Oat milk: benefits and harms

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

You’ve probably seen oat milk popping up in bars, coffee shops, and grocery store aisles. With the increase in the number of people with lactose intolerance, this plant-based milk has established itself as one of the tastiest alternatives to cow’s milk. But is it really worth the detour? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

What is oat milk?

This milk is made by blending soaked oatmeal and water in a blender, then pouring the liquid into a cheese cloth to extract the milk.

Depending on the recipe, you can also add cinnamon, vanilla, dates, or other natural sweeteners to enhance the flavor. The resulting mixture is then blended and filtered, resulting in a milk that is heavy, frothy, rich in flavor and rich in nutrients.

From Scandinavia to parts of Asia, oat milk is widely recognized as a viable alternative to traditional milk, especially for people with lactose intolerance. Although it doesn’t provide all the same nutrients as cow’s milk or goat’s milk, it has a different nutritional profile that makes it appealing to some people.

Oat milk is a vegan alternative that has recently gained popularity. Thanks to its growing popularity, it is now available in many grocery stores.

Not only have food manufacturers made this type of milk more accessible than ever, but they are also adding additional vitamins and minerals to create a product rich in micronutrients, such as vitamin A, calcium, riboflavin and vitamins D .

Oat milk is made by mixing soaked oat flakes and water

What are the health benefits?

Oat milk has many health benefits. Their number includes:

  • prevention of anemia,
  • lowering cholesterol levels,
  • avoiding allergens,
  • relief after shaving,
  • stimulation of the skin,
  • relief from itching.

Discover all the benefits in video:

Anemia prevention

Anemia is a serious illness characterized by a lack of red blood cells in the body. This can lead to a long list of symptoms, from fatigue to pale skin and beyond. There are many different conditions that can lead to anemia, but it is usually caused by a lack of essential nutrients like iron and vitamin B12.

Just one cup of oat milk contains about 10% of the iron you need throughout the day, making it a great source for vegans and vegetarians. Combined with other iron-rich foods, like spirulina, lentils, and dark chocolate, a serving or two of oat milk can help promote healthy red blood cell production and prevent anemia.

Lowering cholesterol levels

Oats are known for their beneficial effects on heart health and cholesterol control. Oat milk contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which has been shown to have cholesterol-lowering properties.

A human study published in the journal Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism found that consuming oat milk for five weeks significantly lowered total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels to a greater extent than rice milk.

Another study carried out in Sweden by the Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry at Lund University presented similar findings, where consumption of oat milk for just four weeks effectively reduced cholesterol levels in subjects in good health.

Helps avoid common allergens

Being dairy-free, oat milk already protects those who cannot digest lactose properly. However, it is also ideal for those who suffer from a nut or soy allergy. Since oats are generally gluten-free, they are a great alternative for people with strict dietary restrictions.

As oat milk is not a dairy product, it does not contain lactose
As oat milk is not a dairy product, it does not contain lactose

Boosting skin health

Oat milk is nourishing for the skin. Due to its high lipid and water content, it provides hydrating properties, removes impurities and helps remove dead skin cells. To fight acne, you can combine it with raw honey. This mask will leave your skin feeling fresh!

Post-shave relief

Whether you’re experiencing small red bumps or itching after shaving, oat milk can soothe your skin and provide almost instant relief. In fact, many women take this milk directly in the shower, as this beauty remedy also doubles as a body soap.

Itchy Scalp Relief and Dry Hair Treatment

When it comes to showers, you can also apply oat milk to your hair, either as a rinse or leave-in conditioner. Just like oatmeal soothes dry, itchy skin, oat milk soothes an itchy scalp. This will help fight dandruff while you strengthen and nourish your hair.

What are the disadvantages of drinking oat milk?

Although it has beneficial health effects, there are also some dangers associated with this milk that should be taken into account.

Although purchasing your own oat milk can save you time, commercial varieties are often filled with additives, preservatives and sugars that can diminish some of their health-promoting properties.

Although it often contains vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial, oat milk sometimes contains thickeners and emulsifiers that can impact digestive health and alter the gut microbiome.

Additionally, although oats are naturally gluten-free, their milk is often processed in facilities that also process other gluten-containing grains, such as wheat or barley, leading to cross-contamination. If you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, opt for certified gluten-free milk to avoid cross-contamination.

No less important, oat milk is not naturally as nutrient dense as conventional milk.

What are the advantages ?

Compared to other milks, oat milk has many advantages. These range from its ease of preparation to its compatibility with vegetarian and vegan diets.

Lactose-free and vegan milk

Whether you’re avoiding conventional milk to minimize your intake of animal products or the lactose found in milk simply doesn’t agree with your stomach, oat milk is a good alternative. Made from oats and water, it contains no lactose or cow’s milk, making it an ideal substitute for those with dietary restrictions and following a dairy-free diet.

Just like other nut milks, it can easily replace milk in many recipes. You can use it in cold desserts like pudding or ice cream or even add it to your morning bowl of cereal.

A food rich in fiber

Oats are full of fiber. Drinking oat milk will keep you fuller longer. “Oats are a healthy food, largely because of their fiber content,” says Dana Angelo White, nutritionist and cookbook author Healthy Air Fryer.

