Recently, oat milk has been a popular plant based substitute for cow milk. I’ve been seeing it offered more and more in coffee shops such as Starbucks. Oat milk is a popular choice for those who have food intolerance or allergies because it is naturally free of soy, nuts and lactose. Some brands even offer a gluten free version of oat milk too! Because of this, oat milk is considered one of the most popular choices for those who are highly sensitive to different allergies.
Store bought oat milk is usually enriched with nutrients such as vitamin A, B and D, calcium, potassium and iron. Since oat milk is 100% whole grain, it is full of fibre and provides plant based protein to you. The fibre in oat milk has been linked to help reduce your risk of heart disease and might even help improve your cholesterol levels and also help control your blood sugar levels. The type of fibre in oat milk is called beta-glucans, it is a type of soluble fibre that comes from the cell walls of oats. Studies have suggested that they even have the ability to simulate your immune system by increasing the chemicals that are helpful in preventing infection.
Because of the added nutrients, store bought oat milk has a similar amount of vitamins and minerals when compared with cow milk. However, one drawback of oat milk is that it contains less protein than cow milk, which means that you might consider consuming some protein from other sources. Despite that, it also contains less saturated fat which is good because consuming too much saturated fat can lead to you having a high cholesterol. Many people also add that oat milk tastes richer and creamier than other plant based milk, this might make it more similar and palatable to those who are used to drinking cow milk.
Oat milk also has a much lower environmental impact than cow milk. In fact, producing oat milk uses 60% less energy and creates 80% less greenhouse gas emissions while also using 10 times less water than cow milk. In addition to all of this, growing oats takes up 80% less land than cow milk requires. Out of all the different types of milk, oat is often considered to have the lowest overall carbon footprint to produce. The only drawback is that oat milk is often slightly more expensive than the other types of milk.
Although there are many benefits of drinking oat milk, there are still some side effects of it. In general, oat milk is a very healthy vegan drink. It is dairy, lactose, nut, soy and gluten free and therefore it is something that people with allergies can drink without worry. However, much like everything you drink and eat, drinking too much is not good for you. You should always make sure you are drinking it in moderation.
If you plan on buying sweetened oat milk, you should always be sure to check the amount of added sugar is in the drink. Unflavoured oat milk generally has a decent amount of sugar and if you were to buy the sweetened version, you might find that you are ingesting more sugar than you should. Oat milk also has the highest amount of carbohydrates in plant based milk. As a whole, oat milk has more calories than other plant based milk. You should always make sure you know how much you are drinking and don’t overdo the amount of calories you are consuming if you are on a diet.
Carbohydrates in oat milk is not necessary a bad thing, you just need to know that you are drinking them. Liquids are digested much faster than food and therefore it impacts your blood sugar levels in a faster way. This means that there will be a quick elevation in your blood sugar, this might be a concern for those who are diabetic.
If you are looking for a creamy plant based milk, oat milk provides many benefits and is a healthy alternative. For those with multiple allergies, this might be the ideal cow milk alternative for you! As for the side effects, make sure you know that it has a higher carbohydrate and calorie content. You really need to know what is added in the commercial varieties of oat milk as sometimes it might have much more added ingredients that are not beneficial to you. If you are still not sure with commercial oat milk, you can simply make it yourself. All you need to do is blend oats with milk and then strain it out in a nut milk bag or a handkerchief.