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Choosing a Healthy Oat Milk

Choosing a Healthy Oat Milk

Oat milk is quickly gaining popularity in the US, second only to almond milk. (1)  While oat milk is considered a good nut-free plant-based milk alternative, is it really a healthy choice?

Whether labeled Oat Milk, Oatmilk, Oat Plant-Based Beverage, or Oat Non-Dairy Beverage, there are many oat-based drink options are now available at local grocery stores and coffee shops.

All oat-based beverages are high glycemic index and many contain highly processed ingredients. This comprehensive guide details what to look for and what to avoid when choosing a healthy oatmilk.

Healthy Oat Milks:

  • Are made with whole grain oats
  • Minimize added sugars
  • Are free of glyphosate residue (organic or certified non-glyphosate)
  • Avoid gums and other thickeners
  • Have minimal sodium
  • Avoid lecithin

Water will always be the first ingredient in oat milk.  The second and preferably only other ingredient will be whole grain oats.  However, most commercially available oatmilks tend to have long ingredient lists. 

What to look for when choosing a healthy oat milk

1. Healthy Oat Milk is Made From Whole Grain Oats

Oat milk is made with either whole grain oats or a refined oat flour blend.

Foods rich in whole grains contain more fiber, which slows down how fast carbohydrates are digested. This reduces the blood sugar spikes and helps keep you fuller longer.

The easiest way to know if an oat milk is made with whole grain oats is to look at the product label. Companies will often include a whole grain statement on the packaging since using whole grains is more expensive.

Alternatively, if an oat milk is made with oat flour, oat extract, oat concentrate or has zero grams of fiber, it was likely made with a refined oat flour blend. 

Recommendation: As with all grain-based foods, it is best to eat whole grains whenever possible. Look for an oat milk with whole grain oats on its product label and at least 2 grams of fiber per serving.

2. Healthy Oat Milks Minimize Added Sugar

Healthy almond milk should contain little to no added sugar

There are two sources of labeled added sugar in oat milk. The first is from oats themselves. The second, and less common, is from the addition of cane sugar or other sweeteners.

Oatmilk is Naturally High in Sugar

While oats themselves do not contain sugar, they are full of carbohydrates which are easily broken down into simple sugars.

Different manufacturing processes will create oat milks with various levels of simple sugar.

The FDA now requires the sugars created during oatmilk manufacturing process to be listed on the nutrition information label as added sugar. Most companies have updated their label accordingly, but some have not.

Avoid oat milks that have not updated their nutrition facts label as there is no way to accurately predict the amount of added sugar. An asterisk (*) in a product listed below indicates the label has not been updated.

Read more on recommended daily intake of added sugar and why you want to minimize added sugar consumption.

Recommendation:  When choosing an oat milk, look for one with minimal labeled added sugar. Also, if you include oatmilk in your diet, evaluate how it impacts your overall sugar intake and consider reducing other sources of added sugar.

3. Healthy Oat Milks Avoid Glyphosate Residue

The Environmental Working Group recently reported high levels of glyphosate residue in popular oat-based cereals. (2) 

Glyphosate, also known commercially as Roundup, is often sprayed on oat crops to speed up drying at harvest. 

The safety of chronic, low-level exposure to glyphosate is not proven.  Therefore, it is advisable to avoid conventional oats to minimize glyphosate residue intake.

It is worth noting that the EWG did find glyphosate residue on organically grown oats, however the levels were significantly lower than that of conventional oats.  

Recommendation: It is best to buy oatmilk certified to be free of glyphosate residue. Oat milk made with organic oats is also a good alternative.

4. Healthy Oat Milks Avoid Gums and Other Thickeners

healthy almond milk should avoid gums and thickeners

Plant-based beverages often contain gums and other thickeners to prevent separation and improve a drink’s texture.

These gums and thickeners are highly processed and can sometimes cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

Typical gums and other thickeners in diary-free milks include gellan gum, locust bean gum (also called carob bean gum), and gum acacia, also known as gum arabica.

