Ingredient Spotlight: Oat Milk Powder

Ingredient Spotlight: Oat Milk Powder

Vegan milks are currently leading the plant-based movement that has transformed the food industry. The past three years have seen a 33% increase in plant-based milk sales, for a 2021 total of $2.6 billion—nearly half of all plant-based food sales.

Oat milk recently rose to second on the list of most popular alternative dairy sources. But why is this grain milk a favorite among consumers, and what are its health benefits?

What is oat milk?

Commercially produced oat milk is made by extracting the flavor and nutrients of oats with water to create a milk-like beverage. First, oat berries are cleaned and dehulled, then rolled into the oatmeal-style flakes we love having for breakfast. These rolled oats are soaked in and blended with water before the oat pulp is strained from the milk. While some brands add oils and enzymes for flavor or vitamins for nutrition, this is the basic process for making oat milk. If you are feeling adventurous, try making it at home!

What’s in it? 

The USDA nutrition label for one cup of Oatly oat milk includes:

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 101mg
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugars: 7g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Calcium: 350.4mg
  • Vitamin B12: 1.2mcg
  • Vitamin B2: 0.6mg

But what does this mean, and how does oat milk compare to its dairy and non-dairy counterparts?

What makes oat milk better?

Many people prefer oat milk because it has a creamy, smooth consistency. This consistency is more similar to milk than the thin feel of other alternative dairy products. In terms of flavor, oat milk actually tastes very similar to cow’s milk, but is sweeter and has the earthy aftertaste of oats. 

But there are many reasons (aside from amazing taste) to drink oat milk: 


In addition to being lactose-free, oat milk is also nut-free and gluten-free. This provides a distinct advantage to most plant-based milks, which are often made from tree nuts. However, you should always read the product’s nutritional information to check that there are no traces of allergens: many companies process oats on the same equipment as they do foods containing nuts or gluten.

Heart Healthy

Oat milk actually has three different health benefits for your cardiovascular system—possibly the greatest advantage of drinking oat milk-based products like our organic cacao and morning mushrooms blend! But what are these benefits?

  1. Zero Cholesterol

Dairy milk has an extremely high cholesterol content (around twelve grams per cup). Excess cholesterol in the body can build up inside blood vessels and block normal blood flow, leading to atherosclerosis. Oat milk, however, contains zero cholesterol and is very good for cardiovascular health.

  1. Zero Saturated Fats

Additionally, oat milk has no saturated fats (and low unsaturated fats as well). Saturated fats, like cholesterol, can solidify in the arteries and restrict blood flow to the body and brain. Regular cow’s milk, for comparison, has around 1.5g of saturated fats per glass.

  1. High in Soluble Fiber

A third nutrient that makes oat milk better for your heart is a high level of soluble fiber. Fiber is generally good for your gut health (and oat milk has plenty of it), but soluble fiber in particular has added benefits for your cardiovascular system. A soluble fiber found in oat milk called beta-glucan can stop heart disease from progressing by binding to the substances mentioned above that clog the arteries, and then moving those compounds to the digestive tract to be disposed of. 

Low in Sugar

Many people today are trying to improve their health by paying special attention to the amount of sugar they consume and absorb. Both are important to eating healthier—read below to find out how oat milk is good for both.

  1. Sugar Absorption

The same beta-glucan fiber that unblocks your arteries also controls your blood sugar levels by regulating the absorption of carbohydrates in the gut, making the sugar levels in the bloodstream rise and fall slowly rather than spiking dangerously. 

  1. Sugar Intake

Although oat milk tastes very sweet, it actually has a fairly low sugar content. Whereas dairy contains 12.5g of sugar per glass, oat milk has around half that amount, roughly 7g per cup.

High in Protein

While cow’s milk does contain more protein, oat milk is still beneficial among alternative dairy products for protein levels. It has more grams of protein per glass than almond, coconut, rice, cashew, and other plant-based milk. The only non-dairy milk that has a higher protein content is soy milk with 8g per cup.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

“Oat milk contains 35% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for calcium, and 25% for vitamin D,” says Keri Gans, a New York-based nutritionist, and dietitian. Additionally, oat milk is typically fortified with the B vitamins thiamine and folate, which help with carbohydrate absorption and red blood cell function, respectively. 

In Conclusion

Oat milk’s popularity has risen exponentially in recent years due to its fantastic flavor and incredible health benefits. Whether you are a vegan looking for a new alternative milk or simply an adventurer in pursuit of a healthier addition to your lifestyle, oat milk is the perfect food to try something new.

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