Is Oat Milk Or Cow Milk Healthier?

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 milk is the healthiest?

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.

Which is better for you, whole milk or oat milk?

Perhaps you’ve never been a fan of skim milk and your family has always preferred whole milk. Should you switch to the original, full-fat version of oat milk?

Whole dairy milk has about 150 calories per cup, while full-fat oat milk has 160 calories per cup—a negligible difference. Additionally, whole milk contains 11 grams of naturally occurring sugars and 12 grams of carbs (no added sugars). Oat milk isn’t the greatest option in this head-to-head comparison due to its 15 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of added sugars. If you’re worried about how much sugar you consume, you should know that added sugars can cause a blood sugar surge, turn into fat if you don’t burn them off through exercise, and make you feel hungry.

Both should be used in moderation if your main focus is keeping your fat consumption under control. Plain oat milk includes a little bit more fat than whole dairy milk, at 8 grams (9 grams). In this instance, dairy offers greater protein (8 grams), while an equivalent portion of oat milk only offers 3 grams.

These two choices are serious challengers when it comes to calcium and vitamin D. 25% of the daily necessary calcium intake is provided by full-fat oat milk, and 30% by whole milk. Oat milk provides slightly more of this crucial vitamin (20%) than cow’s milk (15%), which only provides 15% of your daily requirements.

Is milk and oat milk equally healthy?

Oatly’s unsweetened, enhanced one cup (240 mL) of oat milk has the following ingredients:

  • 120 calories
  • 3 grams of protein
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 16 grams of carbs
  • Nutritional fiber: 2 grams
  • 50% of the daily value for vitamin B12 (DV)
  • 45% of the DV for riboflavin
  • 25% of the DV for calcium
  • 20% of the DV for phosphorus
  • 20% of the DV for vitamin D
  • 20% of the DV for vitamin A
  • 8% of the DV for potassium
  • 2% of the DV for iron

Oat milk is not as nutrient-dense as whole oats, despite the fact that commercial oat milk is frequently fortified with vitamins A and D, calcium, potassium, and iron. Therefore, compared to homemade versions, store-bought versions often include more nutrients.

Almond, soy, and cow’s milk often have less calories, carbohydrates, and fiber than oat milk. In comparison to soy and dairy variations, it offers less protein.

Additionally, compared to almond milk, oat milk typically has more added B vitamins, whereas almond milk typically has more vitamin E. (2).

Particularly if it has been fortified, oat milk is a great source of nutrients. Compared to almond, soy, and cow’s milk, it provides more calories, carbohydrates, and fiber, but less protein.

Is oat milk not without its drawbacks?

Oat milk has a lot of benefits that make it a healthy choice that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet if you’re seeking for a creamy, nut-free, plant-based milk substitute. In contrast to almond milk, you’ll even get a few grams of protein and fiber each serving. Regarding oat milk drawbacks, be aware that it has a greater overall carb and calorie content (although these aren’t always drawbacks).

The addition of oils should be taken into consideration when choosing an oat milk. I advise choosing an oat milk without added oil if you’re purchasing it to use in a smoothie with additional fat sources like avocado or nut butter (Low-Fat Oatly and Elmhurst are two great options). If you’re buying it to put in your coffee, you might want to go for one that has some extra oil added for more creaminess.

This article might have affiliate links, which means that if you buy something after clicking on one of them, I might get a little commission. I never endorse anything until I know it, love it, or trust it. I appreciate your help.

What benefits and drawbacks does oat milk offer?

Healthy and unhealthy diets differ significantly, and neither of these varieties of milk is inherently bad. Each type of plant-based milk has advantages and disadvantages, which may influence your decision dependent on what you hope to gain from it.

Macronutrients: Nutrition information per cup

Is almond milk better than oat milk in terms of health? Does almond milk have more advantages than oat milk? Let’s examine both foods’ macronutrient compositions.

As you can see, oat milk has more macronutrients per cup than almond milk (presumably due to the latter’s tendency to be thicker and less processed).

Micronutrients: Vitamin and mineral breakdown

Almond milk and oat milk are both produced with added nutrients. As a result, both types of milk have respectable calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D content.

But unlike almond milk, oat milk contains a variety of vitamins, including riboflavin and vitamin B12. Oat milk is a great nutritional supply of vitamin B12, which strengthens cells and is more likely to be deficient in people who follow a plant-based diet.

50% of your RDA of vitamin E, a strong antioxidant that aids in protecting the body’s cells, is one advantage that almond milk has over oat milk.

Its consistency is thicker, like cow’s milk.