Gellan Gum.  Gellan gum is a polysaccharide (polymer of sugar) and soluble dietary fiber. It is manufactured by bacterial fermentation of glucose or other carbon sources such as corn syrup, lactose, whey protein, or soybean extracts. (3-5)

Locust Bean Gum.  Locust Bean Gum a polysaccharide extracted from the seeds of the Carob Tree. Also called carob bean gum, locust Bean Gum is a soluble dietary fiber that is fermented by intestinal microflora. (4, 6)

Gum Arabica.  Gum Acacia, also known as gum arabica, is a complex mixture of glycoproteins and polysaccharides extracted from the sap of two species of acacia trees. Also called gum arabica, gum acacia is a soluble dietary fiber that is fermented by intestinal microflora. (7)

Recommendation: It is best to avoid foods that contain gums and other thickeners, as they are often highly processed.  However, occasionally eating small amounts of these additives is probably fine, unless you experience gastrointestinal discomfort or are following a specific diet.

5. Healthy Oat Milks Have Minimal Sodium

Healthy almond milk has minimal sodium

Sodium, from salt and other food additives, can be found in almost any processed food.  Oatmilk is no exception.

Salt is often added to enhance the flavor of non-dairy beverages.  Additionally, gums and thickeners added to improve the texture of oat milk often contain sodium.

More than 90% of us consume too much sodium each day according to the Dietary Guidelines of America.(9)   Read more on the recommended daily intake of sodium and why you want to reduce your daily sodium intake.

Recommendation: If you are on a reduced salt diet, make sure you avoid oat milks with high levels of sodium

6. Healthy Oat Milks Avoid Lecithin

healthy almond milk avoids lecithin

Lecithin is an emulsifier that is found naturally in egg yolks, soy beans and even sunflower seeds.  As an emulsifier, lecithin helps keep oils or fats suspended in water.  Lecithin helps keep natural and added oil suspended in oat milk.

Lecithin is an excellent source of choline, a B vitamin.  And there is conflicting research linking choline to the formation of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a biomarker for cardiovascular disease. (9)

However, a recent clinical study evaluating the effect of eating eggs on biomarkers for cardiovascular disease risk found that while as many as three eggs a day resulted in a dose-dependent increase in blood choline levels, no corresponding increase in TMAO was observed. (10)

More research is needed to understand the complex interactions between the foods we eat, our microbiome, and our health.  However if you are trying to minimize your choline intake, there are many packaged oat milk options that do not contain lecithin. 

Recommendation: It is advisable to purchase additive-free oatmilk whenever possible.

Which popular oat-based beverages are healthy?

We evaluated popular oat milks based on the following criteria. (11 – 28)

Criteria used to evaluate oatmilk

Cartoon clipboard with oatmilk evaluation critera.  Oat Milk is scored based on amount of added sugar and if the oat milk contains gums and thickeners, glyphosate residue, lecithin and high levels of sodium.

All information below is for a 1 cup serving.

Types of added sugar are red.   Thickeners, gums and lecithin are bold.

No store-bought oat milks can be considered truly healthy options

The healthiest oat milks contain only two simple ingredients: water and oats.

However, unlike healthy almond milks, there is another factor to consider with oatmilk. Specifically, the carbohydrates in oat milk are quickly processed into simple sugars by both the oatmilk manufacturing process and also how our bodies digest oat milk.

It is also important to note that the amount of simple sugars created from the carbohydrates in oats varies widely from brand to brand.

Oat Milk is a High Glycemic Index Food

Our body is able to rapidly break apart processed carbohydrates into simple sugars.

Foods that rapidly increase blood glucose levels are known as high Glycemic Index (GI) foods.

The Glycemic Index of oat milk has been measured to be 69. For comparison, reduced fat milk has a GI of around 30. (29)

Eating a diet made up of mostly high-GI foods is associated with chronic disease and strongly associated with heart disease.

