WHAT IS OAT MILK?
“Oat milk is a great alternative for those who need an allergen-free milk option,” says Melissa Majumdar, M.S., R.D., CSOWM, L.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It is free of lactose, dairy, and nuts, and can be gluten-free.”
OAT MILK NUTRITION FACTS
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 16 grams
- Total sugars: 7 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
“Non-dairy milks tend to be fortified in nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, so they match their dairy-milk counterparts,” Majumdar says.
HOW OAT MILK COMPARES TO OTHER MILKS.
In terms of flavor, color, and texture, oat milk more similarly mimics whole milk than other non-dairy options.
It also has a thicker mouthfeel and creamier flavor than soy or almond milk, as well as a mild “oaty” flavor.
As for oat milk nutrition, it’s lower in fat and sugar than whole-fat cow’s milk, but it lacks the protein.
“Depending on the type of cow’s milk, the fat content may change as well,” Majumdar says.
For instance, a cup of skim milk has 0 grams of fat, making it a lower fat option than Oatly and many other types of oat milk.
Is oat milk or almond milk better for you?
If you put those two most popular plant-based options head to head, oat milk nutrition may fall short in a few key areas, says Mascha Davis, M.P.H., R.D.N., author of the book “Eat Your Vitamins.”
“Other nut milks, like almond milk, may be lower in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar and higher in other nutrients like vitamin E,” Davis says.
As a bonus, oat milk typically has more fiber than other non-dairy milks, though it’s not much.
Part of oat milk’s higher sugar content is due to added sugars, so choose brands that omit them and are labeled as “unsweetened.”
However, oat milk naturally contains more sugar than some other plant-based milks.
“The base of the milk is made from rolled or steel-cut oats, which are a carbohydrate source,” Davis says.
Soybeans, almonds, hemp seeds, and other plant-based milk sources are usually lower in carbohydrates than oats.