Is Oat Milk Healthier Than Dairy 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 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.

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.

Does oat milk contain more fat than dairy milk?

According to Mina, oat milk is unquestionably superior to full milk for weight loss.

Unsweetened oat milk, according to her, has roughly half the calories, less than a fourth of the fat, and fewer sugars than full cow’s milk. Oat milk may be a better choice for individuals asking how to lose weight (opens in new tab) because unsweetened oat milk only has 60 calories per cup, compared to roughly 90 for skimmed milk.

According to nutritionist Jessica, oat milk can also aid in weight loss by reducing cravings and hunger.

Because it contains a lot of protein and dietary fiber, she explains, “oat milk tends to make people feel filled for longer, delaying the symptoms of hunger.” This is supported by study from Louisiana State University scientists who found that eating oats regularly can help control our appetite.

Oat milk does not quite measure up when compared to other plant-based alternatives in terms of its ability to aid in weight loss.

According to Mina, “Oat milk is the most calorie-dense and includes relatively significant amounts of carbs, thus it may not be good for individuals on low carb diets.”

Almond milk does really have half as many calories as oat milk. While coconut milk has 45 calories per cup and flax milk has 25 to 60, respectively.

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.

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.

Can I regularly consume oat milk?

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.

Can oat milk make you bloat?

When chewed incorrectly, oats can cause intestinal blockage, bloating, intestinal gas, digestive disorders, diarrhea, constipation, and other issues.

Oats’ high fiber content and the digestive system’s unfamiliarity with digesting the increased levels of fiber are the main problems with them, notwithstanding the tiny possibility of allergy.

In addition, inflammation brought on by gluten intolerance is a possibility. Although oats are gluten-free, there is a chance that cross contamination could have negative consequences if they are handled on equipment that also handles wheat.

Oat milk has a few downsides, including:

  • consists of both natural and added sugars
  • includes gluten
  • Canola oil was added.
  • include pesticides
  • Contains no nutritional value
  • higher calorie intake
  • greater expense
  • Complex plant-based carbohydrates

Not all the news is negative. Oats have numerous health advantages, and if your body can digest the entire grain, the superfood will undoubtedly have an effect.

Oats are also highly recommended for weight loss because their high fiber content prolongs the sense of fullness. The benefits might exceed the drawbacks if you can train your body to tolerate the fiber level of oats, which may need a slow adjustment period at first.

Does oat milk make you break out?

Your skin may break out if you drink oat milk. 20 grams of carbohydrates are found in one cup of oat milk, which can lead to insulin surges and hormonal acne.

Oat milk may also have minute quantities of gluten due to manufacturing. Inflammatory skin disorders can develop as a result of gluten sensitivity.

Oat milk’s high carbohydrate content can lead to hormonal acne. These are natural, plant-based carbohydrates that also contain added sugar in sweetened products.

Additionally, the majority of commercially produced oat milks contain trace amounts of gluten, which can cause skin irritation in those who are sensitive to gluten.

Does oat milk cause gas?

Yes, oat milk might result in gas if your stomach is irritated. This results from the fiber and sugar in the oat milk breaking digested.

The big intestine is where oat milk is transported. Oat milk can cause flatulence, burping, gas, and stomach pain if it is difficult to digest.

Additionally, it produces gas when combined with other components like granola or toppings. Oat milk contains soluble beta-glucan fiber and whole grain carbohydrates that might cause upset stomach by delaying digestion.

Can oat milk upset your stomach?

As the fiber and sugar in oat milk break down in your stomach and digestive system, it may cause stomach trouble. Because oat milk contains soluble fiber, it slows down digestion when it enters your body.

The same rules apply to stomach distress from oat milk as they do to gas. Oat milk’s beta-glucan, a kind of soluble fiber, can cause stomach distress.

This is a carb found in whole grains that takes in excess water and changes into a gel-like substance. It slows down digestion, which can cause gas, bloating, and stomach cramps.

Your stomach may also become upset if you have an oat allergy, so be aware of this possibility. The number of persons who truly have oat allergies is extremely small.

Can oat milk cause constipation?

Fiber in oat milk helps to treat constipation and IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome. Oat milk won’t make you constipated because it contains dietary fiber that lessens straining and constipation.

Oat milk contains soluble fiber that aids in treating constipation in persons who are chronically in need of it. Oat milk can help you with constipation symptoms, but use it sparingly since too much might have negative side effects.

Why does oat milk make you bloated?

Oat milk contains soluble fiber in the beta-glucan form, which might cause you to feel bloated. Bloating, intestinal gas, and upset stomach are possible side effects of this soluble fiber.

Whole grains contain the carbohydrate beta-glucan, and the soluble fiber offers various health benefits. They can, however, also impede your digestive process by soaking up additional water, which results in bloating, flatulence, gas, and unpleasant stomach symptoms.

Does oat milk make you poop?

Because oat milk contains fiber, it can reduce straining and constipation. You may then be able to poop and pass stool more easily as a result.

Oat milk’s fiber helps you relieve constipation and IBS symptoms by encouraging bowel movements. It is also known to lower the chance of dying from colorectal cancer.

Oat Milk Diarrhea

The likelihood of oat milk diarrhea is extremely unlikely if you choose natural oat milk without any added sugar. However, when combined with the high fiber content, commercial oat milk with significant levels of added sugar can be unhealthy and result in diarrhea.

Brands of sweetened oat milk improve the fiber content while also adding additional sugar. The first few times you consume the combo, if your body is not used to doing so, you can experience diarrhea until your digestion adjusts to the higher levels.

Some oat milk products contain gluten. Oat milk can give gluten intolerant persons diarrhea and upset stomachs.

Before buying, ensure that the oat milk is free of artificial sweeteners and gluten by reading the label. Oat milk is difficult for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to digest, and even a small amount of exposure to wheat can cause upset stomach and diarrhea.

Is oat milk a blood sugar spike?

Oat milk contains a particular kind of sugar called maltose, which is exceptional in that it has a high glycemic index. Accordingly, it boosts blood sugar more quickly than other forms of carbs.

People rarely consume food or beverages alone, so the impact of each element on your blood sugar is tempered by the other components of your digestive system.

For instance, oat milk in a smoothie with healthy fats and protein or a bowl of whole grain cereal with some fiber is not at all the same as drinking soda, according to Sweeney.

Similar to this, any reservations you might have about consuming an oat milk latte can be allayed by pairing your coffee with a nutritious snack.

Oatmeal shouldn’t be avoided either because, unlike oat milk, it already contains a lot of fiber, protein, and other healthy nutrients.

Some people, such as those with metabolic syndrome or diabetes, may need to monitor their blood sugar levels more carefully. Additionally, because processed meals are reduced down to include less fiber and micronutrients than whole foods, they frequently have a higher glycemic index.

Oat milk is safe to consume if you don’t want to rely entirely on it for your daily nourishment, according to Sweeney.

Assuming individuals have access to a range of foods and aren’t only drinking soda, she added, “I don’t think we need to be focusing on the glycemic index of anything.”