To learn more about how foods we eat can affect blood sugar, health and even how hungry we are during the day, check out this study comparing oatmeal and eggs for breakfast.

Oat milk probably isn’t a wise choice if you are on a low carbohydrate diet or otherwise need to avoid high glycemic index foods.

If oat milk is your beverage of choice, it is important to read the label and choose the healthiest option for your specific dietary needs.

Examples of healthy oat milks:

Unfortunately, none of the oat milks we evaluated could be considered healthy. The few oatmilks without any form of added sugar contained gums or thickeners added to improve the texture of the product.

If you have the time and a good high-speed blender, consider making your own oat milk.

Oat milks that are okay:

A few of the oat based beverages we evaluated fall into the “okay” category. 

If you are okay with consuming a small amount of gellan gum, lecithin, or simple sugars, one of these three options might work for you.

However, if you are following a particular diet which avoids gums or thickeners, you will want to avoid these oat-based beverages.

No preference is given to any of these plant-based beverages, and they are listed in alphabetical order.

Chobani Oat Zero Sugar Plain Oat Milk

Nutritional information for Chobani Oat Zero Sugar Plain Oat Milk

Chobani Oat Zero Sugar Plain Oat Milk Ingredients: Water, whole grain oats, rapeseed oil (low erucic acid), sea salt, natural flavors, nutrient extract blend (fruit and vegetable sources), calcium carbonate, gellan gum, dipotassium phosphate.

Reasons to consider Chobani Oat Zero Sugar Plain Oat Milk:

  • Made from whole grain oats
  • No added sugar, including sugars created by processing oats
  • Organic oats, so likely glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons why you may want to think twice about buying Chobani Oat Zero Sugar Plain Oat Milk:

  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Elmhurst Milked Oats Unsweetened

Nutritional information for Elmhurst Milked Oats Unsweetened Oat Milk

Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Oats Ingredients: Filtered water, whole grain oats, salt

Reasons to consider Pacific Foods Reduced Sugar Oat Plant-Based Beverage:

  • Made from whole grain oats
  • Likely low level of added sugar created by oat processing, but not verified because nutrition level has not been updated to reflect added sugars from oat processing
  • Certified glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons why you may want to think twice about buying Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Oats:

  • Nutrition label hasn’t been updated to account for added sugars created during manufacturing.

Pacific Foods Organic Oat Plant-Based Beverage Reduced Sugar

Nutritional information for Pacific Foods Organic Oat Plant-based Beverage

Pacific Foods Reduced Sugar Oat Plant-Based Beverage Ingredients: Water, organic oats, gellan gum, sea salt, sunflower lecithin, tricalcium phosphate, vitamin D2

Reasons to consider Pacific Foods Reduced Sugar Oat Plant-Based Beverage:

  • Low level of added sugar from oat processing
  • Organic oats, so likely glyphosate free

Reasons why you may want to think twice about buying Pacific Foods Reduced Sugar Oat Milk:

  • Thickened with highly processed gums
  • Contains lecithin

Oat milks to avoid:

Several store-bought oat milks are not healthy options.  They often contain too much added sugar or other additives that are best avoided in a healthy diet.

It is worth noting that not all oat-based milks categorized as “avoid” are equal. Some oat milk brands are free of additives, but contain more salt than can be considered a regular part of a healthy diet. Other oatmilks contain highly processed thickeners and other undesirable ingredients.

The following oat-based beverages should be avoided or consumed only after thoughtful consideration.  These oatmilks are listed in order from least to most added sugar.

Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The 0g Sugar One

Nutritional information for Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The 0g Sugar One

Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The 0g Sugar One Ingredients: Oatmilk (filtered water, whole grain oat flour), sunflower oil, vitamin and mineral blend (calcium carbonate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, riboflavin, vitamin B12), dipotassium phosphate, gellan gum, sea salt, locust bean gum, ascorbic acid, natural flavor

Reasons to consider Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The 0g Sugar One:

  • Made from whole grain oats
  • No added sugar, including sugars created by processing oats

Reasons to avoid Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The 0g Sugar One:

  • Thickened with highly processed gums
  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats

Dream Oat Beverage Unsweetened

Nutritional information for Dream Oat Beverage Unsweetened

Dream Oat Beverage Unsweetened Ingredients: Oat base (water, oats), safflower oil, calcium carbonate, sea salt, vitamin D2, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B12, tricalcium phosphate

Reasons to consider Dream Oat Beverage Unsweetened:

  • Minimal added sugar. Sugars created by processing oats
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons to avoid Dream Oat Beverage Unsweetened:

  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats

Willa’s Oat M!lk Original

Nutritional information for Willa's Oat M!lk Original

Willa’s Original Oat M!lk Ingredients: Filtered water, whole grain oats, vanilla, sea salt

Reasons to consider Willa’s Original Oat M!lk:

  • Made from whole grain oats
  • Low level of added sugar. Sugars created by processing oats
  • Organic oats, so likely glyphosate free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons to avoid Willa’s Original Oat M!lk:

  • One cup contains 160 mg sodium, the second highest amount of all the evaluated oat milks

Califia Farms Oatmilk Barista Blend

Nutritional information for Califia Farms Oatmilk Barista Blend

Califia Farms Oatmilk Barista Blend Ingredients: Water, oats, sunflower oil, dipotassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt

Reasons to consider Califia Farms Oatmilk Barista Blend:

  • Made from whole grain oats
  • Low level of added sugar. Sugars created by processing oats
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons to avoid Califia Farms Oatmilk Barista Blend:

  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats

Pacific Foods Barista Series Oat Plant Based Beverage

Nutritional information for Pacific Foods Barista Series Oat Plant Based Beverage Original

Pacific Foods Barista Series Oat Plant Based Beverage Ingredients: Water, oats, organic canola oil, dipotassium phosphate, sea salt, sodium citrate, tricalcium phosphate

Reasons to consider Pacific Foods Barista Series Oat Plant Based Beverage:

  • Low level of added sugar. Sugars created by processing oats

Reasons to avoid Pacific Foods Barista Series Oat Plant Based Beverage:

  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats
  • One cup contains 160 mg sodium, the second highest amount of all the evaluated oat milks

Willa’s Oat M!lk Creamy Oatmilk

Nutritional information for Willa's Oat M!lk Creamy Oatmilk

Willa’s Oat M!lk Creamy Oatmilk: Filtered water, whole grain oats, sunflower oil, vanilla extract, cane sugar, calcium carbonate, gum acacia, gellan gum, lecithin, salt

Reasons to consider Willa’s Oat M!lk Creamy Oatmilk:

  • Made from whole grain oats
  • Low level of added sugar, including sugars created by processing oats
  • Organic oats, so likely glyphosate free

Reasons to avoid Willa’s Oat M!lk Creamy Oatmilk:

  • Thickened with highly processed gums
  • Contains lecithin
  • Sweetened with cane sugar in addition to natural sugars from oats
  • One cup contains 160 mg sodium, the highest amount of all the evaluated oat milks

Califia Farms Original Oatmilk

Nutritional information for Califia Farms Original Oatmilk

Califia Farms Original Oatmilk: Water, oats, sunflower oil, dipotassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt

Reasons to consider Califia Farms Original Oatmilk:

  • Low level of added sugar. Sugars created by processing oats
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons to avoid Califia Farms Original Oatmilk:

  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats

Planet Oat Oatmilk Original

Nutritional information for Planet Oat Original Oatmilk

Planet Oat Original Oatmilk: Oatmilk (filtered water, oats), calcium carbonate, dipotassium phosphate, sea salt, gellan gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12

Reasons to consider Planet Oat Oatmilk Original:

  • Low level of added sugar. Sugars created by processing oats
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons to avoid Planet Oat Oatmilk Original:

  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Malk Organic Oat Milk Original

