Milk Alternatives, Part 8: Oat Milk


Oat Milk: Decent but no cigar.

Important Considerations
Important things to review when you make a decision on a milk replacement: added sugar, adequate calcium content, adequate B12, additives, dietary needs, and cost.  
Oat Milk

Oat milk: Oat milk is a popular dairy-free, vegan-friendly milk substitute.  It is one of the newest kids to the block and very popular among the hip vegan crowds. It is made by soaking and blending steel-cut or rolled oats with water and then straining them through cheesecloth to separate the milk from the oats. Naturally, oat milk isn’t as nutritious as whole oats, but oat milk is still a good source of fiber, vitamin E, folate and riboflavin.

  • Nutrition: One Cup: 100-130 calories, 24 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 2.5 grams fat, and 2 grams dietary fiber.  Also, calcium: 35 percent DV, riboflavin: 30 percent DV, and vitamin D:25 percent DV.
  • Advantages: Oat milk is one of the most hypoallergenic of the milk alternatives. It’s free of soy, gluten, and nuts, important for those who are allergic or can’t tolerate these ingredients.
  • Disadvantages: Oat milk contains glutens so it may not be appropriate for gluten sensitive people.  If you’re watching your weight or have diabetes, you may want to avoid it because oat milk is moderately high in carbohydrates and low in protein.  It must also be fortified with calcium.  It is therefore likely unsuitable for most people with diabetes.
Pouring milk
Pouring milk

The bottom line:  Oat milk is delicious and has a pleasant texture, but it is less than an ideal replacement for milk. I like is on my cereal or in coffee, but is a little high in carbohydrates which means you could be adding extra calories that you simply don’t need. Make sure to read labels before you buy because not all of them are created equal and none that I could find have adequate protein. I personally suggest lower lactose alternatives over oat milk, but if you choose to partake in oat milk, choose the unsweetened or less sweetened versions.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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