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Almond Milk vs Coconut Milk (Complete Comparison)

Almond milk and coconut milk are two popular plant-based alternatives to traditional dairy milk, highlighting a shift in consumer preferences for non-dairy options. Both milks bring unique flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles to the table, catering to different dietary needs and preferences. They have become particularly prominent among those who are lactose intolerant, allergic to cow’s milk, or following vegan lifestyles. Understanding the complete nutrition comparison between almond milk and coconut milk can guide consumers in making informed decisions that align with their health goals and taste preferences.

Almond milk is recognized for its lower calorie content and its richness in vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium. On the other hand, coconut milk is known for its rich, creamy texture and higher calorie and saturated fat content. Both options have carved out significant niches within the dairy alternative market, with almond milk being sought after for its lighter texture and coconut milk being favored for its creamy consistency in culinary applications.

Almond Milk vs Coconut Milk

Almond milk provides fewer calories and fat than coconut milk, making it a preferred option for calorie-conscious consumers. Meanwhile, coconut milk offers a creamier texture and a distinct tropical taste.

Comparison of Ingredients

This section delves into the detailed nutritional profiles and ingredient compositions of almond milk and coconut milk, examining key differences and considerations for consumption.

Almond milk and coconut milk vary significantly in their nutritional composition and ingredients, influencing their health benefits and culinary uses.

Nutritional Comparison


Almond Milk

Coconut Milk




Saturated Fat



Vitamin E



Vitamin B2




Often fortified

Less, may be fortified




Almond milk typically has fewer calories and less saturated fat than coconut milk, making it a popular choice for those looking to reduce their caloric intake. It is also higher in vitamin E and vitamin B2. Many commercial almond milks are fortified with calcium, and the beverage contains more fiber.

Ingredient Comparison

  • Almond Milk: Water, Almonds, (may include: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Riboflavin, Sea Salt, Gellan Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavors)
  • Coconut Milk: Coconut Cream, Water, (may include: Guar Gum, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Metabisulfite)

The primary ingredient in almond milk is water followed by a smaller proportion of almonds. Ingredient lists often expand with fortifying nutrients and thickeners or emulsifiers for texture and stability. Conversely, coconut milk is mainly composed of coconut cream and water, with thickeners and preservatives possibly added to maintain consistency and shelf life.

Best for Calorie Content

When comparing almond milk to coconut milk, a clear difference emerges in terms of calorie content.

Almond milk generally contains fewer calories than coconut milk. On average, unsweetened almond milk may have as few as 30 to 50 calories per 8-ounce serving, making it a lower calorie option compared to coconut milk.

Coconut milk, on the other hand, is richer in calories. A similar serving size can contain about 80 to 500 calories, depending on whether it’s a beverage version or canned. The high-calorie count in coconut milk is mainly due to its higher fat content.

Milk Type

Calories per 100g

Unsweetened Almond Milk

15 – 20

Beverage Coconut Milk

20 – 50

Canned Coconut Milk

230 – 250

One should consider these figures while choosing a milk alternative based on calorie content. Almond milk serves as a better option for those looking to reduce calorie intake, while those who require higher energy intake might opt for coconut milk.

It’s also important to note that flavored or sweetened versions of any plant-based milk will have additional calories. Always checking the nutrition label can provide guidance on the specific calorie content of each product.

Best for Carbs & Sugar Content

When comparing the carbohydrate and sugar content of almond milk and coconut milk, consumers often look for the option that fits best with their dietary goals.

In terms of carbohydrate content, unsweetened almond milk typically contains around 1-2 grams of carbs per cup, while unsweetened coconut milk has about 2 grams. For sugar content, unsweetened versions of both milks generally have less than 1 gram per cup.

Almond milk and coconut milk can vary in carbohydrate and sugar content based on whether they are sweetened or flavored. Sweetened versions of both milks can contain significantly higher amounts of sugar. It is important for individuals to check the nutritional labels when choosing between almond and coconut milk.

Regarding added sugars, it’s advised to limit intake to minimize the risk of health issues. The American Heart Association suggests a daily added sugar limit of 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Given this, selecting unsweetened milk alternatives is more conducive to maintaining a lower sugar intake.

Nutritional Comparison per Cup:


Almond Milk (unsweetened)

Coconut Milk (unsweetened)







Almond milk is a preferred choice for those looking to minimize their carb and sugar intake, but both unsweetened almond and coconut milk are suitable for low-sugar diets. Always ensure to check the product labels for the most accurate information regarding carbs and sugar, especially for sweetened or flavored varieties.

Best for Protein Content

When considering almond milk and coconut milk, one should examine their protein content to determine which is superior in this aspect.

Almond milk contains less protein than coconut milk, making coconut milk a better option for those seeking more protein in their dairy-alternative choices.

Both almond milk and coconut milk offer alternative nutritional profiles to traditional dairy milk, but when it comes to protein content, they differ. Almond milk typically provides around 1 gram of protein per cup, while coconut milk offers a slightly higher amount, averaging about 2 grams per cup.

