Oat milk is a vegan, soy-free alternative to dairy milk that’s increasingly popular. Baristas love oat milk as much as vegans, as its high carbohydrate content creates a cappuccino as frothy as one made with cow’s milk.1
Whole oats are known as a nutritionally dense breakfast choice, and the nutritional profile of oat milk is no less potent. There’s no decrease in vitamin or mineral intake when you swap cow’s milk for oat milk, as most commercial oat milk is fortified with A, D, B2, and B12 vitamins.2
In this article, we’ll discuss all the health benefits of oat milk, the nutritional content of a glass, and who – if anyone – should avoid oat milk for good health.
Health benefits of oat milk
Oat milk is a dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk made from 100% whole grain oats and water, so has health benefits for everyone. However, those avoiding lactose, soya and nuts will appreciate oat milk’s health benefits the most, as it’s completely free of those allergens.
Here are a few health benefits of oat milk:
- Source of vitamin B. B vitamins doesn’t naturally occur in vegan diets. Oat milk is an excellent source of these essential nutrients, as commercial varieties are typically fortified with vitamin B2 and vitamin B12.3
- High levels of dietary fibre. Oat milk has more dietary fibre than other plant-based milk, including almond milk, and so supports healthy digestion.4
- Lower cholesterol. Consuming oat milk may reduce cholesterol, due to how its beta-glucans bind to the gut and reduce cholesterol absorption.5
- Zero saturated fats. All the saturated fats in cow’s milk are replaced with unsaturated fat in oat milk.6
The nutritional profile of oat milk
Oat milk is rich in nutrients and minerals that enhance health, in addition to being low-calorie. The low-calorie content makes oat milk an excellent dairy milk alternative for those trying to lose weight.
One 200ml glass of Minor Figures oat milk contains:
- Calories: 96 KCal
- Fat: 2g
- Fat which saturates: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 19g
- Sugars: 9g
- Fibre: 0.5g
- Protein: < 1g
- Salt: 16g
- Calcium: 240mg
Individuals following low-carbohydrate diets should be aware that oat milk has a higher carbohydrate content than other plant-based milk, including soy or almond milk.
Who should avoid oat milk?
Most people with gluten sensitivity should avoid oat milk – with some exceptions. Glebe Farm specially developed a gluten-free oat they use for oat milk, so it can be enjoyed by everyone.7 However, the majority of oat milk will likely cause digestive issues for people with coeliac disease and gluten-sensitivity.
If you’re looking to reduce your sugar content, make sure you read the label before you purchase oat milk. Unsweetened varieties have fewer sugars than cow’s milk. However, sugars are created when oat starch breaks down into simple sugars in water, increasing the naturally occurring sugar content.8 Soya and almond options may be more appropriate for those attempting to reduce their sugar intake.9
Last updated: 13 October 2020