There’s no doubt that oat milk is trending in the plant-based world. In fact, sales have expanded so much in recent months that shortages have been reported. But exactly what is oat milk, and is it a better choice than other plant-based milks?
What Is Oat Milk?
Different brands have slightly different ways of producing oat milk – one example can be seen here. There are also lots of recipes online with step-by-step instructions if you want to make it yourself. You can save some money by doing this, and it’s quite simple. However, homemade oat milk is not fortified with any vitamins or minerals, as store-bought versions are. This means you won’t be getting as much nutritional value from it.
Note that oat milk should only be used cold, as it will thicken when heated.
Oat Milk Nutrition Facts
From a nutritional point of view, oat milk has positive and negative aspects. Like most plant-based milks, store-bought versions are usually fortified with several micronutrients that can be lacking on a plant-based diet. These can include calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins such as vitamin B12.
Oat milk is significantly lower in protein than soy milk or cow’s milk. It contains more fiber than most plant-based milks, but not as much fiber as you would get from eating whole oats.
Finally, store-bought varieties can be high in added sugar, so it’s a good idea to always check the nutrition facts table. Look for a brand with less than 10 grams of sugar per 250 mL (or 1 cup).
Oat Milk For People on Special Diets
Celiac Disease/Gluten Intolerance
Oats are naturally gluten-free, but unless it’s made from certified gluten-free oats, oat milk may not be suitable for people with celiac disease. That’s due to the fact that oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat during growing or processing. Check for the gluten-free symbol to be sure.
Oat milk can be a good choice for people with diabetes, but take note that oat milk is higher in carbohydrates than most other plant-based milks. If you are monitoring your carbohydrate intake and/or using insulin, be sure to check the nutrition label and adjust accordingly.
Oat milk should be safe for people with nut allergies, as it is a nut-free plant-based option. Always check the package label to be sure.
Milk Allergies/Lactose Intolerance
As a plant-based milk, oat milk is lactose-free and should be safe for people with milk allergies, but again, always check the package label to be sure.
Infants & Toddlers
Oat milk and other plant-based milks are not recommended as a main milk source for children under two years. If breastfeeding isn’t an option, a soy-based commercial infant formula is the best alternative until your child reaches two years.
Beginning at two years, you can begin to offer plant-based milks (including oat milk) as a main milk source instead of cow’s milk if you would like to. Be sure to choose a brand fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that your child is getting enough protein and fat from other food sources, as plant-based milks such as oat milk tend to be lower in these nutrients.
So Should You Drink Oat Milk?
Overall, oat milk isn’t inherently healthier than any other plant-based milk. If you enjoy it, feel free to include it in your diet. Just be sure to check the nutrition facts on your favorite brand to make sure that it’s high in calcium and vitamins and low in added sugar.
What’s your favorite plant-based milk? Let us know in the comments!
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Edible IQ urges you to seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition. Edible IQ advises you to never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Website.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or local emergency service immediately. Edible IQ does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the website. Edible IQ does not guarantee the accuracy of information on the Website and reliance on any information provided by Edible IQ is solely at your own risk.