Nutritional information for Malk Organic Oat Milk Ingredients

Malk Organic Oat Milk Ingredients: Filtered water, organic gluten-free oats, himalayan salt

Reasons to consider Malk Organic Oat Milk:

  • Certified glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons to avoid Malk Organic Oat Milk:

  • Each one cup serving contains 5 grams of added sugar created by processing oats.
  • One cup contains 170 mg sodium, the highest amount of all the evaluated oatmilks

Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The Plain One

Nutritional information for Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The Plain One

Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The Plain One Ingredients: Oatmilk (filtered water, oat concentrate), sunflower oil, vitamin and mineral blend (calcium carbonate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12), dipotassium phosphate, sea salt, gellan gum, ascorbic acid

Reasons to avoid Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The Plain One:

  • Each one cup serving contains 5 grams of added sugar created by processing oats.
  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Happy Planet Original Oatmilk

Nutritional information for Happy Planet Original Oatmilk

Happy Planet Original Oatmilk Ingredients: Oat base (filtered water, gluten-free oats), sunflower oil, sea salt, gellan gum, locust bean gum, vitamins and minerals (tricalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, zinc gluconate)

Reasons to consider Happy Planet Original Oatmilk:

  • Certified glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons to avoid Happy Planet Original Oatmilk:

  • Each one cup serving contains 1.5 teaspoons of added sugar created by processing oats
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Oatly! Oat-Milk

Nutritional information for Oatly! Oat-Milk Original

Oatly! Oat-Milk Ingredients: Oatmilk (water, oats), rapeseed oil, dipotassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, sea salt, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin D2, vitamin A

Reasons to consider Oatly! Oat-Milk:

  • Certified glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons to avoid Oatly! Oat-Milk:

  • One cup contains 7 grams of added sugar created by processing oats

Oatly! Oat-Milk Lowfat

Nutritional information for Oatly! Oat-Milk Lowfat

Oatly! Oat-Milk Lowfat Ingredients: Oatmilk (water, oats), dipotassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, dicalcium phosphate, vitamin B2, vitamin A, vitamin D2, vitamin B12

Reasons to consider Oatly! Oat-Milk Lowfat:

  • Certified glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons to avoid Oatly! Oat-Milk Lowfat:

  • One cup contains 7 grams of added sugar created by processing oats

Oatly! Oat-Milk Barista Edition

Nutritional information for Oatly! Oat-Milk Barista Edition

Oatly! Oat-Milk Barista Edition Ingredients: Oatmilk (water, oats), low erucic acid rapeseed oil, dipotassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, dicalcium phosphate, vitamin B2, vitamin A, vitamin D2, vitamin B12

Reasons to consider Oatly! Oat-Milk Barista Edition:

  • Certified glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons to avoid Oatly! Oat-Milk Barista Edition:

  • One cup contains 7 grams of added sugar created by processing oats. This is 35% of the daily recommended serving of added sugar for women

Chobani Oat Plain Oat Milk

Nutritional information for Chobani Oat Plain Oat Milk

Chobani Oat Plain Oat Milk Ingredients: Organic oat blend (water, organic whole grain oats), organic rapeseed oil (low erucic acid), sea salt, nutrient extract blend (fruit and vegetable sources), calcium carbonate, gellan gum, tricalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate

Reasons to consider Chobani Oat Plain Oat Milk:

  • Made from whole grain oats
  • Organic oats, so likely glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons to avoid Chobani Oat Plain Oat Milk:

  • One cup contains 7 grams of added sugar created by processing oats
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Chobani Oat Plain Extra Creamy Oat Milk

Nutritional information for Chobani Oat Plain Extra Creamy Oat Milk

Chobani Oat Plain Extra Creamy Oat Milk Ingredients: Organic oat blend (water, organic whole grain oats), organic rapeseed oil (low erucic acid), sea salt, nutrient extract blend (fruit and vegetable sources), calcium carbonate, gellan gum, tricalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate

