Oat Milk Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs and Health Benefits of Oat Milk

glass of oat milk

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

As more people switch to non-dairy and plant-based diets, manufacturers have seized this opportunity to create lactose-free alternative milk products. Populating grocery store shelves across the world, oat milk is one such popular substitute you’ll find for non-dairy milk drinkers. Cheaper to make than almond milk and environmentally friendly, oat milk contains steel-cut or whole oats soaked in water that are then blended and strained with a cheesecloth or special milk bag.

Oat milk is dairy-free, nearly devoid of saturated fats, has more protein than most nut-based milk options, adds fiber to your diet and offers a hefty dose of B vitamins and vital minerals. 

Oat Milk Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information, for one cup of oat milk, is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 115mg
  • Carbohydrates: 244g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sugars: 19g
  • Protein: 4g

Carbs in Oat Milk
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the number of carbs in a cup of oat milk is 24,which is higher than other milk products. However, the carbs come from fiber rather than fat. Because oat milk gets made from steel-cut or whole oats, you’ll find more fiber per serving than cow’s milk (which offers no fiber), and almond and soy that contains only one gram of fiber per serving.
For anyone looking to regulate their bowel movements and decrease their chances of constipation, fiber can help because the nutrient absorbs water. According to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, only 5% of the population meets fiber recommendations, making oat milk a nutritious option.

Fats in Oat Milk
Oat milk contains no fatty acids, no total saturated fat and no total trans fats. The milk does have 2.5 grams of total lipid fats.

Protein in Oat Milk
Compared to cow’s and soy milk, oat milk does have less protein with only four grams per serving. But compared to other milk substitutes, such as almond and rice, oat milk offers more protein per serving. This is especially helpful for anyone following a vegan or dairy-free diet where lean meats and protein-rich low fat dairy products are off limits.

Micronutrients in Oat Milk
Oat milk contains thiamin and folate, both B vitamins important for energy production. The product also has necessary minerals, including copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium and trace amounts of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, vitamin A IU, riboflavin and potassium. Most commercial oat milk, not made at home, is also fortified with vitamins A, D, B12 and B2. 

Health Benefits

Dairy allergies are common. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), between two to three percent of children younger than three years old are allergic to milk. The majority, 80 percent, outgrow the allergy, but the remaining 20 percent still deal with the allergy well into adulthood. This makes needing dairy alternatives necessary for thousands of people. 

As an alternative to dairy milk for anyone allergic to dairy, lactose intolerant or following a vegan/dairy-free diet, oat milk offers some of the same health benefits you'll get from cow's milk, such as protein to build and repair tissues and keep your hair and nails looking healthy, calcium for strong bones and macronutrients like folate to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow. 

You'll also find these health benefits in oat milk: 

Lowers your cholesterol level. In a study published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, researchers studied 66 men and put them into two groups: one that drank oat milk and a control group that drank rice milk for five weeks. They then switched to the other drink regime for another five-week period. Compared with the rice milk group, the oat milk group experienced significantly lower serum total and LDL cholesterol levels. The researchers concluded that oat milk has cholesterol-reducing properties. 

Another study from Nutrition Reviews found that eating three grams of oat beta-glucans daily lowered total and LDL cholesterol levels by 5 to 7 percent. The researchers found significant scientific agreement to support a relationship between oat beta-glucans and blood cholesterol levels, with new data being just as consistent with earlier conclusions made by the United Kingdom Joint Health Claims Initiative (JHCI) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). 

Combats cancer. According to a review of plant-based milk alternatives published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, oat milk may contain anti-cancer properties and offers high nutritive value.  

Helps the environment, allowing you to leave less of a carbon imprint and keep the world clean and healthy. According to the American Society for Nutrition, the world is more mindful of environmental impacts from farming than at any previous time in modern history. Spending on alternative milks has risen and the consumption of milk has dropped, not only for the benefits and taste, but because of environmental concerns. In greenhouse gases from more than 10,000 farms throughout the world that produce cow and alternative milk, dairy milk uses nine times more land to make one liter of milk than a liter of rice, soy, almond or oat milk. 

Common Questions 

For calories, how does oat milk compare to other nondairy milks on the market? 
According to the U.S. News and World Report, oat milk is actually quite high in calories when compared to other dairy substitutes. You can see calorie counts for one eight-ounce serving of the following types:

  • Almond milk: 35 calories
  • Coconut milk: 50 calories
  • Rice milk: 120 calories
  • Soy milk: 90 calories

The only type of milk that contains more calories than oat milk is the dairy kind. Whole cow's milk contains 150 calories per eight-ounce serving. Even 1% and skim milk contain less, at 110 and 80 calories, respectively. 

Will I find anything unhealthy about oak milk?
The Today Show found that oat milk can contain acidity-regulating phosphates, which are a common additive in processed foods and linked to kidney disease. If you eat a heavy dose of processed foods, you might want to stick to another non-dairy alternative milk to limit your phosphate consumption. 

Where can I find oat milk? 
You can find oat milk in grocery stores, specialty food stores or you can make your own. If you make your own, you can control the flavor and creaminess.
What does oat milk taste like? 
According to the University of Virginia School of Medicine, oat milk is made from oats that were cleaned, toasted and hulled, giving the milk a mild, slightly sweet flavor. If you like skim or 1% milk, oat milk offers a similar consistency but not as much fat. 

Recipes and Preparation Tips 
You can make your own oat milk. You simply use rolled or steel-cut oat with water and blend them together. Then strain. 

The BBC recommends placing the oats in a large bowl and covering them with water and soaking them for at least four hours. The next day, you can drain, rinse, blend them in cold water, strain and whisk. 

For options, see the following:

Allergies and Interactions 

Oat milk is actually a beneficial alternative to those who are lactose intolerant or suffer from any other type of dairy allergy, or for those who have a nut allergy and can't drink almond milk.

However, you should be careful of your intake if you have celiac's disease or any type of wheat allergy/sensitivity. You can still drink oat milk, but you need to read the label. You should make sure the product contains "gluten-free wheat."

Yes, oats are gluten free, but manufacturers often process them using the same equipment as other wheat products, which could cause a reaction. 

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