You get coconut water — not the milk --from immature fruit like these
Why yes, say the folks at Consumer Reports who went to the trouble of contrasting and comparing.
Turns out the "water" — a clear juice you can get in bottles, or served with a straw straight from the "nut" in the tropics — comes from young coconuts. It's tasty, low in calories, and has a few minerals. It's even been shown in very preliminary research to tug down bad cholesterol levels — in rats.
Coconut milk, on the other hand, comes from the mashed up innards of mature coconuts. It has a whopping 552 calories per cup (compared to coconut water's 46), and 50 grams of its fat is saturated. Ouch.
Still, don't get overeager and sub in the "water" for the "milk" in recipes, say the CR chefs. It'll throw off the taste and texture of your dish. Better to go ahead and occasionally enjoy that tasty Thai soup for lunch, and then cut calories elsewhere, or pump up your exercise to burn the fat.
Got any other health questions of your own?
It's time. You all did wonderfully well on yesterday's science quiz, but surely you, too, have a few coconut-like queries you've been wondering about.
Let us know, and we'll start publishing answers (and, maybe, the further questions they raise) — at least once a week — in the blog. Consider it a sort of Science-Out-of-the-Box spin-off, or Science Question Friday.
You can ask your questions on any health- or science-related topic in comments below, or send them more quietly to us here.
Please do. The lines are very open.