Why Is Oat Milk Better Than Regular 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]:

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.

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What advantages does oat milk have over ordinary milk?

7 HEALTHY PERKS OF OAT MILK

  • 7 Advantages of Oat Milk
  • No dairy. For those of us who are lactose intolerant, it is a great option because it is low in fat and dairy-free and has a pleasant flavor.
  • a lot of fiber.
  • abundant in vitamins.
  • substitutes unsaturated lipids for saturated fats.
  • Free of cholesterol.
  • controls the levels of blood sugar.
  • Minerals that strengthen bones.

Which milk has the best nutrition?

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 more environmentally friendly than cow’s milk?

Have you seen a growing trend among consumers to switch from animal dairy products like cow’s milk to plant-based alternatives? There may be a number of factors, including the growing popularity of vegetarianism and veganism, worries about the environment, food intolerances or allergies, religion, or even personal taste. Additionally, there is data that suggests a plant-based diet may lengthen life.

Oat milk is one of the more well-liked plant-based “milk” choices, presumably as a result of its less negative environmental effects. Oat milk production requires 60% less energy and emits 80% less greenhouse gases than cow’s milk production. Additionally, oat milk production requires ten times less water than cow’s milk does.

How does oat milk compare nutritionally, despite the fact that it seems to have a lot of advantages?

The importance of protein

A lot less protein is present in oat milk than in cow’s milk. We would need to consume more than twice as much oat milk each day to receive the same quantity of protein as we get from cow’s milk.

As we age, it’s crucial to consume adequate protein to retain lean muscle mass. Additionally, as older people have a decreased capacity for protein digestion, they require 20% more protein than do younger people. For these reasons, it’s beneficial to pay attention to the sources of protein in your diet.

Calcium recommendations

Dairy products are crucial in our diets because they supply calcium in addition to being a rich source of protein. Currently, fewer than half of Australians get the recommended dose of calcium in their diet.

The maintenance of healthy bones and the proper operation of the heart, muscles, blood, and neurons both depend on calcium. If the body doesn’t get enough calcium from food, it stores calcium in the bones and releases it into the bloodstream to keep things running smoothly. This could eventually result in osteopenia (poor bone mass) or osteoporosis (low bone density). This raises the risk of fractures since the bones are not as robust as they should be.

1000 mg per day is the recommended dose for younger individuals; 1300 mg per day is the recommended intake for women and men over 50 and 70, respectively. Since plant-based milks don’t naturally contain a lot of calcium, they are occasionally (but not usually) fortified with calcium. Look for brands that include at least 120 mg of calcium per 100 ml to be comparable to dairy milk.

Fat facts

In addition to having less saturated fat than cow’s milk, oat milk naturally has less protein and calcium. This is one of the factors that some individuals believe make it a healthier option. The Australian Heart Foundation suggests that full cream milk, yoghurt, and cheese can be a component of a balanced dietary pattern if your cholesterol is normal, even if it’s crucial to consume a diet lower in saturated fat if you have high cholesterol. Low-fat dairy is a better option if you do have excessive cholesterol or a history of heart disease.

Can you gain weight drinking oat milk?

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.

What makes oat milk unhealthful?

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.

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.