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Is Oat Milk Good for Weight Loss? Advantages and Drawbacks
Weight Loss

Is Oat Milk Good for Weight Loss? Advantages and Drawbacks

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 18, 2022
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7 min

Milk is a staple food that most people consume daily. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might wonder whether plant-based milk alternatives will help your journey. But is swapping cow’s milk for oat milk the best solution? Is oat milk healthy? Find out if drinking oat milk can support weight loss.

Is oat milk good for weight loss

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The plant-based milk market is growing, catering to consumers with allergies, intolerances, and those who want to help the planet by reducing their environmental impact.

Aside from the positive impact of switching from dairy to plant-based milk, many people consider the change in a bid to lose weight.

Oat milk is plant milk derived from whole oat grains. It tastes slightly sweeter than cow’s milk and has a creamy consistency, making it great for coffee, tea, and green smoothies. 

As oats are low in allergens, most people can tolerate the drink. It’s naturally free from lactose, nuts, and soy, unlike many other plant-based milks.

One of the most popular non-dairy products on the market, this article explores the potential weight loss benefits of consuming oat milk.

Is Oat Milk Good for Weight Loss?

Oat milk is a good choice for weight loss because it is low in fat and sugar, with zero saturated fat. A 100g serving of unsweetened oat milk contains 2.75g fat and 2.32g sugar. It also contains protein and fiber, which promote satiety, keeping you feeling full for longer.

In controlling your appetite, drinking oat milk can prevent you from eating more, reducing your overall calorie intake. Whether you hope to lose 1 or 3 pounds a week, oat milk makes a great weight loss aid.

The dairy-free milk is also rich in vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy diet, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

Benefits of Oat Milk for Weight Loss

With several properties that make it a good choice for a healthy diet, could it be the weight loss strategy you need? Keep reading as we cover the 6 health benefits of drinking oat milk to lose weight.

#1 Lactose-free

Oat milk is possibly the best plant-based alternative for those with food sensitivities because it is naturally free from common allergens, including lactose, soy, and nuts. It is perfect for anyone who is lactose intolerant and an excellent substitute for those following the vegan diet.

Lactose is a natural sugar mainly present in milk and other dairy products. While cutting out lactose from your diet, be mindful of added sugar in many store brands.

#2 Source of fiber

Although some of the fiber content from oats is lost in the process, oat milk still provides a good dose. One cup of oat milk contains approximately 2g of fiber.

Oat milk contains a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which plays a beneficial role in managing obesity, hypertension, and imbalanced cholesterol levels. It forms a gel-like consistency that can reduce the absorption of cholesterol.

Dietary fiber intake can improve metabolic health and promote weight loss in people with obesity.

#3 Helps to regulate blood sugar levels

Due to the fiber content, oat milk may help control your blood sugar. The body doesn’t absorb fiber, so it doesn’t spike blood sugar like other carbs. A higher daily dose of soluble fiber can reduce fasting blood glucose concentrations.

Although fiber may provide blood sugar control, the milk substitute does contain a sugar called maltose. Maltose has a high glycemic index that can quickly spike blood sugar levels. Therefore, it may not be the best milk alternative for people with diabetes.

#4 No cholesterol

Unlike dairy milk, which contains cholesterol and saturated fats, oat milk has zero cholesterol and may even help lower cholesterol levels, thanks to beta-glucan. High LDL (bad) cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease and heart attack.

#5 Good for bowel health

If you drink oat milk, you can promote good bowel health. The presence of fiber supports bulkier stools that are easier to pass, preventing constipation and promoting regularity.

Beta-glucan also has health benefits for the gut, with prebiotic properties that help balance the gut microbiome.

#6 Great source of B vitamins

Oat milk is a good source of essential nutrients. It is often fortified with B vitamins, including vitamin B2 and vitamin B12.

B vitamins support your overall health and well-being, enabling a variety of enzymes to do their work. They ensure the body’s cells function correctly, convert food into energy, produce new blood cells, and support healthy skin and nails.

Does Oat Milk Make You Gain Weight?

Drinking oat milk will not make you gain weight because it is low-fat, low-sugar, and low in calories. The fiber and protein content can even help you shed a few pounds when you substitute dairy milk with oat milk. 

How many calories it contains exactly depends on the brand, but for example, one cup of Oatly’s oat milk has 120 calories.

