It’s obvious oat milk is still having its moment all over the world right now. We actually found it to be more popular in Europe over almond milk whenever we went to coffee shops. It may be plant-based, dairy-free and a great option for those who are lactose-intolerant or allergic to milk, but personally, I don’t drink oat milk and I wanted to share why as a dietitian and nutritionist. As always, I think it’s so important to understand exactly what you’re consuming and the possible effects it has on your body. And for that reason, I’m sharing the three reasons why I choose other plant-based milks below:
- Oat milk is typically made with vegetable oils like rapeseed, canola and sunflower oils, which cause inflammation in the body. Adding fats like this is known to increase the texture, but I like to avoid inflammatory oils as often as possible (I wrote more about this here). Here are a handful of brands that include added oils: Oatly, Silk, Chobani, Califia Barista Blend, Rise Brewing
- The process that turns oats into oat milk includes enzymes that break down the oats, turning them into maltose, a high-glycemic sugar that’s responsible for the sweet taste. High-glycemic foods can cause increased blood sugar levels and it’s something we should be on the lookout with our favorite food & drinks. A way to alleviate the rapid increase in blood sugar would be to combine the oat milk with nutrient-dense foods that are rich in protein, healthy fats, and/or fiber. You know I’m a big advocate for keeping added sugars to a minimum in our diets, so if you have the option, I’d recommend an alternative milk that’s higher in protein, like almond or cashew (making them from home helps increase their protein content, too!).
- Oats are widely sprayed with glyphosate, a heavily-used chemical and weed killer, otherwise known as Roundup. Glyphosate is carcinogenic, meaning it’s a cancer-causing pesticide, it disrupts your microbiome, and will be banned in the EU after December 15, 2022. Unless you know you’re consuming organic oats (far less exposure to glyphosate), this is something to keep in mind when you’re grocery shopping / ordering a coffee.
That being said, there is one brand I *do* recommend if you’re going to consume oat milk and it’s called MALK (made with organic oats). I’m lactose intolerant, so the dairy-free milks I like to stick to instead of oat are almond, coconut and cashew milks. Click here for the recipe to my Homemade Cashew Milk 🙂
The production of nut milks are actually really harmful to our environment. It requires a lot of water use, which is a huge problem for places like California where 80% of the worlds almonds are grown, just as an example. Cashews are the roughy the same, requiring just 12% less water than almonds. Look it up, pretty interesting (and important). I work very heavily in the sustainability field, specifically focusing on net zeros efforts regionally
This is the reason I stick to oat milk! Super important to me too. Glad to know there are organic oat milk options that are healthy and sustainable.
Totally agree! Its the reason I switched to oat milk as well. Plus, if you choose to make it yourself, you eliminate a lot of the issues above.
Almond milk is high in oxylates…. Oat is better…. Especially if you are histamine intolerant….and you are dairy free
You should read some more about cold pressed rapeseed oil… not too bad and its not like canola oil. There is also alternative from Oatly without rapeseed oil as well.
This was incredibly helpful information to know! Thank you for sharing, Rachael 🙂
I’ve really been enjoying Joi powdered oat milk lately—It contains one ingredient: Organic oats. It can be a little chunky if you don’t have a good frother or blender, but I much prefer that to all the additives in other plant based milks.
I made the switch from almond to oats because of the much lower rate of water consumption to produce it. And bonus, their packaging is compostable (unlike liquid plant-based milk cartons that most recycling facilities can’t process).
Curious if you’ve heard of this brand/product and what you think!
Kate Stephens says
This was so well-written! Thanks for the insight Rachael!
What about Elmhurst? The label makes it look so clean
Rachael Devaux says
Unfortunately, Elmhurst doesn’t use organic oats so I wouldn’t personally choose it. xx Rachael
Almond mail is highly inflammatory because of the amount of Omega 6…..I think oat is more healthful if you can find an organic brand! Gosh, so few options for us who are dairy intolerant!
You said you stick to almond or cashew.. I am highly allergic to tree nuts and coconuts so if oat milk isn’t a great option and I cant have tree nuts what is another choice for me?
What do you think of this new Oat Milk that is Organic called Oatsome. It comes in Regular and Chocolate and tastes absolutely heavenly.