Oat milk is one of the most favourite plant-based milk among health enthusiasts. You might be sceptical about adding it to your diet. But, once you know the benefits of oat milk, you will not have any doubt.
Oat milk is a healthy alternative to cow’s milk. It has a high amount of calcium, vitamins, and fibres. Many commercially produced oat milk has vitamins A, B2, D along with calcium and minerals. Hence, it is great for our heart, bones, and cholesterol levels.
In this article, I will tell you about all the health benefits of oat milk and whether you should choose it over cow’s milk. I will also talk about some health issues associated with drinking oat milk that you should consider. So, keep on reading.
Benefits of Drinking Oat Milk
Oat milk has a sweet creamy flavour. Moreover, it is thicker than most other non-dairy milk such as almond and soy milk. Hence, it is perfect for cereals and making hot beverages. There are many health benefits of oat milk. Here, we will discuss about a few of them:
- Free of Lactose, Soy and Nuts
Oat milk is the best option for lactose-intolerant people. The calcium of milk is important for us. But people having lactose intolerance cannot get the benefits from cow milk. Fortunately, oat milk has more calcium and calories than cow milk.
Furthermore, it is made from only oats and water. So, it is safe for people who are allergic to nuts and soy. Vegans also prefer this milk more than other dairy and non-dairy milk.
- Low Fat
As oat milk is dairy-free milk, it contains very little fat. It has no saturated fats and has only 5 grams of fat per one cup (240ml).
This is another reason why vegans love oat milk. They can easily control the amount of fat and calories by adding oat milk to their dietary planning and training program.
- Rich in Vitamins
Oat milk has vitamin B2 and B12. They contain thiamine and folate. Thiamine helps to break down carbohydrates to create energy in our body, and folate maintains the flow of red blood cells. Hence, your immunity increases.
Apart from vitamin B, oat milk also has vitamin A, D, and minerals like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc. They are not only good for your health but also good for your skin, hair, and nails. The antioxidants of the milk can uplift your mood and make you feel positive.
- High Carbs, Protein and Fiber
Compared to cow milk, oat milk has more carbohydrates and fiber. Everyone knows oats are a great source of fiber. Although the amount of fiber does not stay the same in oat milk, it is still high. In fact, it has more fiber than any other plant-based milk.
So, keep oat milk in your meals regularly to increase fiber intake. Fibers improve digestion and help to maintain bowel health. However, too much oat milk can affect your digestive system negatively. So, you should control drinking oat milk.
Oat milk may have less protein than cow milk, but it is still enough to fulfil your daily need for protein. When you are on a balanced diet, it becomes difficult to have the protein from vegetables, fruits, and other vegan foods. If you add oat milk to that diet plan, you can manage to get the necessary protein for your body.
- No Cholesterol
As dairy-free milk, oat milk has no cholesterol. It can also reduce LDL or the harmful cholesterol existing in your blood. If you have a cholesterol problem, you can have oat milk instead of cow milk.
It will help you to get rid of low-density lipoproteins building up in arteries. LDL can cause atherosclerosis and other heart diseases. Hence, oat milk is a better choice for people suffering from cholesterol problems.
- Controls Blood Sugar Level
If you have type-2 diabetes, you should consider consuming oat milk. The fibers and beta-glucan of the milk slow down the carbohydrate breaking process in your gut. Hence, sugar will be produced gradually and mix with the bloodstream slowly.
However, flavored oat milk has extra sugar in it. It can cause harm to diabetic people. You should check the ingredients of the oat milk you are buying from the market. Get the non-flavored and sugar-free product if you have a problem with sugar.
- Strengthens Bones
You already know that oat milk has high calcium and vitamin D. Both are important for our bones. Regular consumption of oat milk will strengthen your bones. Calcium is necessary to keep the bones strong. Without it, our bones become weak. As a result, they can easily fracture.
Milk is a source of calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, you cannot have cow milk. It means you have to find some other way to fill up the demand for calcium. In this case, oat milk is the best option has it has more calcium than any other milk,
Besides, the milk contains potassium, magnesium, and zinc. All of these minerals help to form strong and healthy bones.
- Good for Heart
You already learned that oat milk has low fat and zero calories. It has nutrients that help to circulate blood all over the body. So, naturally, it is also beneficial for your heart.
The beta-glucan of the fibers is very effective for maintaining proper heart function. The nutrients of oat milk keep the heart free from extra fat and support blood flow.
Negative Effects of Oat Milk
There is no doubt that oat milk has a lot of health benefits. But it is also true that it is not for everyone. Not all the oat milk brands in the market have the same nutrition value. Moreover, it is better not to consume oat milk every day like cow’s milk because it can affect your guts.
Before you head on to the grocery store, you should know about some of these cons of drinking oat milk:
- There are many brands of oat milk in the market these days. Many of them can have added flavours and preservatives. Some companies also add addictive substances to their products.
- Sweetened oat milk has excessive sugars. So, it can be harmful to diabetic people.
- Unfortunately, homemade oat milk does not have all the nutrients found in commercially produced oat milk.
- If you cannot control the consumption of oat milk, you may end up having high calories.
- Glucan intolerant people should avoid oat milk because oat milk has fibers with beta-glucan
- The high price of oat milk is another drawback of oat milk. Compared to cow milk, oat milk is quite expensive.
Should You Choose Oat Milk?
It really depends on you. It has many dietary advantages and for those looking to move away from using animal products, oat milk can be an excellent option.
Oat milk definitely has some advantages compared to cow’s milk. It has more calcium and vitamin D. For example, in a cup of 240 ml oat milk, you will get 350mg calcium and 101 IU Vitamin D. On the other hand, 240ml cow milk has 300 mg calcium and 0 IU Vitamin D.
However, all types of milk come with some sort of disadvantage. And, so does oat milk. It has high amounts of calories, fat, protein, and sugar which can be harmful to health causing obesity and cardiovascular issues.
The taste of oat milk is slightly different from cow’s milk. Therefore, it might not be tasty to someone who started oat milk for the first time. Also, the price can be high for many brands as well. So, consider all of these facts before you choose the non-dairy milk product.
Hopefully, you have learned about all the benefits of oat milk by now. Oat milk is becoming popular day by day because more and more people are getting aware of its health benefits.
You can also replace cow’s milk with it for a good source of calcium and other nutrients. But, do be aware of its high calorie content before entering it into your daily diet plant.