As it is not calorie-free, consuming excessive amounts could contribute to weight gain. It’s important to keep your caloric intake lower than the number of calories burned a day to achieve weight loss.

Is Oat Milk Better Than Cow’s Milk for Weight Loss?

Oat milk is better for weight loss than whole dairy milk because it is low fat with fewer calories. A cup of full-fat dairy milk contains 146 calories, 7.81g fat, and 11.4g carbs. Although dairy milk has more protein, it does not contain any fiber. 

Many of the health benefits of oat milk, especially those for losing weight, come down to fiber content.

Dairy milk is more nutritious overall, but oat milk still delivers essential nutrients that contribute to a healthy weight loss diet, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and vitamin A.

Following a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious eating and regular exercise, such as daily walks or morning runs, is the best way to shift unwanted weight. Oat milk can be an excellent milk replacement to boost your body’s ability to lose a few pounds. 

Cons of Oat Milk

While milk alternatives are a great addition to a balanced diet, there are some potential drawbacks. Is oat milk healthy? Yes, but there are some relevant factors to consider before making the switch to oat milk.

#1 May cause digestive issues

Oat milk is perfect for people who are lactose intolerant. But for some people, oat milk may cause stomach upset and diarrhea as the body breaks down fiber and sugar. Diarrhea is typically the result of added sugar in commercial oat milk brands.

Additionally, not all oat milk is gluten-free. If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you should check the oat milk label to ensure it is gluten-free.

#2 May contain added sugar

If you are switching to oat milk to lose weight, it is essential to check the nutrition label on the oat milk product before you purchase it. Many varieties contain high amounts of added sugar that can upset your stomach and hinder your weight loss efforts.

#3 Higher in calories than other plant-based milk

It’s worth noting that oat milk does contain more calories and carbs than other plant-based alternatives. Unsweetened almond milk, for instance, is the lowest-calorie option, followed by coconut milk, soy milk, and rice milk.

#4 More expensive than dairy milk

Milk alternatives cost more than dairy milk, whether you’re shopping for oat milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, or hemp milk. Prices vary from brand to brand, but oat milk is usually twice the cost of dairy milk.

FAQs

What vitamins are in oat milk?

Oat milk is packed with vitamins and minerals that support overall health. Most store-bought oat milk is fortified with vitamin D, vitamin A, and B vitamins. It also provides a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Is oat milk vegan?

Yes, oat milk is entirely vegan. It makes an ideal substitute for dairy milk for people who follow the vegan diet as it still contains essential nutrients and plant-based protein to support overall health. Oat milk is made from blended oats and water, strained to leave behind the creamy oat milk.

Can I drink oat milk every day?

Yes, you can consume oat milk every day. Drinking milk is part of a well-balanced diet, and swapping your usual dairy milk for oat milk can provide several health benefits. It can help you lose weight, lower cholesterol levels, support gut health, and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Is oat milk fat-free?

Oat milk is not fat-free, but it is low in fat. 100g of unsweetened oat milk has less than 3 grams of fat. It only contains unsaturated fat, with zero trans fats. Unsaturated fat is a healthy kind that can protect your heart, reduce inflammation, and keep cholesterol levels in check.

Is oat milk low-calorie?

Oat milk is low in calories, with most varieties containing 120–130 calories per cup. It has more calories than unsweetened almond milk and fewer calories than full-fat dairy milk. When incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, it can provide weight loss benefits.

A Word From Our MD

Oat milk is a vegan, lactose-free plant milk made by blending oats and water. It is low in calories and a good source of fiber, calcium, and vitamins B and D.

It is a beneficial choice for people who are vegan, lactose intolerant, allergic to milk, or those who do not want to consume the hormones present in cow milk.

Due to its nutritional profile, oat milk has properties that can support and benefit the weight loss journey. It can lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, promote satiety, and keep a healthy gut.

Oat milk cannot be solely responsible for weight loss success. How much weight you lose depends on your overall lifestyle choices. Regular physical activity and healthy eating are key to shedding a significant number of pounds and maintaining optimal health.

Conclusion

Choosing the right milk for your weight loss program is a personal journey. An evaluation of the nutrient, sugar, fat, protein, and calorie content is necessary to find the best alternative for you.

Oat milk can positively impact weight loss as it ticks a lot of boxes, from cutting your overall calorie intake to reducing your consumption of saturated fats. It could be the weight-loss-friendly staple you’ve been looking for when matched with other good lifestyle choices.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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