconut! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Amber Van Sweden 10 months ago

    A taste of Thai has a bitter flavor that I’m not keen on. My local grocers all readily carry Thai Kitchen. I follow a keto lifestyle & that is a tasty brand in the full fat as well as reduced.

  9. SW 11 months ago

    Everyone is talking about nothing bad in the coconut milk for us humans, all you vegans do your research, MONKEYS are being used and abused to pick 99% of your coconuts. If you’ve stopped eating animals to save them, do your research before picking alternative products, please!

    • maria 9 months ago

      What the hell are you going on about? I live in the Caribbean and have never seen a monkey pick coconuts…there are ppl skilled at climbing trees that are hired for that. Stop finding a problem with everything and maybe you can start to enjoy life.

      • SW 9 months ago

        check your facts about coconuts from most of Asia, especially Thailand. MOST coconut products come from those countries, never even SEEN coconut products made in the Caribbean and sold here in the US.

        Since most folks in the US become vegan because of concern for animals, supposed vegan products and where and how they are made should also be researched. If you’re gonna try to ‘help’ the animals, do it right and do it all they way.

      • JB 2 months ago

        I agree Maria….. Never heard of anything so ridiculous as trained Monkeys picking coconuts!!! SW must have got that info in a cheap tabloid…. [SW did the article happen to mention that these Monkeys are infused with Alien DNA??]

    • James Purcell 7 months ago

      Someone who eats animals is trying to give me advice on how to be good to animals *facepalm*.

      • This world is crazy 4 months ago

        I eat animals and coconuts. Love them both

  10. Frank 12 months ago

    Idk how they can say no questionable ingredients in this coconut milks. They use all synthetic vitamins especially Vit A palmitate which is not safe for consumption. Same w Vit D2 they are both chemical made synthetic vitamins. It’s the same as saying convential strawberries or any convential berries are safe to eat when studies have shown more then 20 different pesticides on berries at one time. Read up on how synthetic Vit A is harmful to your over all health as are most synthetic vitamins. They are not natural and not made for the body to consume. We need to stand up as the customers and refuse to put anymore chemicals in our bodies just so they can keep their shareholders happy and save a few pennies per carton. Email companies like Silk and SO and tell them use real sources of Vitamin A and use D3. Stuff are bodies need and can use instead of slowly killing us along w all the other toxins are body already has to combat every day. The only way the food industry will change is by us not buying processed foods chemical sprayed foods or items w chemically made vitamins. The FDA will not make the food industry change in fear they will lose millions if not billions of dollars in donations if they enforce companies to no longer use poisonios ingredients in our foods. Same as w the drug companies give billions to the FDA so no chance they are going to not approve their questionable drugs which kill hundreds of thousands per year. This country needs an enforcing agency that makes it illegal for them to take any money at all from the people they are policing. Don’t expect your elected officials to change things either. As they receive millions more from drug and food industries to vote in their favor. Every elected official who’s taken money from drug companies and the food industry should not be re-elected no matter what their party. Thanks and let’s do this for kids and grandkids

    • Nadera Amini 8 months ago

      Thank you !

    • Sara Davis 6 months ago


    • Sherry G. 4 weeks ago

      The best thing we can do is seek out companies that are willing to give us healthy food. Put your money time energy into them. Some of you may be able to design such a company and hire people to expand it. That will force other companies to make healthier foods or die out as they fail. It’s called Competition! We do not need any more Oversight by FDA or Congress or ANYONE. We have the creativity,enginuity, guts, stamina, perseverance, desire, drive, purpose, patience to get the job done! I am convinced of that! PLEASE stop expecting OTHERS to DO what only we the people can do! Thanks!

  11. Melissa ู…ูŠู„ูŠุณุง Parry

    I’m looking for some guidance on which brand of coconut milk to give to my daughter. Some of these brands listed seem like they are for cooking?

    • Ted

      What’s your reason for giving it to your daughter? The ones in cartons are usually just watered down and artificially thickened versions of the canned. Plus, they throw in some vitamins to make them more similar to cow’s milk.