Reasons to consider Chobani Oat Plain Extra Creamy Oat Milk:

  • Made from whole grain oats
  • Organic oats, so likely glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons to avoid Chobani Oat Plain Extra Creamy Oat Milk:

  • One cup contains 7 grams of added sugar created by processing oats
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Kirkland Signature Organic Non-Dairy Oat Beverage

Nutritional information for Kirkland Signature Organic Non-Dairy Oat Beverage

Kirkland Signature Organic Non-Dairy Oat Beverage Ingredients: Organic oat base (water, rolled oat flour), organic sunflower oil, calcium carbonate, sea salt, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, natural flavors, vitamin d2, vitamin a palmitate, vitamin b2, vitamin b12

Reasons to consider Kirkland Signature Organic Non-Dairy Oat Beverage:

  • Made from whole grain oats
  • Organic oats, so likely glyphosate free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons to avoid Kirkland Signature Organic Non-Dairy Oat Beverage:

  • One cup contains 7 grams of added sugar created by processing oats
  • Contains lecithin

Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The Extra Creamy One

Nutritional information for Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The Extra Creamy One

Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The Extra Creamy One Ingredients: Oatmilk (filtered water, oat concentrate), sunflower oil, vitamin and mineral blend (calcium carbonate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12), dipotassium phosphate, sea salt, gellan gum, locust bean gum, ascorbic acid, natural flavor

Reasons to avoid Silk Oat Yeah Oatmilk The Extra Creamy One:

  • One cup contains 7 grams of added sugar created by processing oats
  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Whole Foods 365 Original Shelf Stable Oatmilk

Nutritional information for Whole Foods 365 Original Shelf Stable Oatmilk

Whole Foods 365 Original Shelf Stable Oatmilk Ingredients: Oatmilk (filtered water, oats), sunflower seed oil, tricalcium phosphate, potassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, sea salt, gellan gum, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12

Reasons to avoid Whole Foods 365 Original Shelf Stable Oatmilk:

  • One cup contains 7 grams of added sugar created by processing oats
  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Whole Foods 365 Original Oatmilk

Nutritional information for Whole Foods 365 Original Oatmilk

Whole Foods 365 Original Oatmilk Ingredients: Oatmilk (filtered water, oats), sunflower seed oil, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, gellan gum, potassium phosphate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B2, vitamin B12

Reasons to avoid Whole Foods 365 Original Oatmilk:

  • One cup contains 7 grams of added sugar created by processing oats
  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Rise Oat Milk

Nutritional information for Rise Oat Milk

Rise Oat Milk Ingredients: Water, organic oat flour, organic sunflower oil, sea salt

Reasons to avoid Rise Oat Milk:

  • One cup contains 8 grams of added sugar created by processing oats. This is two teaspoons of sugar per one cup serving or 40% of the daily recommended serving of added sugar for women

Chobani Oat Plain Barista Edition Oat Milk Ingredients

Nutritional information for Chobani Oat Plain Barista Edition Oat Milk Ingredients

Chobani Oat Plain Barista Edition Oat Milk Ingredients: Organic oat blend (water, whole grain oats), canola oil, sea salt, nutrient extract blend (fruit and vegetable sources), calcium carbonate, gellan gum, tricalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate

Reasons to avoid Chobani Oat Plain Barista Edition Oat Milk Ingredients:

  • One cup contains 10 grams of added sugar created by processing oats
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Dream Original Oat Beverage

Nutritional information for Dream Original Oat Beverage

Dream Original Oat Beverage Ingredients: Oat base (water, oats), safflower oil, calcium carbonate, sea salt, vitamin D2, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B12, tricalcium phosphate

Reasons to avoid Dream Original Oat Beverage:

  • One cup contains 11 grams of added sugar created by processing oats. Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats

