It’s delicious, sustainable and ethical, but is oat milk good for you? Here’s everything you need to know about the hottest plant-based milk alternative.
Oat milk appears to be the plant milk winner – it’s tasty, ecological, and humane. But there’s more to it than that, so let’s delve deeply into the realm of wheat milks.
What is oat milk?
Oat milk is a milk-like liquid that is prepared from steeped and pureed cereals, water, and a trace of sodium. Other components, such as sunflower or canola oil for smoothness, vitamins and minerals for additional nutritious value, and sometimes natural stabilisers for denser viscosity and longer shelf-life, may be present in trace quantities.
It has a mellow, mildly sugary flavor that goes well in tea, coffee, porridge, soups, and pastry.
Because oats are produced locally, don’t require much water or fertilizer, and are usually low-maintenance, oat milk is regarded one of the most viable plant milks. Organic wheat milk is the ‘purest’ form because organic cultivation eliminates the use of harmful chemicals.
Is oat milk good for you?
Oat milk is a nutritious choice that is beneficial for you.
It’s a low-fat, low-sugar liquid that’s simple to stomach and includes no potentially harmful ingredients. Oat milk has absolutely no drawbacks! You’ll get a healthy dosage of these essential nutrients if you choose the version enriched with vitamins B2, B12, and D, as well as calcium or even iron.
Oat milk is simple to process, low in fat and sugar, and high in fiber. Photo credit:
Oat milk calories and nutrients
Oat milk, like any other milk, is a pretty runny beverage, with about 90% water and the remainder being all the beneficial things.
The calorie composition of various oat milk products is quite similar – 100 millilitres includes around 50 calories or 200 kilojoules, which is comparable to semi-skimmed milk. Oat milk, on the other hand, is healthy because it contains healthier lipids, less sugar, and more fiber!
Oat milk is generally low in fat, with the little fat it does contain – usually 1.5 grams per 100 millilitres – being mostly unsaturated. (the healthy type of fat).
Cow’s milk, on the other hand, is mostly made up of heavy fat. (the unhealthy kind). It is critical for cardiac health to replace heavy lipids in your diet with unsaturated fats1.
Protein content varies by brand, with some oat milk having 0.3 grams per 100 millilitres and others holding 1.1 grams. That is less than soy milk, for example, but no one consumes any type of milk for protein.
Because of the natural carbohydrates in oats, oat milk is naturally sugary, so producers rarely add sugar to the finished product. Major oat milk products all have slightly more than three grams of sugar per 100 millilitres, which is deemed a modest quantity.
Finally, 100 millilitres of oat milk contains between 0.8 and 1.5 grams of fibre, which is a beneficial supplement to our diet because we need fibre for good gut health. The daily suggested amount is 30 grams.
Beta-glucans are a form of dietary fibre found in cereals, and their frequent intake helps to lower triglyceride levels2 and control blood sugar levels3.
Oat milk is low in fat and high in dietary fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. Photographer: Yelena Yemchuk/Getty Images
Does oat milk have calcium?
To equal the calcium level of cow’s milk, all enriched versions contain 120 mg of calcium per 100 millilitres. Organic versions, on the other hand, are not supplemented, so they are not excellent sources of calcium for vegetarians. Always read the dietary facts sticker!
If you drink oat milk with your tea, coffee, or porridge, it’s a handy way to increase your daily calcium consumption, so go for the enriched type. However, if you use oat milk for pastry or veggie waffles, it’s generally not something you do on a regular basis, so you don’t need enriched oat milk for that.
Oat milk benefits
Oat milk has numerous health advantages, as mentioned above, and it is also appropriate for almost everyone because it contains no common allergies! There is no dairy, lactose, legumes, soy, or gluten. However, if you are gluten-free, please see the additional details below.
Oat milk is also ecologically favorable because oats are produced all over Europe and North America, eliminating the need for local producers to ship them from abroad.
Oats are a very viable product because they do not require much moisture and are relatively simple to produce with consistent yields. A more comprehensive contrast is provided below.
If you want to make a responsible decision, wheat milk is the way to go. Homemade oat milk is the most ethical of all because it needs no single-use packing for the product, and if your oats arrive in a paper sack, you can’t get much more low-impact than that.
