Erakina

Is Oats milk healthy and sustainable?

Published Date : September 15, 2022

Oats milk is the new drink of the moment among the dairy substitutes that are driving up market demands. Is this drink as health-giving as milk? Cow’s milk is the traditional staple drink of every society. Recently cow’s milk consumption has been falling as plant-based substitutes are replacing it. 

Obtained from a whole oat plant, oat milk was developed by Rickard Öste, the co-founder of the Swedish company Oatly which manufactures various alternatives to dairy products from oats. Since 2015, there has been a surge of interest in plant-based food sources. This is also in connection with other apprehensions like animal welfare and environmental benefits. Cow’s milk produces almost three times as much greenhouse gas emissions as other kinds of milk like soy, almond, and oat milk.

Oat milk
Oats milk carton

Oats milk is the new drink of the moment among the dairy substitutes that are driving up market demands. Is this drink as health-giving as milk? Cow’s milk is the traditional staple drink of every society. Recently cow’s milk consumption has been falling as plant-based substitutes are replacing it. 

Obtained from a whole oat plant, oat milk was developed by Rickard Öste, the co-founder of the Swedish company Oatly which manufactures various alternatives to dairy products from oats. Since 2015, there has been a surge of interest in plant-based food sources. This is also in connection with other apprehensions like animal welfare and environmental benefits. Cow’s milk produces almost three times as much greenhouse gas emissions as other kinds of milk like soy, almond, and oat milk.

What is oat drink or oat milk?

 

Oat drink is made by soaking oats in water for some time, blended and strained. What remains looks creamy and white. Compared with semi-skimmed cow’s milk, it contains a bit more sugar and lacks the essential amino acids (protein) and vitamins A, B2 and B12.

Is oat drink more sustainable than milk?

 

Many people believe that plant-based products are always more sustainable than animal products. For a healthy diet, you need a range of different types of food that will fill all the nutritional gaps. Animal products such as meat, fish, and dairy mainly provide vitamin B12 and the essential amino acids your body needs as building compounds. These essential nutrients are also found in vegan products, but to get the same nutritional value, you must eat various plant-based foods throughout the day. 

Oats Milk
Oats and oats milk
Is Oat drink a real alternative?

 

An oat drink in a healthy diet may not be a real alternative to milk. But this drink certainly also has health benefits. Like oatmeal, it is a source of beta-glucans. This substance is beneficial for blood cholesterol levels and reduces the rise in blood glucose levels after eating. You need to consume 3 grams of this substance per day for this effect. For example, you need 86 grams of whole grain oats for that amount. 1 glass of oat drink contains about 1 gram of beta-glucans.

Is oat drink a healthy choice?

 

Oat drinks are pretty healthy, mainly because they contain beta-glucans. You can also find it in barley and oatmeal. It is nutritionally not a good alternative to milk. There are not enough essential amino acids in it for that. Of course, plant-based milk is an answer for those who cannot tolerate milk or have lactose intolerance as it contains no dairy or lactose. It is also a solution for people who would rather not eat animal products. 

What does it taste like?

 

The oats milk tastes like cow’s milk, though it also has a sweet oaty taste. Store-bought oats milk is often fortified with Vitamins A, D, B2, and B12. 

Oatmeal
Oatmeal platter
Benefits of drinking oat milk

 

  • Vitamin B

Most oat milks are fortified with Vitamin B2 and B12, which normally are not found in abundance in vegan diets. In 240ml oats milk, you will get 25 and 100% of the required daily intake of vitamin B2 and B12. These vitamins help produce red blood cells and support the proper functioning of the nervous system. 

  • Source of high fibre

According to the article Plant-based milk substitutes, published in the Journal of Functional foods, 2020, oats milk is the highest in dietary fibre compared to other plant-based milk sources. Fibre plays a key role in controlling glucose levels and helps healthy digestion. It also keeps away your hunger pangs. 

  • No saturated fats

Oats milk has zero saturated fats, unlike cow’s milk which has the presence of saturated fats in it. It is bad for your health as it can cause high cholesterol levels and heart diseases. 

  • Contributes to your skin

Being a rich source of antioxidants, Oats milk aids the skin from the potential damage caused by UV rays. In turn, oat milk boosts the skin and keeps it healthy by preventing daily wear and tear. Oats milk also works against pigmentation and wrinkles. It also helps preserve or retain moisture, which is why it is commonly found in moisturizers. 

  • Develop bone strength

As oats milk comes fortified with Calcium and Vitamin D, it promotes bone health. Although calcium is normally associated with animal food sources, oat milk is an excellent source of Calcium and Vitamin D. You can get 300-400mg of Calcium from 1 cup of oat milk. It also contains Potassium and Magnesium, which are bone-healthy minerals as it helps in the absorption of Calcium. 

Is oat milk appropriate for everyone?

Oat milk is good for everyone except people who are gluten sensitive or with coeliac disease. It has a protein, avenin, which can cause reactions in people with gluten intolerance. Always check the instructions on the carton before you buy oat milk. 

To bring you up to speed, Oat milk is a popular plant-based replacement for animal milk. Now you know everything about oat milk and how to include the benefits of this super-grain into your diet regime. 

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