Plant-based milk alternatives have become a food trend among vegans and those who are lactose intolerant or for some reason want to ditch the cow milk. Oat milk is the hottest milk trend for 2020 and many new producers of oat milk have showed up on the market. If you wonder if oat milk is healthy and how it can be compared to other milk products, the answer is positive. There are certain oat milk benefits and if you for some reason cannot drink cow’s milk, oat milk can be a great alternative.
What is oat milk?
Oat milk is a milk alternative made from oats. It is vegan, lactose and dairy-free. You can buy oat milk at any bigger supermarket, order it online or make it at home. Both steel cut and rolled oats can be used to make oat milk. Oats are soaked in water first and then you strain them through cheesecloth to get the milk from the oats.
Oat milk nutrition
Oat milk is not so nutritious as oats because some nutrients are lost during the process of straining. In other words, you will get more nutrients if you eat oatmeal, overnight oats or simply put oats in your breakfast smoothie. However, oat milk producers made sure that the vitamins and minerals are added in the process.
Oat milk has more calories than other milk alternatives, as well as fiber and carbs. But at the same time, oat milk has less protein than soy milk.
One cup of oat milk has 120 calories, 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs. It also has 2 grams of fiber and it satisfies 50% of daily value of vitamin B12.
As for calcium, oat milk satisfies 27% of daily value and 46% of vitamin B2. It is also rich with vitamin A, D and phosphorus.
Is oat milk healthier than cow milk?
It is hard to answer this question because every brand of oat milk differs. For instance, some oat milk producers put a larger amount of calcium than you will get when you drink cow milk. A cup of cow milk has 300 mg of calcium whereas a cup of oat milk can have 350 mg of calcium. However, that depends on the brand of oat milk and you need to read the labels carefully.
Oat milk is lactose free, but you can also find lactose free cow’s milk. It contains less protein than cow’s milk but more carbohydrates. There is about 8 g of protein in a cup of cow’s milk, whereas a cup of oat milk has about 2 g of protein. As for carbs values, a cup of oat milk has at least 15 g of carbs, and a cup of cow’s milk about 12 g.
It is hard to compare the amounts of fat in oat and cow’s milk because you can find on the market milk products of different fat values.
Oat milk benefits for the environment
Believe it or not, oat milk and almond milk has the smallest impact on the environment. If we compare the usage of water, land and the emissions of carbons, cow’s milk has the highest environmental impact.
If you take a look at the chart here, you will see that producing oat milk requires less gas emissions than cow’s milk, soy milk and rice milk. Less water is necessary to produce oat milk than cow’s milk, rice milk and almond milk.
Benefits of oat milk for your health
Oat milk is lactose free, nut free and soy free. It is full of vitamins B12, B2, D, A, calcium and phosphorus. Oats are gluten free, but if you are allergic to gluten you may check for the label first. If oat milk is produced in the same facility where there are some other products with gluten produced, then oat milk can also have some traces of gluten.
So far it is known that oat milk is good for your bones and skin and it can lower bad cholesterol.
Oat milk benefits for skin
Thanks to vitamins B and fiber, oat milk can improve your gut health which directly impacts your skin. If your gut health is not good, it will reflect on your skin. Furthermore, oat milk has a positive impact on blood glucose levels and if they are high, you may experience problems with acne.
Some studies show that cow’s milk can cause the appearance of acne, so if you have that problem you can try replacing cow’s milk with plant-based alternatives such as oat milk.
Not only can you drink oat milk to improve the look of your skin, but you can also apply it to the skin itself. The combination of oat milk and honey gives good results in fighting acne, by moisturizing your skin and removing dead cells from it.
Great benefit of oat milk for bones
Oat milk is rich in vitamin D and calcium, which is good for your bones. If you lack vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium and the lack of calcium can weaken your bones. Oat milk is vitamin B12 which can lower the risk of getting a bone disease, osteoporosis.
Benefits of oat milk for cholesterol
This study shows that the consumption of oat milk can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol LDL and the total cholesterol levels. Oat milk is rich in beta glucans, a fiber that can reduce the absorption of bad cholesterol. In this study, the participants drank 3 cups of oat milk daily, for 5 weeks. As a result, the total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels were decreased by 6% compared to another “control drink” they used for this experiment.
Oat milk side effects
In spite of many oat milk benefits, there can be some side effects as well. If you buy oat milk and not make your own at home, you should check the labels first. Many producers enrich their oat drinks with sugar, preservatives and additives. On the other hand, homemade oat milk doesn’t contain so many nutrients compared to commercial oat milk.
As we mentioned above, oat milk can have the traces of gluten if the oats used in the production were cross contaminated with gluten. So if you are allergic to gluten, make sure the label says the milk is gluten free.
All health content on foodscene.net is for general information only, and you should not take it as medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.