Oat Milk: Benefits & Drawbacks

There are few greater testaments to human ingenuity than oat milk. Well — maybe the pyramids and electricity are more impressive, but still! It’s truly astonishing that some visionary looked at the humble oat and saw in it the potential to become the tasty dairy substitute we know and love today.

However, in spite of its miraculousness, oat milk has recently come under fire, with many questioning how healthy it really is. One source even compared drinking a glass of oat milk to drinking a can of coke.

So, should you drink oat milk or not? Well, like so many things in life, oat milk has its benefits and drawbacks. In order for you to make an informed decision about any products, you have to weight the pros and cons. 

What Are Some Oat Milk Benefits?

One of the foremost oat milk benefits is that it keeps you from drinking regular milk. But what’s wrong with drinking milk? It turns out, a whole lot.

Milk and other dairy products contain saturated fats. Diets high in saturated fat can lead to an increased risk of hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. On top of that, dairy consumption has been linked to certain kinds of cancer.

Milk also causes farts. And no, we’re not talking about lactose intolerance (although that’s also a concern for many!). We mean cow farts. Every year, cows blast 231 billion pounds of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

The more dairy we consume, the more the dairy industry grows, which in turn contributes to climate change. So, drinking oat milk is better than drinking cow’s milk, both for your own health and for the health of the planet.

Why Might Oat Milk not be the best option for you.

Oats are an outstanding source of complex carbs, which serve as an important part of any healthy diet. However, the milk-making process breaks down those complex carbs into simple sugars.

Because of this, oat milk has a moderately high glycemic load (GL), which is a fancy way of saying it causes a brief spike in blood sugar. Over time, consuming medium- to high-GL foods can increase your risk of heart problems and diabetes.

It’s important to note here that having a little oat milk in your coffee or drinking a glass of it with breakfast isn’t a big deal. However, if you’re chugging it as the basis of your smoothies and meals, it’s probably time to pump the breaks on your oat milk consumption.

Another health concern vis-a-vis oat milk is its gluten content. While they are naturally gluten-free, oats are often harvested, stored, and milled alongside gluten-containing grains. This can cause cross-contamination.

Most people can handle gluten just fine. However, if you have celiac disease, even small amounts of it can make you sick. If you’re gluten-sensitive, make sure the oat milk brand you buy is gluten-free. 

What Are My Other Options? 

While oat milk isn’t the worst thing in the world, it — like all things — is best consumed in moderation. If you’re looking for something healthier, there are plenty of other milk substitutes to choose from. Here are just a few:

— Soy milk. This classic milk substitute has an outstandingly low GL and a high protein content.

— Almond milk.
In addition to being lower in sugar than oat milk, almond milk is packed with minerals.

— Coconut milk.
Mother nature’s milk substitute is delicious, creamy, and has an even lower GL than soy milk.

— Rice milk.
Like oat milk, this is another sweet, grain-based milk substitute, but it causes a much smaller blood-sugar spike.

Outstanding Foods Why Is Oat Milk Bad for You & What Are Some Alternatives?
Each of these beverages has its pros and cons. Coconut milk, for instance, has the lowest GL, but it also contains saturated fat. Soy milk is high in protein but also often high in sugar.

When selecting a milk substitute, remember to read the nutrition facts and ingredients list to make sure it’s right for you. Most importantly, make sure you like the taste! If you don’t, you might have an unfortunate cow’s milk relapse.

How Else Can I Lower My Dairy Consumption?

Even after you’ve found the perfect milk alternative, it can be hard to cut dairy out of your diet completely. You may find yourself craving unhealthy cheesy snacks. If so, don’t worry!

Outstanding Foods provides delicious dairy-free alternatives to typical cheese-based snacks. Our Outstanding Puffs and Outstanding Cheese Balls have all the outstanding cheesy flavor your heart desires — without any dairy.

Check out our store today to see our assortment of tasty, plant-based snacks!