Oat milk is a possible alternative for those who want to avoid animal milk or who cannot tolerate it. But how healthy is oat milk really?
Oat milk is made simply by soaking and mixing oats with water. The solid components are then filtered out and a milk-like liquid remains.
Oat milk is becoming increasingly popular
The consumption of oat milk has increased significantly worldwide in recent years. The nutrients and in particular the secondary plant substances, trace elements, vitamins and minerals are mentioned as advantages.
One study reports that oat milk also has a very high fiber content, unlike other plant-based milk alternatives.
Contains only a few saturated fatty acids
In fact, there are several health benefits of including oat milk in your diet. For example, oat milk is naturally low in saturated fat, making it particularly suitable for people who have high cholesterol or are at risk of heart disease. In this regard, oat milk is actually healthier than cow’s milk.
Lowers cholesterol and lactose free
The many dietary fibers contained in oat milk also support digestion and at the same time lower cholesterol levels. Since oat milk is completely lactose-free, it is suitable for people with lactose intolerance and the soluble fiber (beta-glucans) it contains also has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance.
Reduces unhealthy LDL cholesterol
For example, a study published in the English-language journal Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism reports that consuming oat milk reduces plasma cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is often referred to as unhealthy.
However, the oat milk did not lead to any changes in triglycerides or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, the researchers add. The team therefore concludes that oat milk can be used as an alternative to other dairy drinks by individuals who would benefit from lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
Suitable as a milk substitute for diabetes
In addition, oat milk has a low glycemic index, making it a good alternative to cow’s milk, which can particularly benefit people with diabetes.
Added sugar problematic
When consuming oat milk, however, it should be noted that it often contains added sugar. Such added sugars can have adverse health effects.
Oat milk may contain gluten
Another potential downside to oat milk is that it may contain gluten. Therefore, it is advisable for people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease to ensure that they consume oat milk that is gluten-free to avoid health problems.
Thickeners may promote inflammation
The thickening agent carrageenan is also often used in the production of oat milk. Carrageenan improves the consistency of the product, but experts say the thickening agent may also promote inflammation.
Overall, consuming oat milk can have many health benefits, especially for people with diabetes, an increased risk of heart disease, and/or high cholesterol. However, high consumption of oat milk can also promote weight gain and possibly promote inflammation.
Whether cow’s milk or oat milk is healthier also depends on various individual factors. (as)