Oat milk is on the menu and in everyone’s coffee everywhere you go, from Starbucks to local coffee shops.
But is this non-dairy milk healthy for you? How do the nutritional advantages of oat milk compare to those of whole oats or other non-dairy milk?
To put it another way, is oat milk as healthful as it is popular, and should it be considered a staple or a fad?
Oat milk is far from the only – or even the first – dairy milk substitute. Soy and rice milk were pioneers of non-dairy milk, followed by the almond milk craze. As a result, these other non-dairy alternatives cleared the way for the oat milk frenzy.
Let’s look deeper to see what’s going on behind that creamy flavor and silky texture in your latte.
Here Are 3 Top Benefits (Pros) of Oat Milk:
While practically everything has advantages and disadvantages, when it comes to nutrition, it’s critical to understand what you’re putting into your body. Continue reading to uncover the top 5 benefits and drawbacks of drinking oat milk as a non-dairy substitute.
Pro #1: Oat Milk Can Be Highly Nutritious
We all know that whole, rolled oats are a terrific healthful staple. Steel-cut oats are a chewier, rustic alternative. We adore overnight oats, oatmeal, and oats in smoothies.
It appears to be a wonderful idea to envisage a liquified version of oats, often known as oat milk. However, as you might expect, the nutritional profile of oat milk vs. oats is not a fair exchange.
One major perk comes from fortification with extra nutrients and vitamins.
When a canister of whole rolled oats from the pantry was compared to a carton of store-bought oat milk, one serving of oats included significantly more iron and a little more protein, as well as less sugar and sodium.
All brands will differ, but the key is that nutrients are either added or lost during the manufacturing process of this milk substitute.
One significant advantage of oat milk is that it is fortified with additional nutrients and vitamins. Oat milk, like many milks, is often fortified with extra vitamins D, B, and A, calcium, and other nutrients, which can be especially beneficial if you’re vegetarian or vegan, but also if you’re not.
Consuming a healthy amount of fortified foods, such as cereals or milks, is a fantastic method to receive a few more daily nutrients you might not otherwise get.
Pro #2: Vegan and Less Environmental Impact
An evident and enjoyable advantage of this delectable non-dairy milk substitute? There is no need for cows! Not only is it ideal for the dairy-free or vegan audience, but it’s also kinder to our earth and animals (having a lower carbon footprint and using less water to produce than dairy milk).
An obvious and delightful pro to oat milk? No cows required!
And, while this study is focused on the nutritional breakdown of this milk substitute, we’d be negligent if we didn’t discuss the flavor with dairy-free and vegan consumers. Many people believe that the creamy, silky texture of oat milk is the most akin to cow’s milk of the non-dairy options.
Pro #3: Oat Milk is Allergen-Free (For the Most Part)
What are the advantages of oat milk? One significant advantage is that it is allergen-friendly, as it is free of common allergies such as nuts and soy, making it an excellent choice for those who cannot consume dairy-free milk such as soy or almond.
Drink up if you’re sensitive to soy, as many people are. If you have a severe gluten allergy or intolerance, you should look for products manufactured with gluten-free oats.
Now Let’s Explore the Cons of Drinking Oat Milk
While drinking oat milk as a non-dairy substitute has numerous health benefits, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of.
Con #1: Can Be Packed with Hidden Sugars
All dairy-free milk is not equal, and oat milk is no exception.
While you wouldn’t expect to find much sugar in a glass of oat milk or the sugar you put in your coffee, it can add up. And each brand is unique.
All dairy-free milk isn’t created equal, and this holds true with oat milk.
The sugar content might be especially high if you choose a flavored version or a spiced-up style like a barista’s blend. Even unsweetened varieties might include a surprising amount of naturally occurring sugar generated during the oat milling.
On the other hand, unsweetened variations of some brands may contain even less sugar than dairy milk! What is the takeaway? Despite the fact that a product is touted as a “healthy alternative,” this is not always the truth. It does depend, so study the labels!
Con #2: Some Brands Contain Oil
One of the most common complaints in the argument over “Is oat milk good for you?” is about oil. Again, this varies from brand to brand and style to style within the same brand, so if you’re concerned, keep an eye on the label.
However, barista mix styles frequently rely on additional oil to generate the oh-so-creamy froth you’d expect from a coffee shop latte. This style is frequently combined with other oils, such as canola or sunflower, which act as an emulsifier and keep things smooth and creamy.
It’s not an automatic red flag – and many brands don’t include any oils – but if you’re concerned about added oils or fat for whatever reason, check the label.
Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives Are Popular for Good Reason
As non-dairy milk’s popularity, such as oat milk, develops, the options become more available, economical, and accessible.
If you want to drink oat milk that contains nothing but oats and water, you can! Do you want a more foamy, decadent version to elevate your lattes? As a special treat, how about a chocolate version? They do exist.
It depends on what you want in terms of flavor or taste, as well as what you want to avoid in terms of substances. But, in any case, you’ll be able to find it as the oat milk trend continues to grow.
Which Non-Dairy Milk Is Best? The Takeaway on Oat Milk
There is no such thing as good or bad non-dairy milk. Options are wonderful, but they can also make the non-dairy milk aisle feel a little disorienting. What is our recommendation? Don’t get too hung up on “eat this, not that” articles, and keep in mind that the answer to “which milk is best” depends on you.
It’s also important to remember that taste, flavor, and enjoyment are important when it comes to food. Casting any one meal or food group as “good” or “bad” can be triggering and limiting, which is what the “anti-diet movement” seeks to avoid.
The only surefire method to determine whether oat milk is good for you or whatever non-dairy milk you like is to try them all!