Milk alternative or allergy-free milk substitutes are growing in popularity with oat milk being one of them.
This cow milk substitute is naturally free from lactose, soy and nuts. It is also gluten free as long as it’s made in a factory that is gluten free certified.
In this post we will go over what oat milk is and how it’s made. We will also unravel factors to look out for to ensure the oat milk you’re purchasing is gluten free.
What is oat milk and how is it made?
Oat milk is a dairy-free and vegan-friendly milk substitute. This milk alternative is very popular amongst people who are lactose intolerant or struggle with allergens like nuts, soy and gluten.
Oat milk is made from oats and water. Water is simply added to a container of oats, they are then soaked for 2 hours (some companies may soak longer) and then they are strained of that water. This process leaves a milk-looking water with a subtle oat taste that may be enriched with nutrients.
Some companies, if not most, enrich the milk with nutrients like potassium, calcium and iron as well as vitamin A and D. This is because oat milk is not as nutritious as oats themselves and whether the milk is enriched with these vitamins can be seen on the labels and packaging.
Oat milk nutrition facts
As you can see from the nutrition label above, this type of milk is low in calories making it great for those looking to lose weight. It is cholesterol and fat free as well as low in salt making it a perfect alternative for those struggling with heart problems and high cholesterol.
Check out these highly-reviewed oat milk products on Amazon which can be bought in bulk. If you are wanting to make sure it is gluten free, then take a look at these gluten-free certified products. Our favourite is from Glebe Farm PureOaty which is gluten free, enriched in a number of nutrients and without added sugar. It is also very highly rated and a great gluten free choice, you can get it here.
Why oat milk is good?
Oat milk is a great choice for those with dietary restrictions. For instance, anyone who is lactose intolerant or allergic to soy or nuts. Most of these milk products are gluten free too but can be made in factories that handle gluten so if you are coeliac then make sure to get gluten free certified products.
We recommend this milk because it provides a variety of health benefits that you can see below.
1. High in essential nutrients
If we take a look at Glebe Farm PureOaty nutrition content then we can see it is rich in fibre and nutrients like vitamin A, B12 and D. One of the great things about Pureoaty is that it is fortified in B vitamins. B vitamins support proper heart function, improves mood and energy levels, and helps the body to break down food during digestion. You can take a look at our complete list of vitamins and their functions here.
2. Oat milk may lower cholesterol
Cholesterol is linked to heart problems and variety of other diseases. Thankfully, oat milk is high in soluble fibre which has cholesterol lowering properties. The way it works is by forming a gel-like substance in the gut during digestion. This gel-like mass moves through the gut mostly cleaning out bad bacteria but it can also bind to cholesterol reducing its absorption. When absorption of cholesterol is reduced, overall blood cholesterol reduces too.
A meta-analysis (study of studies) looked into 28 different studies and found that adding approximately 3g of soluble fibre reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) and overall blood cholesterol .
3. May strengthen bones and protect them from degradation
As we mentioned previously, many companies fortify the milk with nutrients. These nutrients include calcium and vitamin D, both of which are essential for bone health. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, without vitamin D calcium will not be absorbed as well.
Oat milk is also enriched with vitamin B12 which is vital for bone health too.
4. May reduce the risk of Anaemia
One of the biggest problems for people on a plant-based diets like the vegan or vegan keto diet is obtaining enough of iron. An average oat milk contains approximately 3.6% of iron. However, some companies enrich the oat milk in more iron making some products contain as much as 10% of an average person’s total daily intake.
5. Strengthen immune system
With oat milk being enriched in a number of essential nutrients, it has properties to strengthen your immune system. For instance, most oat milk products contain vitamins A and D which are antioxidants that protect the body from variety of infections, viruses and harmful bacteria. You can read more about antioxidant vitamins here.
Is oat milk gluten free?
This milk is naturally gluten free but it is often grown amongst other grains like wheat and barley. Some companies also produce oat milk in factories that handle gluten making it susceptible to cross-contamination.
Therefore, if you suffer from conditions like coeliac disease it’s important to choose products that are gluten free certified. This way you can make sure proper caution is taken.
Commercial oat milk can be high in sugar to sweeten the bland taste of oats and water. This may increase calories and raise blood sugar levels.
In addition, this type of milk is generally safe for babies and children to drink but it should not be used as replacement to breast milk because it is stripped away from certain vitamins and minerals. A mother’s milk contains all essential vitamins and minerals a baby needs for proper development and a baby should be fed exclusively on breast milk until 6-month-old and partially until 1 year old. When a baby can have oat milk depends on its health and other variants. It’s important to speak to your child’s doctor before changing up the diet.
Most commonly asked questions
Can you freeze oat milk?
Yes, it can be frozen but the texture may become grainier once defrosted.
Can oat milk cause diarrhoea?
It is unlikely that it can cause diarrhoea as it does not contain any chemicals or unnatural ingredients. Diarrhoea may occur if a person suffers from any allergies or intolerance relating to oats or gluten.
Can oat milk cause acne?
It does not contain acne and instead may clear skin of acne thanks to its antioxidant content.
Can oat milk cause bloating or constipation?
Yes. It can cause bloating or constipation as it is high in soluble fibre which expands in the stomach. However, this is a natural and healthy process for the gut. You can read more about carbohydrates and fibre here.
In summary, this milk is definitely a healthy alternative to cow’s milk containing variety of health benefits and very little precautions. It is often enriched in vitamins and minerals making it a healthier option to some other dairy-free milk substitutes.
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