Is Oat Milk Good For Your Health?

In a nutshell, Oat milk is healthful and beneficial to your health. It has a lot of other nutrients and is high in protein.

Nutritionist Mina Khan, the owner of Formulate Health, claims that oat milk helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract and is a good source of plant-based protein and fiber (opens in new tab). Additionally, most manufacturers of oat milk fortify their varieties with extra nutrients like vitamin A, B, B-12, and D, making it a usually excellent source of calcium.

Oat milk is excellent for keeping healthy bones since it contains both calcium and vitamin D. Your body can better absorb calcium with vitamin D’s assistance, preventing empty bones and potential bone fractures.

Oat milk, says Mina, is also good for the health of your skin, nails, and hair. And it’s true that a vitamin B12 shortage can contribute to acne issues and result in dry, brittle nails, according to a study on the vitamin (opens in new tab), which is present in oat milk.

Oat milk enthusiasts now have even more reason to rejoice, as research shows that the plant-based beverage can improve gastrointestinal health and cholesterol levels (opens in new tab).

Additionally rich in soluble fiber known as beta-glucans, oat milk. According to one study, males who drank three cups of oat milk every day for five weeks experienced a 3% decrease in their cholesterol levels (thanks to these beta-glucans). While additional studies (opens in new tab) demonstrated that the same soluble fiber supports and boosts the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

What oat milk drawbacks are there?

People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity should avoid oat milk. Of all the plant-based milk variants, unflavored oat milk offers the most calories and carbs. Even though the sugar in oat milk is natural, it has a lot of carbohydrates.

Oat milk is it better for you than ordinary milk?

A popular choice when prepared as an oat milk latte, oat milk is the newest addition to the non-dairy milk alternative market. It joins other alternatives including almond, coconut, and soy. Oat milk’s viscosity resembles actual dairy milk more than it does other types of milk, but this does not mean that they are nutritionally equivalent—especially when it comes to oat milk.

The nutrient profile of oat milk and dairy milk is one of the biggest and most significant nutritional variances between the two. Compared to dairy milk, oat milk offers fewer nutrients, and the majority of those are fortified. That implies that they are introduced during production rather than developing spontaneously.

Dairy milk specifically contains 13 vital nutrients (protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, phosphorus, vitamin B 12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, zinc, iodine, selenium, and potassium) in each 8-ounce glass; original oat milk only includes five (calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, riboflavin and iron). Oat milk is supplemented with all nutrients except for iron. Dairy milk is naturally nutrient-rich since the other nutrients are present in addition to the vitamins A and D that are added as supplements.

Dairy milk also has around twice as much protein as oat milk, in addition to generally offering more nutrients. When choosing foods and beverages, it’s vital to keep protein in mind because it helps create lean muscle, and eating enough of it at each meal can make you feel content and full. Oat milk typically has 4 grams of protein per 8 ounces, compared to 8 grams in dairy milk (the quantity of protein in oat milk varies from brand to brand, so it’s necessary to read the label). Additionally, dairy milk is a good source of complete, high-quality protein, so every cup has the full complement of necessary amino acids. Oats are an example of a plant-based protein source that lacks several critical amino acids that human bodies require.

Every 8-ounce glass of dairy milk contains 8 grams of protein, whereas an equivalent amount of oat milk typically contains 4 grams.

Since only milk, vitamin A, and vitamin D are listed as ingredients in real dairy milk, you always know what you’re receiving when you grab for a glass. Between brands, oat milk might differ significantly in terms of nutrients and additives. Since there are no federal regulations governing the fortification of non-dairy milk alternatives, some companies may fortify more while others fortify less. Additionally, some oat milk variations contain more than 10 ingredients, which may include stabilizers and emulsifiers such gellan gum, locust bean gum, and sunflower lecithin. To make an informed decision, it’s crucial to read and contrast ingredient and nutrition labels.

The amount of carbohydrates in dairy milk and oat milk varies as well. Oat milk in its original variants can contain up to 24 grams of carbs per serving, compared to 12 grams in dairy milk. Oat milk comes in a few flavors that also have sugar added. The good news for milk enthusiasts is that conventional white dairy milk has absolutely no added sugar, contrary to what the Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise. Lactose, a sugar that occurs naturally, is the sugar found in white milk.

Here is a comparison of the nutritional value of 8 ounces of regular original oat milk and low-fat (1%) milk[i]:

What makes oat milk bad for you?