Despite coconut milk having more protein than almond milk, it’s important to note that neither are protein-rich when compared to dairy milk or soy milk, the latter often being chosen by those prioritizing a higher protein intake. Individuals who are looking for non-dairy milk with higher protein content might consider other plant-based options like pea milk or soy milk, which are typically more protein-dense.

For those incorporating these milks into their diets, it’s crucial to align the choice with one’s nutritional goals and dietary needs. As protein is an essential nutrient for bodily functions, including muscle repair and growth, those requiring higher protein intake might need to supplement these milks or opt for alternatives with a more robust protein profile.

Best for Fat Content

Glass of Coconut Milk with a Cracked Open Coconut in the background

When comparing the fat content of almond milk and coconut milk, one finds that almond milk generally contains significantly less fat. Coconut milk contains a higher amount of saturated fat compared to almond milk, making almond milk a better option for those looking to reduce their saturated fat intake.

Almond milk is a low-fat plant milk with typically 1 to 2 grams of fat per serving, the majority of which is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Coconut milk, on the other hand, is much higher in saturated fat with about 12 grams per serving. This difference is due to the fact that coconut milk is made from coconut flesh, which is naturally high in oil.


Almond Milk Fat Content

Coconut Milk Fat Content

Total Fat

1 – 2g


Saturated Fat



Monounsaturated Fat



For individuals who are aiming to manage their cholesterol levels or who are following a diet where low saturated fat is advised, almond milk may be the preferable choice. It’s important to note that some commercially available almond milks may have added fats, so one should read labels carefully.

In contrast, coconut milk’s high saturated fat content can contribute to its rich, creamy texture, which might be desirable in culinary applications where texture is a key component, such as in smoothies, soups, or curries. However, for everyday drinking or as a dairy milk substitute, the lower fat content of almond milk makes it a more suitable option for those monitoring their fat intake.

Best for Fiber Content

When it comes to fiber content, almond milk typically has an edge over coconut milk. Almond milk usually offers around 0.6 to 1.5 grams of fiber per cup, while coconut milk provides less than 0.5 grams for the same serving size. This makes almond milk a better option for those looking to increase their dietary fiber intake.

Fiber is crucial for maintaining bowel health, lowering cholesterol levels, and aiding in weight management. While neither plant-based milk is a high-fiber food compared to whole nuts or other fiber-rich foods, almond milk can contribute to the daily fiber goal.

Here’s a comparison of the fiber content in almond and coconut milk:

Nut Milk

Fiber per Cup (Approx.)

Almond Milk


Coconut Milk


It should be noted that the actual fiber content can vary based on the brand and whether the product is sweetened or unsweetened. Unflavored and unsweetened varieties tend to have a slightly higher fiber content, as sweeteners and flavorings may displace some of the nut content.

In summary, for individuals looking to enhance their fiber intake through nut milks, almond milk typically provides a better contribution to daily fiber needs than coconut milk.

Best for Sodium/Salt Content

When comparing almond milk and coconut milk, almond milk generally contains less sodium than coconut milk. A cup of unsweetened almond milk typically has around 170 milligrams of sodium, which is less than the sodium content found in a similar serving of coconut milk.

Featured Snippet:

Almond milk is preferable for those looking to reduce sodium intake, as it contains a lower amount of sodium compared to coconut milk.

Nutritional Comparison:

  • Almond Milk:
  • Unsweetened: ~170 mg of sodium per cup
  • Coconut Milk:
  • Regular: ~46 mg of sodium per 1/4 cup (equivalent to ~184 mg per cup)

Almond milk’s lower sodium content can be beneficial for individuals managing blood pressure or heart health. Sodium is an essential mineral, but it is often consumed in excess, leading to health issues. Making mindful choices about sodium intake can have significant health benefits. Choosing almond milk over coconut milk can be a simple way to reduce daily sodium consumption.

Best for Vitamins/Minerals

Almond milk generally provides more vitamins and minerals compared to coconut milk, being richer in calcium and potassium.

Almond milk and coconut milk both offer various health benefits and provide different vitamins and minerals. Almond milk is recognized for its higher content of calcium and potassium. One serving typically contains 188 mg of calcium and 220 mg of potassium. These minerals are important for bone health and regulating blood pressure.

In contrast, coconut milk offers fewer of these nutrients, with one serving having markedly less calcium and potassium—16 mg and 50 mg respectively. However, coconut milk can be a source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are fats that the body can easily convert to energy.

For individuals monitoring sodium intake, coconut milk has an advantage with a significantly lower sodium content of around 13 mg per serving, as opposed to almond milk’s 63 mg. While almond milk is fortified with vitamins, those selecting coconut milk for its lower sodium content might consider choosing a fortified version to enhance its vitamin and mineral profile.