Pacific Foods Original Oat Plant-Based Beverage

Nutritional information for Pacific Foods Original Oat Plant-Based Beverage

Pacific Foods Original Oat Plant-Based Beverage Ingredients: Water, oats, oat bra, gellan gum, sea salt, tricalcium phosphate, vitamin D2

Reasons to avoid Pacific Foods Original Oat Plant-Based Beverage:

  • One cup contains more than 4 teaspoons of added sugar created by processing oats. This is 85% of the daily recommended serving of added sugar for women
  • Thickened with highly processed gums

Thrive Market Original Oat Non-Dairy Beverage

Nutritional information for Thrive Market Original Oat Non-Dairy Beverage

Thrive Market Original Oat Non-Dairy Beverage Ingredients: Water, organic oats

Reasons to consider Thrive Market Original Oat Non-Dairy Beverage:

  • Organic oats, so likely glyphosate free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons to avoid Thrive Market Original Oat Non-Dairy Beverage:

  • Nutrition Facts label not updated to include added sugars created by processing oats. Unclear how much added sugar is in each serving

Oatsome Organic Oat Drink

Nutritional information for Oatsome Organic Oat Drink

Oatsome Organic Oat Drink Ingredients: Oatmilk (water, organic gluten-free oats), organic sunflower oil, sea salt, calcium carbonate, riboflavin, vitamin D, vitamin B12

Reasons to consider Oatsome Organic Oat Drink:

  • Organic oats, so likely glyphosate free
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons to avoid Oatsome Organic Oat Drink:

  • Nutrition Facts label not updated to include added sugars created by processing oats. Unclear how much added sugar is in each serving

Elmhurst Milked Oats Original Oat Milk

Nutritional information for Elmhurst Milked Oats Original Oat Milk

Elmhurst Milked Oats Original Oat Milk Ingredients: Filtered water, whole grain oats, cane sugar, salt, natural flavors

Reasons to consider Elmhurst Milked Oats Original Oat Milk:

  • Made from whole grain oats
  • Certified glyphosate free
  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers
  • Certified gluten free

Reasons to avoid Elmhurst Milked Oats Original Oat Milk:

  • One cup contains 4 grams of added sugar from cane sugar
  • Nutrition Facts label not updated to include added sugars created by processing oats. Unclear how much added sugar is in each serving

Simply Oat Original Oat Milk

Nutritional information for Simply Oat Original Oat Milk

Simply Oat Original Oat Milk Ingredients: Oat milk (filtered water, oat extract, oat flour), cane sugar, natural flavors, salt

Reasons to avoid Simply Oat Original Oat Milk:

  • One cup contains 4 grams of added sugar from cane sugar
  • Nutrition Facts label not updated to include added sugars created by processing oats. Unclear how much added sugar is in each serving
  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats

Simply Oat Creamy Oat Milk

Nutritional information for Simply Oat Creamy Oat Milk

Simply Oat Creamy Oat Milk Ingredients: Oatmilk (filtered water, oat extract, oat flour), sunflower oil, cane sugar, natural flavors, salt

Reasons to avoid Simply Oat Creamy Oat Milk:

  • One cup contains 4 grams of added sugar from cane sugar
  • Nutrition Facts label not updated to include added sugars created by processing oats. Unclear how much added sugar is in each serving
  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats

Minor Figures Oat M*lk

Nutritional Information for Minor Figures Oat M*lk

Minor Figures Oat M*lk Ingredients: Water, oats, rapeseed oil, tricalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt

Reasons to consider Minor Figures Oat M*lk:

  • Free of highly-processed gums, thickeners and emulsifiers

Reasons to avoid Minor Figures Oat M*lk:

  • Nutrition Facts label not updated to include added sugars created by processing oats. Unclear how much added sugar is in each serving
  • Possible glyphosate residue from conventional oats

Conclusions about choosing a healthy oat milk

When it comes to finding a healthy oat milk, simple clean ingredients are best. 

However, because the process of making oatmilk creates added sugars, it is important to carefully read the ingredient label to understand how much added sugar is in your favorite oat milk.

