Is Oat Milk Good For You? 

By Martha Davies

3 months ago

Had enough of the oat milk slander? Read on 

When it comes to dairy alternatives, oat milk has reigned supreme for years. It’s been the trusty (and trendy) sidekick to our coffee and our morning cereal – but, recently, it’s been the subject of fierce debate. Is it good for you? Or is the much-lauded milk actually packed with sugars and preservatives? If the prospect of giving it up feels particularly frightening, we’ve got you covered: here’s what you really need to know.

The Truth About Oat Milk

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when we all swore off cow’s milk and became devoted to oat, but, for many of us, the tasty dairy alternative is a pantry staple (and the only way we’ll drink our lattes, thank you.) Years ago, we were told that plant-based milks were less fattening, more sustainable, and, of course, rather trendy. As supermarkets stocked up and baristas (finally) relented, oat milk became the star of the show. Cow’s milk was a distant memory.

Oat milk being poured into a mug of coffee.


It’s been rather unnerving, then, to discover that oat milk may not, in fact, be the hero product we all believe it to be. The internet has been abuzz with theories and revelations: is oat milk full of additives? Are some oat milks better than others? Or is it time to find an alternative to the alternative? Read on for answers.

Is Oat Milk Ultra-Processed?

When we think of ultra-processed foods, we might think of biscuits or sliced bread – but many dairy alternatives are also technically ultra-processed and therefore less nutritious than we may think. According to the personalised nutrition company Zoe, oat milk does contain naturally-occurring nutrients, but many of these are destroyed during the manufacturing process.

Does It Contain Sugar?

Oat milk contains maltose, a natural sugar with a particularly high glycemic index – meaning that it will increase blood sugar more rapidly. This has raised concerns that the drink has a negative impact on our health; plus, a lot of oat milk contains additives which further its sugar content. However, plenty of nutritionists agree that, just like anything else, it’s fine in moderation.

So, Is It Actually Good For You?

Admittedly, the additives, sugars and synthetic ingredients in many types of oat milk aren’t exactly healthy – so it isn’t quite the perfect product we all might have thought it was. Crucially, though, it isn’t a total writeoff: according to Anna Sweeney, a registered dietitian interviewed by Business Insider, the blood sugar spike it might cause will usually be mitigated by the other things we’re eating and drinking, so you probably don’t have to panic quite as much as the internet says you do.

How To Choose Which Oat Milk To Buy

If all of this has you rattled and you’re thinking of trying out a new milk, try to avoid products with sweeteners, emulsifiers and preservatives. (This means, tragically, that barista blends aren’t brilliant, since their frothiness is a result of added oils). Anything fortified with calcium and vitamin D is also a great option as it helps with bone health.