Oat milk nutrition – The holy grail to health?
Over the past years, milk alternatives have become more and more popular. Nowadays there is a huge variety of choices you can make if you want to avoid cow milk. Every grocery store now offers soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk and more. The plant-based market is exploding and the latest and hottest addition to plant-based milks is oat milk.
No matter if you have to avoid cow milk because of lactose intolerance or if you prefer to have different milk flavors oat milk, for example, is a nutritious, healthy choice.
Plant-based diets are very popular right now and people are very selective to what they put in their bodies. And if a product is considered to be environmentally friendly that’s a bonus.
What is oat milk?
Taste-wise oat milk is closer to cow milk than other plant-based milk alternatives.
So, what is oat milk actually?! The name already says it, it’s simply a dairy-free alternative to animal-based milk and is made of blended oats and water.
Yes, it’s as easy as that!
This is the purest and most basic form of oat milk. If you buy commercial products you often see additions like sugar, salt, preservatives, vitamins, and minerals.
It’s worth to have a closer look at the nutrition labels of different brands and check out their additional ingredients.
If you want to get into it and make oat milk yourself, keep in mind that homemade oat milk nutrition may differ from commercial products and may be lower in micronutrients that are added by the food industry.
Oat milk benefits
Before we dive into the benefits of oat milk let’s take a look at the nutritional value of oats first.
|per 100 gr.|
|B1 (thiamine)||o,55 mg.|
Oats are low in calories and high in protein which brings you closer to your weight loss goals. Oat milk is free of gluten, lactose, nuts, and other allergens. That can be beneficial if you have problems with allergies.
The high fiber content makes it more filling than cow milk for example that has zero fiber in it. The daily fiber intake should be at least 30 gr. and oat milk can be a good addition to your diet to reach your daily needs. Pay attention to your fiber intake because a fiber-rich diet benefits to gut health and weight loss. (If you want to know more about the connection between fiber and weight loss, check out my article “How to fix your weight with fiber“.)
Commercial oat milk is often fortified with calcium. This mineral helps to keep your bones strong and plays a key role in blood clotting. It is also beneficial to cardiovascular health and positively influences muscle and nerve functions.
And here is another interesting aspect that comes to mind when you drink oat milk. Soy milk and other trending milk alternatives may have traces of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) in them. While GMO soybeans were originally used as animal food they are more and more used in our food. According to this article GMO soy is found in 70% of food products in U. S. supermarkets.
Oats are rich in B-Vitamins and especially in thiamine (B1). Thiamine is required by our bodies to properly use carbohydrates. It is necessary when carbs are converted into energy. Also, your nerves need B1 to regenerate.
Oat milk dangers
Every medal has two sides! While there are a lot of benefits that come with oat milk there are some downsides you should know about. And I already said it before, check the nutrition label first before you buy commercially produced oat milk. These products are often full of additives, preservatives, and sugars. Say goodbye to all the health benefits that oat milk originally offers.
What’s even worse, you can often find thickeners and emulsifiers amongst the ingredients. They may impact digestive health and could even change your gut microbiome.
Oat milk is not as nutrient dense as cow milk. That is especially true for homemade oat milk because conventionally produced oat milk is enriched with vitamins and minerals.
If you make your own oat milk you have to pay attention that you will get the missing vitamins and minerals from other food sources.
There are a lot of nutritionists pointing out the dangers of oat milk like holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque.
In her opinion oat milk “is definitely sustainable” but “a potentially gluten-contaminated, pesticide-covered grain milk with very little nutrition is not a very good option when you have milks like coconut milk that offer MCT for brain health, almond milk that offer potassium for muscle health, hemp milk that offers a little bit of protein if you’re plant-based.” She has definitely a point here and there are for sure better alternatives. (You can read the rest of the interview in her Instagram post.)
If you are suffering from gluten intolerance you should avoid oat milk and you might wonder why?!
While oats are absolutely gluten-free, that can change during the process of making oat milk in a factory. Oat products are processed in plants which may also process wheat, rye or barley (which all contain gluten and can contaminate oat products). This is very much relevant when you have serious celiac disease problems. Otherwise, you are fine and the possible contamination will not affect your health.
The solution is to make oat milk yourself and you will definitely have a gluten-free drink.
Oat milk keto
The keto diet is the hottest diet trend right now. If you follow a ketogenic diet might probably wonder if oat milk is safe for keto?!
To get into ketosis it is necessary to limit your carb intake below 30 gr. per day. To achieve this goal it is best to avoid carb-heavy foods like bread, pasta, pizza …! Instead, eat foods that have fewer than 10 gr. of carbs per serving.
Take a look at the nutrition label and you know if the drink is suitable for a keto diet or not.
The sugar contents vary from brand to brand but compared to other milk alternatives oat milk is a bad choice for a keto diet.
Oat milk can have a sugar content from 10-20 gr. per serving size. Oat milk has more sugar per serving than other types of milk because it’s made from a carbohydrate (which gets broken down into a simple sugar).
If you compare with almond milk you will see that almond milk has less sugar. It varies from 0 gr. (for unsweetened almond milk) to 7 gr. of sugar for the regular almond milk.
So, in conclusion, that means oat milk is not a good fit when you are following a keto diet.
Calories in oat milk
Oat milk: 130 calories
Almond milk: 60 calories
Soy milk: 100 calories
Cashew milk: 57 calories
Depending on your weight goals or preferences of taste, choose the one that fits your needs the most.
Is oat milk good for weight loss?
To answer the question if oat milk is good or bad for your weight loss goals I say: “It depends!”
The high fiber and protein content are definitely beneficial for losing weight. And a lot of people use that as an argument for oat milk being the perfect fit for weight loss.
On the other hand, you have to deal with potentially high sugar content. And that won’t help in any way to lose a few pounds.
Oats are for sure an amazing weight loss food with great health benefits and you should include them in your diet regularly.
With oat milk, I can guarantee you it is not a magical weight loss drink. Your access fat will not just melt away as soon as you drink oat milk.
But is it better than drinking bubbly soda?! For sure!
It always depends on the standpoint you are coming from. And you should always aim to have a huge variety of healthy food in your diet. This way you can be sure you cover a healthy and nutritional intake of vitamins and minerals and everything a powerful body needs.
Which type of milk is the healthiest?
This a tough question to answer!
Earlier in the 1980s, there was a huge marketing campaign claiming “Milk does a body good!
The message behind this is easy to understand. But the reality is more complicated than that. We can choose between different types of milks, animal-based or plant-based ones.
The different types of milks offer different health benefits. Every milk is created differently.
See the list below, it shows the nutrients in the most popular milk types.
|Type||Calories||Fat||Protein||Sugar||Calcium %||Vitamin D %|
|Unsweetened Soy Milk||80||4||7||1||30||30|
|Unsweetened Almond Milk||30||2,5||1||0||45||25|
|Unsweetened Rice Milk||90||2,5||<1||<1||30||25|
|Unsweetened Coconut Milk||45||4,5||0||0||10||30|
|Unsweetened Cashew Milk||25||2||<1||0||45||25|
In my opinion, every milk can be healthy but can also be unhealthy too. Every brand has its own special recipe. And sometimes their intent is not to make it healthy, they make it cheap and sweet instead.
Always check the food label first to see the ingredients. Don’t buy milks with a long list of additives, thickeners, and words you have never heard of.