Are you a fan of oat milk?
It’s a popular alternative to dairy milk, especially for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.
But have you ever wondered if oat milk contains iodine?
Iodine is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in our overall health, especially during pregnancy and brain development.
In this article, we’ll explore the iodine content of oat milk and whether it’s a good source of this important nutrient.
So, let’s dive in and find out!
Does Oat Milk Contain Iodine?
The short answer is yes, oat milk can contain iodine.
Many oat milk brands fortify their products with iodine to ensure that consumers are getting enough of this essential mineral. For example, Oatly oat drinks and Oatgurt are fortified with 22.5μg/100 ml and 22.5μg/100 g of iodine respectively, as well as other important nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
However, not all oat milk brands are created equal when it comes to iodine content. A study by the University of Surrey found that most milk alternatives, including oat milk, have low levels of iodine. In fact, the concentration of iodine in most milk substitutes was only around 2% of that found in cow’s milk.
So, if you’re looking for an alternative to cow’s milk that’s high in iodine, it’s important to check the label and choose a brand that fortifies their product with this essential mineral.
What Is Iodine And Why Is It Important?
Iodine is a mineral that is essential for good health. It plays a crucial role in the production of thyroid hormones, which regulate many important bodily functions, including metabolism and growth. Iodine is particularly important during pregnancy, as it is necessary for the normal development of the baby’s brain.
Unfortunately, there is evidence that many people are not getting enough iodine in their diets, especially if they are avoiding certain foods like dairy products. This is why many oat milk brands choose to fortify their products with iodine.
Deficiency of iodine can have serious health consequences, especially during pregnancy. It has been linked to lower intelligence and learning difficulties in babies born with low levels of thyroid hormones. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you are getting enough iodine in your diet, whether through fortified foods or supplements.
While some natural sources of iodine include seaweed, dairy products, and some types of fish, most people get their iodine from iodized salt and other products that have added iodine. It’s recommended that adults consume 150mcg of iodine per day, while pregnant or breastfeeding women need 200mcg per day.
Iodine Content In Oat Milk: Is It Enough?
While oat milk can contain iodine, the question remains: is the amount of iodine in oat milk enough to meet our daily needs? According to Oatly, their oat drinks contain 22.5μg/100 ml of iodine, which is a significant amount. However, the University of Surrey study found that a portion (200 g) of fortified oat milk would only provide around 30-41% of the recommended daily intake of iodine for adults.
This means that if you’re relying solely on oat milk as your source of iodine, you would need to consume around 500ml of iodine-fortified plant milk daily to get enough of this essential nutrient. That’s a lot of oat milk!
It’s important to note that iodine is not only important for adults, but also for pregnant women and their developing babies. During pregnancy, iodine is essential for ensuring the normal development of the baby’s brain. Therefore, it’s crucial for pregnant women to ensure they are getting enough iodine through their diet or supplements.
Factors Affecting Iodine Levels In Oat Milk
The amount of iodine in oat milk can vary depending on several factors. One of the main factors is whether or not the brand fortifies their product with iodine. As mentioned earlier, some brands like Oatly add iodine to their oat milk to ensure that consumers are getting enough of this essential mineral.
Another factor that can affect the iodine content of oat milk is the farming practice used to grow the oats. The University of Surrey study mentioned above found that there is considerable variability in the iodine content of milk between countries, which is likely a result of differences in farming practice. For example, UK milk has a relatively high iodine concentration compared to many other countries because of the mineral-fortified feed used during winter months when cattle are housed indoors rather than grazing on pasture.
Similarly, the iodine content of oats used to make oat milk can be affected by the farming practice used to grow them. If the oats are grown in soil that is deficient in iodine, then they will have lower levels of this essential mineral. Additionally, if the oats are processed using methods that remove the outer layer (bran) where most of the iodine is found, then the resulting oat milk will have lower levels of iodine.
Other Sources Of Iodine For Non-Dairy Milk Drinkers
If you’re not a fan of fortified oat milk or other non-dairy milk alternatives, there are other sources of iodine that you can add to your diet. Some of the best sources of iodine include seaweed, fish, and shellfish. For example, a 3-ounce serving of cooked cod contains about 99 micrograms of iodine, while a 1/4 teaspoon of kelp powder contains about 2,984 micrograms of iodine.
Other good sources of iodine include dairy products like cheese and yogurt, as well as eggs and fortified breads. However, if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, these options may not be suitable for you.
It’s important to note that while iodine is an essential mineral for overall health, it’s also possible to consume too much. The recommended daily intake for adults is 150 micrograms per day, and consuming too much iodine can lead to thyroid problems. So, be sure to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian if you’re concerned about your iodine intake or considering adding supplements to your diet.