Oat milk contains two grams of fiber. Fiber plays an important role in weight management because it creates a feeling of fullness in the stomach, causing us to eat less between meals. This is called the effect appetite suppressant. Diets high in fiber have also been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

A still quite delicious substitute

It is very important that the milk of your choice tastes good. Oat milk is delicious. It has a neutral flavor and it foams when whipped or shaken. Thanks to its texture, it is ideal for coffee. Its flavors go well with most foods and it also contains little fat. So you get that frothy, creamy texture, but without all the fat of other milks, like coconut milk.

A milk different from traditional cow’s milk

An easy recipe to make at home

When you make your own milk at home, you have the ability to limit the sugar and other additives that are often included in commercial milks. Brands sometimes seek to sweeten milk or make it better for the average consumer by adding various additives. You can easily make your own oat milk by mixing pre-soaked oats and water. Then just strain and cool.

What is the nutritional profile of oat milk?

This milk variant contains a surprisingly high amount of nutrients, including fiber, calcium, vitamin A, and iron. In fact, oat milk contains twice as much vitamin A as cow’s milk and about 10% of your daily iron intake. This type of milk also contains much less fat and is cholesterol-free. It also contains about 1 gram of protein and 130 calories per cup.

A cup of oat milk contains approximately:

  • 130 calories
  • 24 grams of carbohydrates
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 2.5 grams of fat
  • 2 grams of dietary fiber
  • 350 milligrams of calcium (35% of recommended daily allowance (RDA))
  • 0.5 milligrams of riboflavin (30% RDA)
  • 100 international units of vitamin D (25% of RDA)
  • 500 international units of vitamin A (10% of RDA)
  • 1.8 milligrams of iron (10% of RDA)
  • 115 milligrams of sodium (5% of RDA)

Comparisons Between Oat Milk and Its Popular Alternatives

What comparisons can be made between conventional and oat milk? Also what similarities and differences are there with other popular substitutes like almond milk?

Taste and texture

When it comes to taste and texture, oat milk has a naturally mild flavor like almond milk and is as refined as skim milk. Like other nut milks, it is usually available in several different flavors, such as chocolate and coffee, although it is also possible to opt for sugar- and flavor-free varieties.

Nutritional Considerations

In terms of nutrition, oat milk contains more calories and carbohydrates than almond milk. It also has more protein and fiber. Much like oat varieties, almond milk is often enriched with micronutrients such as vitamin D and calcium. However, there are some minimal differences between the two. Almond milk also contains vitamin E, but less riboflavin.

Compared to cow’s milk, oat milk contains slightly fewer calories but almost double the carbohydrates. Cow’s milk is rather rich in proteins, vitamins and important minerals. Although many micronutrients in oat milk have been added during processing, conventional milk is a natural source of many nutrients like calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12.


Oat milk is a little more limited in its potential uses. While conventional milk and almond milk can be warmed, oat milk becomes thicker and gelatinous when subjected to high heat. For this reason, it may not be the ideal choice for recipes requiring heat, such as baked goods or hot drinks.

Coffee with milk
Oat milk is not suitable for hot milk

What are the uses of oat milk in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine?

Oats fit perfectly into an Ayurvedic diet and are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various conditions.

It is often used to reduce blood pressure, reduce boils and improve stool consistency. Oats are also thought to strengthen the spleen and pancreas, while helping to dry out moisture to prevent fluid buildup.

In Ayurveda, oat milk is useful for reducing appetite and increasing stamina. It is also believed to have calming and soothing properties. It can help balance vata dosha (kinetic energy), but can also aggravate pitta and kapha doshas (transformational and cohesive energies) depending on how it is prepared.

Where to find and how to use oat milk?

Wondering where to buy oat milk? Although it may not be as easy to find as other substitutes, like almond and soy milks, it is becoming more available due to its growing popularity.

Where to find it?

You can usually find it near other nut milks in the health food section of your local grocery store. You can also find some brands of oat milk at online retailers. Be sure to look for an unsweetened variety and check the ingredient list carefully to choose a product with a minimal amount of food additives.

If you have trouble finding this milk, you can also make it yourself. This not only gives you complete control over your ingredients, but also allows you to make your oat milk unsweetened and preservative-free. To make your own milk, simply soak one cup of oats in water for 30 minutes, then combine with three cups of water and process in a food processor. Using a cloth or sieve, you can then strain the milk and enjoy it.

How to use it ?

Oat milk has many potential uses. You can swap it for conventional milk in your overnight cereal or use it to whip up certain types of desserts that don’t require cooking, like pudding or ice cream.

You can also use it in your favorite drinks and add it to your morning smoothie, latte, tea or coffee. Just be careful not to heat this milk directly as it may thicken and develop a gelatinous texture.

Oat milk can be used to make your morning smoothie
Oat milk can be used to make your morning smoothie

What precautions should we take with oat milk?

Oat milk can be a healthy, lactose-free, vegan alternative to conventional milk. But there are also some negatives of this product to consider.

If you have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance, be sure to only select certified “gluten-free” oats. This will help prevent cross-contamination and ensure that your product is completely free from traces of this substance.

Additionally, while store-bought oat milk is enriched with many of the micronutrients found in cow’s milk, homemade oat milk does not contain the same added vitamins and minerals. If you make your own, make sure you get these important nutrients through a well-balanced diet.

When shopping for oat milk, look for unsweetened brands with very few food additives. This will help you preserve the health benefits and reduce the risk of unwanted side effects.


6 Health And Beauty Benefits Of Oat Milk