Year of the Oat Milk?

Plant-based milks are not new, from soy and almond to coconut and rice, our shelves have had vegan options for milk for quite some time. They continue to take over their market share, their sales have gone up 61% since 2012. And, it seems 2019 might be a year of the oat. A non-sweetened cup serving of oat milk, has around 120 calories, five grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, two grams of fiber, seven grams of sugar and three grams of protein. People like the amount of fiber and protein compared to other plant-based milks. However, a cup of skim milk has only 83 calories, 12 grams of carbs, 0.2 grams of fat and eight grams of protein. That is significantly better. Other milks that will be popular this year are set to be hemp, flax and macadamia.

Other plant milks are falling down the social ladder in favor of oat milk. Unlike almond milk, oats are sustainable. Almonds are being partially blamed for California’s drought, whereas oats are a crop that does not need excessive amounts of water to grow. Soy is become vilified for its (maybe) deleterious impact. It may or may not have health impacts, the studies aren’t enough to tell. When we hear true horror stories about soy, it’s only tangentially related. The FDA Commissioner pointed to soy milk as the cause for a child’s rickets caused by a lack of vitamin D found in dairy. In that case, it was a lack of real milk not the presence of soy that harmed the young child.

Dairy has a role in health, helping heart health, your teeth, your gut and more. With nine essential nutrients and protein to help you build muscles, it beats out plant-based milks. Unless you are lactose intolerant or unable to find any other way to get fiber into your diet, there is no medical reason to replace milk with something based on a nut, seed, bean or grain. In addition, oat milk is not a miracle superfood; it does have drawbacks. Oat milk can contain gluten, pesticides and inflammatory ingredients. However, with homemade oat milk, it can be produced with nothing but water and oats.

So, will this be the year you try dairy-free milk?

February 19, 2019

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