  12. Timothy K-n

    I believe that nowadays, we should look beyond the ingredients list and better understand where our food is coming from. Your coconut might have been picked by an abused monkey which is a common practice especially in Thailand.
    Check where your coconut milk is coming from:

    • Andrea Eller 2 months ago

      Well it’s a shame if monkeys are being abused. I am.not sure if climbing p s on.trees is abuse, but cows are abused terribly for their milk. It’s a terrible world almost everything we eat or consume has to do.if some kind of abuse. I just think that you and your comments are just out of place in this discussion of people trying to find healthier choices. I am an real activist, risking my life for saving abused animals. I don’t be most I can. I just HATE this pseudo activist, just talking BS and not doing anything than making people feel bad about doing the right thing for their sshould better look in the mirror and at least go out and help an animal or person instead in sitting on your chair making good healthy people feel bad about their choices. Best regards. From someone fighting cancer and trying to stay healthy.

    • Sherry G. 4 weeks ago

      I read this article and was convinced tha its true that monkeys are used to harvest coconuts. Im wondering if they could be “hired” to do the job for less hours, have adequate food water and socialization. Dogs and other animals are trained to work as Service animals for human beings all the time. I would wager that they are not abused. They often become members of human families! Let’s start a movement to only buy from companies who treat the monkeys with respect and dignity. There are quite afew listed in the article by Huffington post. Essential Trading does not use monkeys neither does 3 Buddahs or Aunt Pattys, Carrington Farms, Dr. Bonners, etc. Etc. Along with others mentioned in the article. PICK a company and support it. Then write letter to those who abuse monkeys explaining disgust and you will be buying only from ethical and respectful companies !It may take research and determination and precious time but it will be worth it!. ๐Ÿ˜For our kids and grandkids!

    • James 3 weeks ago

      I suggest you look at the dairy industry. For humans to drink milk, cows are kept pregnant, have their calves removed from them (many of which are subsequently destroyed). All so we can drink a substance intended for baby cows…

  13. panettonea2

    I think you’re a bit too kind about the vitamin A. In addition, vitamin D2 is also a real problem. From another Web site:

    Large doses of natural vitamin A are well tolerated by the body as
    established by researchers decades ago, however. Traditional diets
    contain 10 times or more of the RDA of this nutrient with no ill effect.
    However, synthetic vitamin A is associated with birth defects and bone
    fractures. It has no benefit in the diet whatsoever.

    The second really bad additive in these organic cartons of coconut milk and
    almond milk is Vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 is a form of the wonder vitamin
    that you should take great pains to avoid.

    In all known cases of Vitamin D toxicity where the dose was intentional, Vitamin D2 was the culprit. By comparison, Vitamin D3 is much less toxic and requires an enormous or even an accidental dose to produce any toxic effect.

  14. Bombshell

    I’m just coming across this because I’m trying to figure out if using lecithin in my homemade coconut milk is a good idea. I wanted to try sunflower lecithing unless there is another non-soy alternative. I like making my own milk but it always separates so I’m hoping that this will help to keep it creamy! I don’t like the store alternatives because they fortify with calcium and it tastes so chalky to me!

  15. deathbyglitter

    I wish I could find a box of coconut milk that just has water and coconut as the ingredients. I’m so excited to try the Trader Joe’s Canned Coconut Milk though! Until I can get a new blender to make my own this is the one I’m hopeful for! I love coconut milk (and coconuts in general!). I’m on a histamine restricted diet and I’m also vegan (though I have confirmed psycho allergies to most animal products). My diet is pretty rigid so it makes me super happy to find lists like this that help me find new products that are viable for me! Thank you so much! <333

    • Donald Chump

      use the packet of hard block coconut, simmer in water, sieve then chill – nothing in it but 100% coconut!

      • Bombshell

        where do you get this?

    • Sara Davis 6 months ago

      Aroy-D 100% coconut milk..available on Amazon…tastes like real cream in your coffee.?

    • Amma 3 weeks ago

      There’s also Native Forest’s organic “Simple” coconut milk (just coconut & water in the ingredients). I just tried it this morning for the first time. It tastes like coconut, unlike the ones with guar gum!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I loooove coconut too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Maura

    Thank you, so much! I’ve switched to natural coconut milk for my coffee and some recipes. Some of the store brands have additional additives and I was unsure about Silk and SO. However, I find the canned coconut milk is so much more enjoyable and tastes more natural to me. I’m always leary of the mass produced and heavily marketed brands.

  17. thecolormage

    Great note about the Vitamin A! Using an app does help track those levels!