The majority of the rest of the globe had a bad 2020, but Oatly did well. During the epidemic, the Swedish oat milk manufacturer had a 212% spike in revenues. Earlier this year, the company filed for a potentially huge IPO, with an estimated price of more than $5 billion. After adding the brand to its coffeeshops in March, Oatly is now experiencing shortages brought on by an increase in orders from Starbucks. Previously, Oatly only saw shortages as a cool problem to have. It’s a rare milk substitute that appears to have spread beyond vegans and lactose intolerant people to the general population who consumes beverages.

Being able to drink what is essentially ground up oatmeal has been given a halo of virtue thanks in large part to Oatly. The fact that oat milk has a far lower carbon footprint than cow’s milk, like virtually other plant-based goods, is one component of that halo. The slogan of Oatly is “milk, but produced for humans,” but the company goes farther. What exactly does that mean? It is clear that the Swedes are producing this for human consumption, but is it truly healthier than milk or other milk substitutes, as the business seems to suggest?

A writer named Jeff Nobbs first advanced the case against Oatly a little over a year ago, going into great detail about its unhealthiness (and, to his credit, sharing an Oatly rebuttal). Nat Eliason then added a critique of the company’s advertising, which he considers to be as deceptive as ad campaigns for Coca-Cola and cigarettes. The first is that Oatly contains canola oil, which gives it a richness akin to milk, which is one prong of the argument that Oatly is, in fact, unhealthy for you. The second is that Oatly is produced in such a way that the complex carbohydrates in oats are practically reduced to pure sugar. Both of these statements are correct, however Nobbs grossly exaggerates the effects on health.

Canola oil is the easy part. Oatly contains canola oil, sometimes known as rapeseed oil, but Nobbs interprets this to mean that Oatly also contains trans fats, despite the fact that the carton states that Oatly has zero trans fats, a claim that is subject to FDA regulation. Eliason includes some eerie language (“The evidence for the harms of canola oil is still in its early days, but continues to grow). However, the general belief is that canola oil is generally OK, despite the fact that processed oils are not optimal.

The sugar component is a little trickier. What is evident is that maltose, a simple sugar, is produced during the process of turning oats into oat milk. Complex carbohydrates are better for you than more refined carbohydrates like maltose. You don’t want them to increase blood sugar and insulin levels more than necessary. This can be measured using a tool known as the glycemic index. Higher values are not good. (The glycemic index provides a general explanation of why 100 calories of whole grains are healthier than 100 calories of refined sugar.)

Nobbs continues by suggesting that the alternative milk is less healthful than a doughnut using the glycemic index of pure maltose rather than Oatly itself, however that is not how the glycemic index functions.

Individual ingredients cannot be evaluated in isolation. Additionally, the glycemic index does not fully describe the nutritional value of a dish. Nobbs then flips units of measurement and asserts that a 12 oz amount is roughly similar to a can of Coke using his estimation of the overall glycemic load of oatly, which takes serving size into consideration. That is accurate, however by this metric, two pieces of whole-wheat bread are worse for you than either due to their higher glycemic load. The major issue with Coke is that it contains no nutrients, but Oatly contains fiber, vitamins, and a little amount of unsaturated fat despite being less nutrient-dense.

Oatly is heavily processed, which is not a good thing, because nothing is good in excess. It wouldn’t be good if you drank an entire carton every day. But generally speaking, any milk substitute that you’d actually want to consume contains oil or a thickening to make it taste good. And we’re discussing a substance that the majority of people just add a tiny amount of to their coffee. Is Oatly especially healthful? No. Is consuming a little Oatly okay without compromising your diet? Sure.

The Oatly response, though, makes more sense in light of the company’s obnoxious and omnipresent promotion. Remember the CEO of that company singing, “Wow, no cow! in a field of oats,” in their Super Bowl commercial? Although it was dubbed as one of the worst Super Bowl commercials ever, the business appears to have taken pleasure in the negative publicity.

Is oat milk healthy to drink every day?

Making dietary decisions that support maintaining our health is a smart move, and picking foods that support protecting our hearts is one of the best examples of this. And if you regularly consume oat milk, you’re in luck because it contains beta-glucan fibers, which some may see as a miraculous component. Regular consumption of beta-glucans has a significant impact on heart health, as demonstrated in a review of the literature published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. This is due to the fiber’s interactions with a number of health factors that influence the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition to regulating blood sugar, beta-glucans may also maintain or lower cholesterol levels and aid to maintain healthy blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for the emergence of cardiovascular problems.