If you have the time, it is best to make your own homemade oat milk.

What about the vitamins in oat milk? 

Vitamins are added to the plant-based milks so the manufactures can claim that the plant-based beverage is a “good source” of these nutrients.

Commercial oat milks often contain vitamins including vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin E, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12 and calcium carbonate.

Is it good to drink an oat milk with vitamins?  It won’t hurt you.  However, if you need to supplement your diet with specific vitamins, you are likely better off taking a high quality vitamin supplement.

What is the difference between shelf stable oat milk and refrigerated oat milk?

From an ingredient standpoint, there is very little difference between shelf stable and refrigerated oatmilk. 

The biggest difference between a shelf stable oat milk and a refrigerated oat milk is how it is packaged. Shelf stable beverages are packaged in an aseptic (sterile) way so they can sit on a shelf without refrigeration until after they are opened.

What is dipotassium phosphate, and why is it in oatmilk?

Dipotassium phosphate is a buffer, which helps keep a liquid at the correct acidity. It is added to oat milk help prevent curdling or separation when heated.

Many shelf stable oat milks contain dipotassium phosphate to protect the beverage during the aseptic packaging process.

Dipotassium phosphate is not considered potentially harmful and there is a reasonable amount of research available on its safety. (30)

However, if you are concerned about consuming phosphates in general, there are several oat milk options that avoid using this additive.

What is a Barista Blend Oat Milk?

Plant-based milks labeled as Barista Blends have been specially formulated to create an attractive foam on a cappuccino or latte.  Barista beverages tend to contain more fat and have minor formulation differences that help the plant-based beverage perform well in coffee drinks.

Just like any store-bought product, it is best to read the ingredients on something you are going to eat or drink.  You can always ask to see the oat milk carton before ordering your favorite coffee beverage.

Check out these other product evaluations:

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Popular oat milk packaging and evaluation of Pacific Foods oat plant-based beverage

References:

  1. U.S. retail market data for the plant-based industry, Good Food Institute Website (link)
  2. Breakfast with a dose of Roundup?, EWG Website, 2018 (link)
  3. Modeling for Gellan Gum Production by Sphingomonas paucimobilis ATCC 31461 in a Simplified Medium, Applied and Environmental Microbiology May 2006, 72 (5) 3367-3374 (link)
  4. Products, CPKelco Website (link)
  5. Re-evaluation of Gellan Gum as a Food Additive, EFSA Website, (link)
  6. Re-evaluation of Locust Bean Gum as a Food Additive, EFSA Website, (link)
  7. Re‐evaluation of acacia gum (E 414) as a food additive, EFSA Website, (link)
  8. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020, Eighth Ed.  (link)
  9. Choline, TMAO, and Heart Health, 2017, Cleveland HeartLab Website, (link)
  10. Intake of up to 3 Eggs/Day Increases HDL Cholesterol and Plasma Choline While Plasma Trimethylamine-N-oxide is Unchanged in a Healthy Population, Lipids, March 2017, (link)
  11. Chobani Oat-based Website (link)
  12. Elmhurst 1925 Website (link)
  13. Pacific Foods Website (link)
  14. Silk Website (link)
  15. Dream Plant Based Website (link)
  16. Willa’s Kitchen Website (link)
  17. Califia Farms Website (link)
  18. Planet Oat Website (link)
  19. Malk Website (link)
  20. Happy Planet Website (link)
  21. Oatly! Website (link)
  22. Kirkland Signature Oat Milk Packaging, Costco Website (link)
  23. Whole Foods Website (link)
  24. Rise Brewing Co. Website (link)
  25. Thrive Market Website (link)
  26. Better Body Foods Oatsome Website (link)
  27. Coca-Cola’s Simply Orange Juice, Simply Oat Website (link)
  28. Minor Figures Website (link)
  29. The University of Sydney Website, Glycemic Index Database (link)
  30. Is Disodium Phosphate Bad for You?, Healthline Website (link)
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