Coconut: Just how much is good for you and nutritional benefits

Perspective from Livia Dickson Chen

PhD in Nutrition · 11 years of experience · Brazil


  • Coconut helps in weight loss. Coconut is low in carbohydrates and rich in fiber, which increases satiety. But beware, coconut is a food rich in calories, so consumption should be done in moderation. Coconut oil helps with weight loss because it is a source of medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which are quickly metabolized in the body. Coconut water is excellent for those who want to lose weight because it has very few calories and can replace drinks such as juice and soda.
  • Coconut helps in strengthening the immune system. Coconut has substances such as lauric acid, which prevents the proliferation of fungi, viruses and bacteria. Also, it is an excellent anti-inflammatory.

Quantity Recommendation

  • Coconut can be consumed fresh, used in recipes for cakes, sweets and biscuits, it also can be added to smoothies and yogurts. Coconut can even be added to meals like coconut flour or sugar. The suggested consumption is 20 to 30 grams of dry coconut, in small chips, as a snack. It is excellent for reducing the appetite. Dehydrated coconut can be added to yogurt, juice or smoothie, from 1 to 2 tablespoons.

Coconut: How much should you eat? Experts weigh in.

See side effects of Coconut from this expert

Perspective from Michael Colangelo

Master of Science (M.S.) in Nutrition · 15 years of experience · USA


  • Coconuts contain nutrients that support the immune system. Coconut oil for example contains the immune-boosting medium chain saturated fatty acids lauric and caprylic acid. Lauric acid is an antimicrobial, in large part because the antibacterial and antimicrobial compound monolaurin is formed from lauric acid. Although coconut contains several health promoting minerals including iron, manganese, potassium, selenium, and zinc, the overall evidence on coconut- particularly coconut oil- as a health food is mixed.

Quantity Recommendation

  • Enjoy coconut occasionally and in moderation. Individuals with already high LDL cholesterol or who are high risk for heart disease should limit consumption of coconut products (e.g. canned coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut oil) because of their high saturated fat content.

Coconut: How much should you eat? Experts weigh in.

Love Coconut? Get nutritional facts, tips from health experts, and more

This is for information purpose only, and should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. These are opinions from an external panel of individual doctors, and not to be considered as opinion of Microsoft. Please seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns.

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