Almond Milk

Coconut Milk


Higher (188mg)

Lower (16mg)


Higher (220mg)

Lower (50mg)


Higher (63mg)

Lower (13mg)




Whether choosing almond or coconut milk, consumers should consider their individual dietary needs, and opt for unsweetened and fortified versions for better health benefits.

Best for Flavor/Texture

When it comes to flavor and texture, almond milk is typically nuttier and lighter, while coconut milk is rich and creamy.

Almond milk offers a slightly sweet, nutty taste that complements cereals, coffees, and smoothies well, making it a versatile dairy alternative. Its texture is akin to that of skim milk; it’s quite thin and has a light mouthfeel, which some consumers prefer for its subtlety and lower calorie content.

Conversely, coconut milk boasts a distinct coconut flavor that may be overpowering in some dishes but is a favorite in tropical smoothies, desserts, and certain savory cuisines. It’s creamier and thicker than almond milk due to higher fat content, which gives it a rich, velvety texture. This makes it a popular choice in recipes where a more substantial consistency is desired.

You can help to decide the winner of this category by voting for your favorite in the poll below and once you vote you’ll be able to see the public favorite so far.

Which do you prefer?

Here’s a brief comparison of the two:

  • Flavor:
  • Almond Milk: Nutty and mild
  • Coconut Milk: Pronounced coconut flavor
  • Texture:
  • Almond Milk: Light and thin
  • Coconut Milk: Rich and creamy

Nutritional preferences or dietary requirements can also influence a person’s choice between these two plant-based milks. Those looking for a low-calorie option might lean towards almond milk, while others looking for a creamier texture might opt for coconut milk. Both have their place in the kitchen and can be chosen according to the specific needs of a recipe or personal taste.

Health Benefits

Almond milk and coconut milk offer unique health benefits, making them popular dairy alternatives. They are both lactose-free and can be enriched with vitamins and minerals. In comparison, almond milk is rich in Vitamin E and typically lower in calories, whereas coconut milk is higher in saturated fats and provides a creamier texture.

Nutrition Profiles:

  • Almond Milk: High in Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. It also provides minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, especially when fortified. Almond milk is generally low in protein and carbohydrates, making it a lower calorie option. It’s often recommended for those trying to reduce calorie intake or managing their weight.
  • Coconut Milk: Rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which may support metabolism. Coconut milk typically contains more fat, which contributes to its satiating quality. While high in saturated fats, these fats are considered to have a neutral to beneficial effect on heart health according to some studies.

When choosing between the two, individuals may consider their dietary needs, such as calorie count, fat content, and desired nutrients. As for their health benefits, almond milk is often chosen by those seeking to increase their Vitamin E intake and manage weight, while coconut milk might be preferred by those looking for a more satiating alternative with a creamy consistency. Both can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation and can provide variety for those with dairy intolerances or preferring plant-based milks.

Allergies and Sensitivities

Individuals with tree nut allergies should avoid almond milk, while those allergic to coconuts should not consume coconut milk. Both can be serious allergens.

Choosing between almond milk and coconut milk may involve considering allergies and sensitivities. The two plant-based milks cater to different dietary needs but also pose risks for individuals with specific allergies.

  • Tree Nut Allergies: Almond milk is a concern for individuals with tree nut allergies. Almonds are a common tree nut allergen, and consuming almond milk can trigger an allergic reaction, which can range from mild to potentially life-threatening.
  • Coconut Allergies: While less common, some individuals are allergic to coconuts. Coconut milk should be avoided by those with this sensitivity to prevent allergic reactions.

In addition to allergies, lactose intolerance plays a role in choosing milk alternatives. Both almond and coconut milk are naturally lactose-free, making them suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance.

When considering an alternative to dairy, it is also essential to consult with a healthcare provider or a dietician, especially when dealing with severe allergies or food sensitivities to ensure safety and proper nutrition.

Overall Winner – Which One Is Better?

Both almond milk and coconut milk offer unique health benefits and cater to different dietary preferences. One should consider nutritional content, environmental impact, and personal health goals.

Almond milk is lower in calories and fat and contains more natural calcium and protein compared to coconut milk. It tends to be a preferable option for those managing their weight or requiring a lower calorie diet. Its protein content also makes it favorable for muscle repair and bone health. However, almond milk’s environmental footprint is a concern due to water-intensive almond farming practices.

On the other hand, coconut milk is richer in taste and texture, making it a popular choice for culinary uses. It provides a creamier consistency which is ideal for smoothies and baking. Despite its higher fat content, it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which have been linked to certain health benefits, such as improved metabolism.

In terms of sustainability, coconut milk generally has a lower environmental impact than almond milk. Coconut trees require less water and can grow in more diverse climates, reducing the overall strain on water resources.


Almond Milk

Coconut Milk











More resource-intensive

Less resource-intensive

In deciding which milk is better, individuals must consider personal dietary needs and environmental values. Both milks serve as a plant-based alternative to dairy and offer different nutritional benefits.