Are you a fan of oat milk?
This plant-based alternative to dairy milk has been gaining popularity in recent years, thanks to its creamy texture and health benefits.
However, some people have reported experiencing stomach pain and digestive discomfort after drinking oat milk.
So, can oat milk hurt your stomach?
In this article, we’ll explore the possible causes of stomach upset from oat milk and what you can do to prevent it.
Whether you’re a regular oat milk drinker or just curious about this trendy beverage, keep reading to learn more.
Can Oat Milk Hurt Your Stomach?
The short answer is yes, oat milk can hurt your stomach. This is because oat milk contains sugar and fiber that may not break down easily in your stomach. As a result, when it is carried through the large intestine, symptoms of intestinal gas, bloating, flatulence, burping, and stomach pain can occur.
Furthermore, any toppings, mix-ins, or other ingredients included with the oat milk may not mesh well together. As the combination of foods digests, the interaction may upset your stomach.
Soluble fiber, mainly in the form of beta-glucan, present in oat milk is a kind of carbohydrate present in the whole grain. Although they provide you with many health benefits, soluble fiber can upset your stomach. The soluble fiber absorbs excess water, turns it into a gel-like substance, and results in an effect that slows the digestion process. As such, you can experience bloating, gas, and stomach cramps.
If you are intolerant or allergic to oats, you can experience other kinds of digestive problems such as vomiting, nausea, and severe stomach pain. Keep in mind that if you are intolerant, oat milk irritates your digestive system and even causes symptoms that may not surface for a few hours.
What Is Oat Milk And Why Is It Popular?
Oat milk is a plant-based milk made from whole oat grains and water. It has become increasingly popular in recent years as more people are looking for dairy-free alternatives to cow’s milk. Oat milk is also a popular choice for those who are environmentally conscious, as it has a lower carbon footprint than dairy milk.
One of the reasons oat milk is so popular is because it has a creamy texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor that is similar to cow’s milk. It can be used in place of dairy milk in recipes, such as in baking or cooking, and can also be added to coffee or tea.
Oat milk is also a good source of nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. It is also low in fat and cholesterol-free, making it a healthy option for those looking to reduce their intake of animal products.
However, despite its many benefits, oat milk can still cause stomach discomfort for some people. This is due to the sugar and fiber content in the milk not breaking down easily in the digestive system, which can lead to symptoms such as bloating, gas, and stomach pain.
It’s important to note that not everyone will experience stomach discomfort from drinking oat milk. For many people, it can be a great alternative to dairy milk without any negative side effects. However, if you do experience stomach discomfort after drinking oat milk, it may be worth exploring other dairy-free alternatives or speaking with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.
The Potential Causes Of Stomach Upset From Oat Milk
There are several potential causes of stomach upset from oat milk. One of the main reasons is the presence of sugar and fiber that may not break down easily in your stomach. This can lead to symptoms such as bloating, gas, and stomach pain.
Another potential cause is the interaction between any toppings, mix-ins, or other ingredients included with the oat milk. If these foods do not mesh well together, they can upset your stomach.
Soluble fiber, mainly in the form of beta-glucan, present in oat milk is a kind of carbohydrate present in the whole grain. Although it provides many health benefits, soluble fiber can also upset your stomach. The soluble fiber absorbs excess water, turns it into a gel-like substance, and results in an effect that slows the digestion process.
If you are intolerant or allergic to oats or gluten, you can experience other kinds of digestive problems such as vomiting, nausea, and severe stomach pain. Oat milk may also contain food additives that can cause adverse reactions in your gut, potentially leading to bloating, pain, digestive issues and gas.
It’s important to note that while oat milk is a healthy and nutritious drink option that contains vitamins, minerals, and fiber, it may not be suitable for everyone. If you experience persistent stomach pain after drinking oat milk or have a history of digestive issues or food sensitivities, it’s important to speak to your doctor to determine the root cause and identify any potential triggers.
Gluten Intolerance And Oat Milk
If you have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten, oat milk can upset your stomach and intestines. People with Celiac Disease often have issues with oats and oat milk even though oats themselves are gluten-free. Oat is often processed in the same factories as other products, so cross-contamination is common.
If you are sensitive to gluten, it is important to opt for an oat milk brand that states “gluten-free” on its packaging. Some oat milk brands, such as Oatly, have their U.S. products certified gluten-free. Other brands like Planet Oat, Califia Farms, and Elmhurst state that their oat milk is gluten-free but don’t have third-party certification.
While some companies, cafes, and dining establishments have chosen gluten-free oats and oat milk to use in their products, this isn’t the case for all. If the oat milk used by an establishment is not gluten-free, you must ask the barista if their oat milk is gluten-free.
If you react to oats, you should avoid all products and drinks containing oat milk. It’s important to note that there have been a number of research studies performed to evaluate the safety of oat consumption and if oats cause inflammation. Many of them report that components in oat proteins cause inflammation and elicit damage in patients with gluten sensitivity.
In order to produce oats that are safe for all celiac patients, it is important to address topics such as selection of oat cultivars with low avenin content, research on such recombinant varieties of oats, development of assay methods to detect avenins in oat products, guidelines for the agricultural processing of oats and the manufacture of oat products, as well as guidelines for following up with celiac patients who consume oats. Overall, if you have gluten intolerance or sensitivity, it’s best to be cautious when consuming oat milk and always check labels for certification or consult with a healthcare professional.
How To Prevent Stomach Discomfort From Oat Milk
If you are experiencing stomach discomfort after drinking oat milk, there are steps you can take to prevent it from happening again. Here are some tips to help you prevent stomach discomfort from oat milk:
1. Choose pure oat milk without added sugar: Commercial oat milk with a lot of added sugar can be unhealthy and cause diarrhea when combined with the high fiber level. Some brands of sweetened oat milk combine more sugar with more fiber. So, it’s best to choose pure oat milk without added sugar.
2. Check the label for gluten and artificial sweeteners: Gluten is present in some oat milk products, and for those who cannot consume gluten, oat milk can result in diarrhea and upset stomach. Also, some artificial sweeteners and food additives found in store-bought oat milk can cause digestive problems. So, it’s important to read the label to make sure the oat milk is free of artificial sweeteners and gluten before purchasing.
3. Keep a food diary: Keeping a food diary can help you track your diet and any resulting changes in your digestive health. This will help you identify which foods or drinks are causing stomach discomfort, including oat milk.
4. Consult your doctor: If you suspect oat milk may be causing your stomach pain, it’s best to consult your doctor. They can help determine the cause and advise you on how to best manage your symptoms.
Other Plant-based Milk Alternatives To Try
If you’re looking for alternative milk options that won’t hurt your stomach, there are several plant-based milk alternatives to try. Here are a few options:
1. Almond Milk: Almond milk is one of the most popular plant-based milk alternatives, and for good reason. It’s low in calories, high in vitamin E, and rich in healthy fats. It’s also a good source of calcium and can be easily added to smoothies or used in baking.
2. Coconut Milk: Coconut milk is a creamy and delicious option that is perfect for adding to coffee or tea. It’s high in healthy fats and can help improve digestion due to its antimicrobial properties.
3. Hemp Milk: Hemp milk is a great option for those who are looking for a nut-free, dairy-free, and soy-free alternative. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can help reduce inflammation in the body.
4. Cashew Milk: Cashew milk is a creamy and delicious option that is perfect for adding to smoothies or using in baking. It’s low in calories and high in healthy fats, making it a great option for those who are watching their weight.
Remember, when choosing a plant-based milk alternative, it’s important to read the labels carefully and choose options that are low in added sugars and free from additives that may upset your stomach.