Additionally, beta-glucans support gut health by interacting with the gut flora. A healthy gut has a significant impact on a number of bodily processes, notably those pertaining to the heart. Take it from registered dietitian Kristin Gillespie: “The FDA has actually recognized a heart-health claim for foods that are rich in beta-glucan.” Don’t just take our word for it; beta-glucans are so healthy.

Which kind of milk is best for you?

Although some kinds of hemp milk include sweeteners, which raises the carb level, hemp milk is essentially carb-free. Check the ingredient label before purchasing, and look for plant milks without added sugar, including hemp.

On the ingredient label, sugar may be identified as brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, or cane sugar.

Cannabis sativa plant seeds are used to make hemp milk. The drink doesn’t have any euphoric effects, but it does offer more protein and good fats than other plant milks.

Is oat milk a pain reliever?

Your gut will struggle if you consume soy, a common allergy. Additionally, it includes isoflavones, which are chemical substances that resemble estrogen. According to research, soy-based foods and a diet heavy in soy may cause hormone imbalances, reduced sperm counts, and problems with fertility. Additionally, goitrogens included in soy milk may suppress your thyroid gland, making it particularly dangerous for people with thyroid conditions.

Oat Milk

By simply combining oats and water, you may easily prepare the well-liked plant milk known as oat milk. Although it’s probably not the worst choice you have to choose, it’s unquestionably not the finest. Oats contain a lot of carbohydrates, which may cause blood sugar to spike and inflammation. Additionally, a lot of the oat milk brands available today are loaded with sugar and other ingredients. Even processed oils like canola oil, which can cause inflammation in the body, may be present in some products. The oats from which the milk is derived may not be gluten-free due to a significant risk of pesticide residue and gluten cross-contamination. I advise avoiding oat milk since it contains gluten, which can induce food allergies, systemic inflammation, leaky gut syndrome, and subsequent health problems, such as autoimmune illnesses.

Are Oats Inflammatory?

Oats were thought to offer a gluten-free choice for those with inflammatory conditions. But that is no longer the case, owing to recent study. A fresh topic of discussion that keeps coming up is inflammation caused by oat milk. In people who have gluten sensitivity, components in oat proteins have been found to trigger inflammation and damage, according to recent studies. These are the reasons I advise against including oats and oat milk in your diet.

Although oats themselves are gluten-free at the molecular level, the other crops that are often grown next to them are not. Cross contamination has a huge window of opportunity given this situation. The risk is too high for those who are gluten sensitive, whether it occurs during harvesting or packing in a facility. Oats become inflamed as a result. Even if the trace amounts are minimal, they nonetheless go beyond the threshold required to be labeled gluten-free.

Pea Milk

Despite the fact that it is high in protein, I advise against eating it. Peas are a type of legume that may not be easily digested. Foods that have only partially digested in the digestive system might feed the harmful bacteria in your gut and upset its delicate balance. This could result in leaky gut syndrome, the underlying factor in autoimmune illnesses and other health issues.

Rice Milk

Although rice milk may appear like a viable alternative, the majority of rice milks are devoid of nutrients and loaded with additives. It contains a lot of carbohydrates and could cause weight gain, intestinal imbalance, and blood sugar problems. Additionally, it has been found to contain more inorganic arsenic. Even the Food and Drug Administration has advised against using it around infants, children, and pregnant women.

The fact that there are now excellent-tasting, non-dairy alternatives to cow’s milk is one of the most recent breakthroughs, even though I frequently point out that our modern diet is deficient in many ways. Although I prefer coconut milk, you could discover that hemp milk is enticing or that, if you can handle nuts without feeling queasy, almond or cashew milk is suitable for you.

Whatever you decide, let’s raise a glass to the beneficial, gut-supporting dairy substitutes. Check out this helpful questionnaire to determine the problem if you’re still suffering from painful gas, bloating, or other symptoms even after giving up dairy.

I am aware that changing your eating habits might be challenging! Check out my cookbook for easy and delectable dishes that show you’ll never feel deprived, whether you’ve already given up dairy or need a little encouragement to do so. I’ve provided hundreds of recipes that make it simple to cut off dairy for your best health, including soups, main dishes, sides, and desserts.

Finally, assist your digestion with my Complete Enzymes while you experiment with different possibilities. These were created by me to promote healthy digestion, nutritional absorption, and support the body’s inflammatory and intestinal repair processes. It is the greatest digestive enzyme for breaking down a variety of foods.

Complete Enzymes are designed to aid in healthy digestion, nutrient absorption, intestinal repair, and inflammatory reactions in the body.