Oat milk and almond milk are two popular plant-based beverages often found in dairy-free drinks and desserts.
Not only have they started popping up in cafes and smoothie bars recently, these milks have also become staples on the shopping list, with one review noting that sales of plant-based milks in the United States have increased by 61% between 2012 and 2016 (1).
However, if you’re looking to replace your milk with a dairy-free alternative, you might be wondering how oat milk and almond milk compare.
This article will take a closer look at the key similarities and differences between oat milk and almond milk, helping you decide which is right for you.
Oat milk and almond milk are nutritionally similar and contain about the same amount of calories in each serving.
However, there are some minor differences between the two drinks. For example, almond milk is slightly higher in fat and calcium, while oat milk contains more carbohydrates and iron.
Keep in mind that many brands are fortified, so these brands may contain higher amounts of certain nutrients, including calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D (4).
Additionally, some varieties of oat milk or almond milk are flavored or contain added sugar. It can also alter taste and nutrient profiles.
Almond milk contains slightly more fat and calcium per serving, while oat milk is higher in carbohydrates and fiber. However, the nutritional value may vary for sweetened, flavored or fortified products.
Oat milk and almond milk are both dairy-free and can be great additions to a vegan diet.
However, oat milk is also nut-free, which can be an important consideration for people with nut allergies.
Almond milk, on the other hand, is generally lower in carbs, which may make it a more suitable option for people following a low-carb or ketogenic diet (3).
Also, unlike oat milk, some types of almond milk can also be included in the paleo diet.
Both varieties of plant-based milk are also typically fortified with important micronutrients, such as vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B12 (4).
Although often missing from some plant-based or vegan diets, these nutrients play a key role in many aspects of your health (5).
Almond milk and oat milk are both dairy-free and vegan. Oat milk is also nut free. You can drink certain types of almond milk on a keto or paleo diet. Both are also often fortified with important nutrients like calcium and vitamins B12 and D.
Although both oat milk and almond milk can be included in a healthy, balanced diet, there are a few downsides for each to consider.
The nutritional value
Both varieties of plant-based milk contain less protein than cow’s milk, which contains about 8 grams of protein per cup (237 ml) (12).
Protein is important for many aspects of health, including muscle growth, tissue repair and immune function (13).
Unfortified brands of plant-based milks may also be lacking in other vitamins and minerals that cow’s milk provides naturally, such as calcium (12).
Some types may also contain added sugar. Consuming large amounts of added sugar may be associated with chronic health problems like heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. If you want to reduce your sugar intake, be sure to read the label carefully. (14).
While both types of plant-based milk are more environmentally friendly than cow’s milk, almond milk requires more natural resources to produce than oat milk (15).
In fact, almonds need a lot more water to grow than oats.
In fact, the average water footprint—which is the amount of water used to produce a food product—for a single California almond is estimated to be around 3.2 gallons (12 liters) (16).
Additionally, according to one study, approximately 80% of the world’s almonds are produced in California, which has experienced three severe droughts in the past decade (17).
This can be an important consideration for environmentally conscious consumers who wish to minimize their environmental impact.
Oat milk tends to have a naturally rich, creamy texture and, unlike almond milk, generally does not contain additives or thickeners, such as carrageenan.
Although carrageenan is generally considered safe in moderation, some test-tube studies suggest that it may disrupt digestive health and promote gut inflammation if consumed in large amounts (18, 19, 20, 21).
Additionally, although almond milk and oat milk are safe for children, neither should be used as a substitute for breast milk or cow’s milk for children under two years of age unless advised otherwise. of a healthcare professional (22, 23).
Almond and oat milk contain less protein than cow’s milk, and unfortified varieties may lack important nutrients. Some types may also contain added sugar, and almond milk often contains additives.
Oat milk has a naturally creamy consistency that works especially well for frothing, making it a great addition to dairy-free coffee drinks, like lattes.
Due to its carbohydrate content and natural sweetness, oat milk is often used in place of cow’s milk for baking, as it can improve the taste, texture, and color of some baked goods.
On the other hand, unsweetened almond milk is found to be lower in carbs, which may be preferable for those on a low-carb or ketogenic diet.
Almond milk also has a subtle nutty flavor and a thinner, more watery consistency. You may find that almond milk works well in smoothies, cereals, and savory recipes.
Oat milk has a sweeter taste, higher carbohydrate content and creamy consistency, which works well in frothy drinks and baked goods. Almond milk has a nutty flavor and thinner consistency, which is ideal for smoothies, cereals and savory recipes.
Oat milk and almond milk can be a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet. Choose the product based on your personal preferences and how you plan to use it.
However, no matter what type of plant-based milk you choose, be sure to check the ingredient label and look for unsweetened and fortified varieties whenever possible.
Also, avoid oat or almond milk products that contain a high amount of additives, fillers, or other artificial ingredients.
Although many brands have started removing carrageenan from their products, you can still find it in some varieties of almond milk and oat milk.
Further studies in humans are needed on the potential health effects of carrageenan consumption. In the meantime, you can opt for carrageenan-free plant milks if you want to limit your consumption.
Oat milk and almond milk can be a nutritious addition to a plant-based diet. Ideally, you should buy varieties with no added sugar or additives, fillers or other artificial ingredients.
Oat milk and almond milk are two popular plant-based beverages that share several similarities in terms of nutritional values and potential health benefits.
However, almond milk requires a greater amount of water to produce and sometimes contains additives, such as carrageenan. On the other hand, oat milk is found to be slightly higher in carbohydrates and may not fit some diets, such as keto or paleo diets.
Additionally, each may be better suited to certain types of recipes due to their differences in taste and texture.
Either way, both can be great additions to a healthy diet, depending on your personal needs and preferences.