I love all forms of coconut—which of them can I actually eat?

First, let’s talk about coconut water. Generally speaking, the rule of thumb for beverages is if it has calories or sweeteners of any kind in it, then avoid it. This leaves water, sparkling water (adding a squeeze of lemon or lime is fine), herbal tea, black tea, and coffee as options.

Coconut water, as a beverage, is not Bright Line Eating friendly. There are rare cases, however, where coconut water consumption is necessary to address an extreme medical condition. If that is the case, add a weighed-and-measured amount to a meal.

Unsweetened coconut milk (by the carton) can be used as a protein serving similar to almond milk. It is a little high in fat, but it can be used just like almond milk, where the protein serving is split half and half with nuts and seeds.

Other coconut products count as a fat serving. Use the following measurements…

Canned full fat coconut milk:  2 oz. = 1 fat serving
Canned low fat coconut milk: 4 oz. = 1 fat serving
Coconut meat: 1 oz. = 1 fat serving
Coconut cream: 1 oz. = 1 fat serving
Coconut butter: 1 oz. = 1 fat serving
Dried coconut with no sweetener added:  .5 oz.  = 1 fat serving

Coconut yogurt is a bit trickier. Any kind of yogurt, dairy or non-dairy, counts as a protein (yes, even if it has very little protein in it). As such, coconut yogurt counts as a protein. The amount depends on whether the yogurt is made with full-fat coconut milk (at about 550 calories per cup), or other kinds of coconut milk (Silk has a brand of unsweetened “coconut milk” in a carton that has 45 calories per cup). Generally speaking, a serving of yogurt should have about 80-230 calories in it, so figure out the serving size for your particular brand. So Delicious has a store-bought unsweetened cultured coconut milk product (it’s basically a yogurt), and 8 oz. would be a 100-calorie serving. If you make yours at home, you’ll have to gauge based on the ingredients you put in it.