Do you enjoy the texture of cow’s milk? For people who miss their favorite animal-based foods, oat milk is the plant-based alternative that comes closest to milk’s true texture and flavor.

It makes the best coffee creamer and steamed milk.

Because of its viscosity, oat milk is also the best choice for coffee creamer. Additionally, the oat flavor goes perfectly with roasted coffee aromas like chocolate, nut, and malt. Imagine dipping warm, coffee-flavored oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the beverage.

The best plant-based latte or cappuccino may be made with oat milk thanks to its sweet, flavorless, greater fat content, and smoothness. Beta-glucan, a type of fiber found in oat milk, helps create unusually thick, pillowy microfoam as opposed to other plant milks, which might lie flat.

It’s the best for baking.

Vegan baking recipes ask for plant-based milk, however most vegan milk is much too thin to substitute for cow’s milk in baking and won’t provide the same consistency. Since oat milk is considerably more similar to cow’s milk, using it in a 1:1 ratio will produce far better outcomes.

It’s more sustainable.

Oat milk manufacturing generates relatively little waste. The infrastructure is already in place since there are already vast acreages of oats, which make up a sizable share of the crops cultivated for animal feed.

Compared to other plant-based milk substitutes, they are easy to cultivate and require little upkeep because of their low input requirements.

It may contain gluten.

Oat and wheat fields frequently cross-contaminate with each other in trace levels due to the fact that some manufacturing facilities that process oats also handle wheat and that harvesting equipment is shared across different crops.

People with celiac disease should stay away from oat milk that isn’t gluten-free because many oat brands and oat milk brands may include gluten traces.

It’s higher in calories.

The calories in oat milk, at 120 kcal per glass, are very decent, proving that calories aren’t necessarily bad.

Does oat milk make you fat? No, it’s a completely fine choice for any healthy diet; but, if you prioritize eating a low-calorie diet, you may go for plant milk, which has fewer calories.

It contains healthy fats.

Healthy fats are abundant in almonds. Almond milk loses a significant amount of the nutrition in almonds, but it still has a few grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which support a number of bodily functions.

It’s lower in calories and carbs.

Almond milk is an excellent option for those controlling their weight. The calories in almond milk are half those in oat milk. Because the amount of carbohydrates in almond milk is also half that of oat milk, grain-based oat milk may not be the best beverage choice for low-carb dieters.

It’s a strain on the environment.

Almond farming places a significant burden on the environment. These California drought-stricken water guzzlers demand six times as much water to develop as an oat crop.

Almond milk is avoided by some vegans because honey bees are grown and released on almond crops for artificial pollination throughout the growing phase.

It contains almost no protein.

A double-edged sword, almond milk has less calories than other dairy products but is also lower in protein, fiber, and other minerals because it is largely water.

Although almond milk nutrition won’t provide you with a huge serving of any vitamin, it will help you consume fewer calories altogether.

Sweetened vs. unsweetened

The quality of either oat or almond milk depends on the kind you pick. Choose the options without added sugars to avoid bad sugars.

Which milk helps you lose weight?

In the past, people believed that drinking skim milk would help them lose weight because it was fat-free, but research has now disproved this notion.

Considering milk from the standpoint of weight reduction The easy solution to this may be found in the breakdown of calories for those of you who still want to have your morning coffee from your favorite barista guilt-free, or your instant coffee at home, or to add to your healthy breakfast cereal.

The following are the calories for the five most popular milks based on 150ml:

  • 93 calories in full-fat cow’s milk
  • 55 calories in skim milk
  • 80 calories in soy milk
  • 67 calories in oatmeal milk
  • 26 calories in almond milk

Almond milk is undoubtedly the best option for individuals trying to lose weight because it has the fewest calories.

This is due to the fact that it is created from pulverized almonds and water, with study indicating that only about 14% of the mixture is composed of almonds.

Almond milk contains little protein and calcium, thus it’s crucial to consider alternative calcium and protein sources in your diet.

Does oat milk cause weight gain?

Oat milk is a fantastic milk substitute if you’re attempting to lose weight because it’s low in calories, fat, and sugar but high in protein and fiber.

You’re probably familiar with popular non-dairy milk alternatives like soy, almond, cashew, and coconut milk, but recently, oat milk has become the darling of those who eschew dairy in their diets.

You guys have been missing out if you follow a plant-based diet and haven’t tasted oat milk. It is low in fat and lactose-free, making it ideal for anyone who is lactose intolerant or just prefers to limit their consumption of dairy.

Most significantly, anyone who misses the texture of full-fat milk will be satisfied by the deliciousness of this healthy milk substitute, which has a lovely creaminess.