Updated: Aug 25, 2021
So, last week we had a wonderful chat with Georgina from The Nutrient Gap . We asked her a few questions about the nutrition behind oat milk and for some of her top tips about staying healthy. She was also able to create nutritional profiles for both shop-bought oat milk and homemade oat milk, which you can find below!
"What are the benefits of oats?"
"Oats are incredibly nutritious, versatile, well balanced and one of the cheapest main staples you can buy. "
Oats are high in fibre:
"Oats contain both soluble fibre and insoluble
fibre. Adding fibre to the diet will help support the digestion system and keep the gut healthy. The soluble fibre keeps the body feeling fuller for longer and the insoluble fibre helps food to move through the digestion system.
Without fibre in the diet, you would be more at risk of various health conditions such as colon cancer, gut issues and constipation. Oats also contain a substance called Beta Glucan, which is a form of soluble fibre. This type of fibre helps to reduce cholesterol, which reduces the risk of heart disease. "
They are a source of Thiamine and Manganese:
"Oats are a great source of Thiamine (Vitamin B1) and Manganese. Thiamine enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy. Thiamine is essential for glucose metabolism, and it plays a key role in nerve, muscle, and heart function. Manganese contributes to many bodily functions, including the metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol, glucose, and carbohydrates. It also plays a role in bone formation, blood clotting, and reducing inflammation."
They keep you fuller for longer:
"Oats are also a complex carbohydrate which converts glucose to energy for the body. This type of energy is slow releasing, hence why many people eat oats for breakfast or to fuel a workout. Many athletes also eat oats post workout as the protein content helps with the repair of muscles. Oats are also low in saturated fat.
What is there not to love about oats!"
"Is oat milk better for you than dairy milk?"
"This is quite a difficult question as there are many different health benefits to drinking both types of milk so the best way to answer this is by comparison.
The most popular types of dairy milk are whole, semi skimmed or skimmed milk and each one has a varying amount of fat. If we compare semi skimmed milk (the most popular variety), calorie wise it is very much the same, however, semi skimmed milk contains 1.8g fat/100ml whereas a popular original brand of oat milk contains 1.5g fat/100ml.
Semi Skimmed milk also contains higher protein and calcium levels than oat milk but no fibre. Oat milk is a great source of fibre as mentioned previously, having a form of beta glucan which helps to lower cholesterol along with a very low saturated fat content of 0.1g/100ml compared to semi skimmed milk which has 1.1g/100ml.
One thing we can champion oat milk for is, it is totally 100% plant based and good for the environment. Cows produce incredible amounts of methane that makes its way into the atmosphere and is toxic for the planet’s health. They also require large quantities of land, fertilizer, and water to raise.
Oat milk is a greener alternative to regular cow’s milk and an ideal alternative for vegans and those on plant-based diets, it is also nut and soya free too."
"Do you drink oat milk? And if so, why?"
"I love oat milk and you will find this in my fridge along with almond milk and soya milk. Each milk has different properties and I use the different milks depending on what I am cooking. I particularly like oat milk in my coffee and when making anything sweet such as desserts. The natural creaminess of the milk gives it a great comfort factor and can be easily be drank solo. I also drink oat milk straight away after a long run as it is easy and quick to drink to help build up my glycogen levels and repair of my muscles. In fact, Oat Milk was my ‘go to’ replenishment drink whilst training for the Brighton Marathon a few years ago."
"What would be your top 3 pieces of advice as a Nutritional Advisor?"
"Drink water at least 2 litres a day to naturally flush out toxins, keeping you hydrated. It is one thing people do not do enough of.
Eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables – fruit and vegetables have natural compounds (phytochemicals) that give fruit and vegetables their colour. Many of these phytochemicals are antioxidants (natural chemicals that are thought to protect against harmful substances called free radicals), and diets rich in foods that contain these, like fruits and vegetables, are associated with lower levels of cardiovascular disease, plus they are full of fibre!
Eat whole foods and cook from scratch rather than buying processed food. When cooking from scratch you can control your salt and sugar intake and use unsaturated fats such as olive oil which is so much better for you compared to the trans fats and saturated fats you get in convenience foods. You also cut out a lot of the extra additives that are put in foods to give them a longer shelf life."
The nutrient profiles of homemade oat milk and shop-bought oat milk
The following is a profile of a bottle of homemade oat milk, made using the Kitleys recipe:
No preservatives or stabilisers
Uses 20.1% Oats
Very low salt. 0.7g/100ml.
Low Saturated Fat
Source of Fibre 1.6g/100ml
Source of Thiamine - 0.29mg/100ml = 19% RI
High in Manganese – 0.73mg/100ml = 37% RI
Can be totally gluten free if using Gluten free Oats
The nutrient profile of oat milk using a popular shop-bought brand:
Cannot always guarantee oats used are gluten free
Contains Oil such as Rapeseed or Sunflower oil
Contains stabilisers such as Gellan Gum
Only uses 9.8% Oats
A huge thank you to Georgina for chatting to us, you can find out more about her website The Nutrient Gap here.
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Disclaimer from Georgina: "Please note Nutrient profiling for Kitleys Oat Milk Kit is very generalised as an accurate profile would need to be lab tested, however, it gives you an overview that making your own Oat milk means it contains more Oats and less water than a branded milk which in turn makes for more Fibre, Thiamine and Manganese. And this supports my statement for cooking from scratch… 😊 "