Oat milk is ecologically favorable because oats require little moisture and are relatively simple to produce with consistent yields. Photo credit:
Oat milk vs cow’s milk
In this contrast, wheat milk easily triumphs! In terms of nutrients, oat milk contains healthful lipids, protein, fiber, is low in sugar, and is high in vitamins, particularly in enriched types.
Cow’s milk, on the other hand, contains mostly harmful lipids, no fiber, some protein, is higher in sugar (lactose), and is much more difficult to process because many people are lactose sensitive.
Furthermore, cow’s milk includes chemicals that have been related to an elevated chance of breast cancer4. Oat milk contains none of these.
Here’s a comparative table5 of the environmental effect of these milks:
|Type of milk||Greenhouse gas emissions (kg CO2 or equivalent)||Water use (litres)||Land use (square metres)|
When compared to cow’s milk, oat milk emits less than a third of the carbon gas pollution, needs 13 times less water, and 11 times less acreage.
Of course, wheat milk is far more humane than cow’s milk because it does not involve the exploitation of creatures!
Oat milk vs almond milk
Both of these milks are a good option because they contain tiny quantities of healthful lipids, protein, and fiber. Unsweetened almond milk contains even less sugar than unsweetened oat milk.
However, when it comes to environmental effect, it’s obvious that almond milk needs more than seven times the amount of water as oat milk. So, from an ecological standpoint, wheat milk is a superior option.
Almond milk needs more than seven times the amount of water as oat milk, making oat milk the more environmentally friendly option. Photo credit: Anna Gorbacheva/Getty Images
Is oat milk gluten free?
In theory, oat milk should be gluten-free because oats do not contain gluten, but this is not the case in practice. Because oats are frequently prepared alongside gluten-containing cereals, there is a high chance of infection.
If you are gluten intolerant or allergic, you should examine the product label to see if it is gluten free. If your wheat milk does not have this warning, it is not healthy to ingest. However, every gluten-free oat milk boldly states this on the label.
Can you freeze oat milk?
You can refrigerate it for up to six months, but it will have a faintly gritty appearance when it thaws. You can reduce this problem by allowing it defrost in the freezer and thoroughly stirring the jar before using it.
How long does oat milk last?
After opening, store-bought oat milk should be refrigerated and eaten within seven to ten days. Homemade wheat milk only lasts about five days and must be refrigerated.
Oat milk is commonly accessible in stores and comes in a variety of labels. Image courtesy of SolStock via Getty Images.
Which are the main oat milk brands?
Although some companies and variations come and go, the following oat milk labels are commonly accessible in the UK:
- Alpro Oat – Fiber-fortified wheat milk that is inherently fragrant and reduced in calories. Alpro now makes Oat Growing Up drink for infants as young as one year old, which is specially made to meet their requirements.
- Oatly Oatly, the original oat milk brand, offers several variations. The traditional version is supplemented with all the normal ingredients plus vegan iodine, the espresso version is creamier, ideal for coffee, and also fortified, and the organic version is not.
- Moma – plain and fortified oat milks; the latte version is creamier and thus higher in fat, but it works well in heated beverages.
- Minor Figures – wheat milk infused with coffee! They have three Barista varieties: fortified Barista, fortified Barista lite, and unfortified Barista Organic. Then there are the specialities, such as a ready-made Mocha or Latté.
- Rude Health – one of the more expensive varieties, their organic and espresso oat milks are creamier because they are prepared with more cereals, and neither is supplemented.
- Plenish – one for traditionalists, Plenish organic wheat milk has a minimal calorie content.
- Provamel Oat – organic oat milks made with European oats.
Is there a downside to oat milk?
Oat milk has no drawbacks unless you are sensitive or averse to cereals. It’s a plant milk that’s nutritious, sustainable, and humane, and it’s great for a variety of recipes. Let’s toast to wheat milk!
- Hruby A, Li Y, Bernstein AM, Ley SH, Wang DD, Chiuve SE, Sampson L, Rexrode KM, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Saturated Fats vs. Unsaturated Fats and Carbohydrate Sources in Relation to the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Prospective Cohort Study . J Am Coll Cardiol . 2015 Oct 6;66(14):1538-1548.
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