If you neither drink cow's milk nor eat anything with gluten, is oat milk a good alternative? Is oat milk gluten-free?
Yes, oat milk is naturally gluten-free and contains no ingredients with gluten. However, gluten could accidentally end up in your oats if they are harvested with other grains. The most gluten-sensitive people should only drink oat milk if it's certified gluten-free.
I regularly drink oat milk on a low-gluten diet and have no problems. If you are on a zero-gluten diet and want to minimize the chances of accidental exposure, look for gluten-free certification.
Is Oat Milk Gluten Free?
Oats are a gluten-free food. Oats are found in wheat, rye, and barley, not in oats, rice, or other grains. Normally, oat milk will have zero gluten in it.
Is Oat Milk Safe If You Have Celiac Disease?
People with celiac disease are often very sensitive to gluten and can have an allergic reaction if they eat a small amount of it. Normally, oat milk has zero gluten, so you can eat it even if a small amount of gluten can make you sick.
Is It Guaranteed To Be Gluten-Free?
Unfortunately, there's a chance that your oat milk will contain a small amount of gluten. Oats never contain gluten, and I am not aware of any brand of oat milk that intentionally adds wheat, barley, or rye. However, cross-contamination is possible.
Cross-contamination is accidental contamination with gluten because of the oats being mixed with other grains. This happens often in many foods, and it will affect you at some point if you are very sensitive to gluten.
However, certified gluten-free foods are tested and proven to contain no gluten or only an extremely small amount of it.
Buy Milk From Certified Gluten Free Oats
If your gluten sensitivity is moderate, you might not insist on gluten-free certification. You might merely look at the ingredients list.
Gluten that isn't certified gluten-free may still not have any gluten in it. However, if your sensitivity is severe, stick to certified oat milk.
What Brands Are Certified Gluten-Free?
Thankfully, many oat milk brands are gluten-free certified. Gluten-free diets are common, so there are a lot of certified gluten-free foods and drinks on the market. Oatly, Elmhurst, Planet Out, and Califia Farms are well-known brands.
Do Other Brands Contain Gluten?
Usually, there won't be any gluten in your milk. Non-certified oat milk will be fine most of the time.
You Can Use Oat Milk For Anything
You don't have to drink oat milk straight, although many people do. You can use it for cooking, cereal, smoothies, tea, and more. You can bake it with oat milk or use it to make milk-free ice cream.
Oat Milk for Cereal
Cereal with oat milk is often tastier than cereal with cow's milk. Oat milk is sweeter, so you can make non-sugary cereal taste great. Other than being sweeter, the taste is similar to dairy milk.
Oat milk is a good dairy alternative because it is loaded with calcium, which you might lack if you give up dairy.
Oat Milk in Tea or Coffee
Oat milk is a perfectly good alternative to dairy for flavoring your tea and coffee.
Oat Milk for Baked Foods
Oat milk is similar enough to cow's milk that you can often substitute the same amount of one for the other in a recipe. The oat flavor often improves your baked goods.
Oat Milk for Cooking
Cooking with oat milk is somewhat different from cooking with cow's milk, but it isn't completely different. A lot of the time, you can simply substitute oat milk for cow's milk and your food will still turn out great.
However, it depends on the recipe. Separation is a problem - when exposed to heat, the ingredients in oat milk might separate. Shaking the milk before you use it can prevent this.
Is Oat Milk Good For You?
Oat milk can lower your risk of heart disease, so it certainly has health benefits. A lot of it is artificially sweetened, so it might also be bad for some people.
Don't start drinking sugary oat milk if you are already eating too much sugar. If you have high cholesterol, oat milk is proven to lower it.
Is Oat Milk Nutritious?
Yes, oat milk has a lot of vitamins and minerals. It is also high in fiber, though not high in protein. The vitamins and minerals include:
Magnesium might be the most important vitamin that many or most people don't get enough of. It is used by cells all over your body and you can improve your overall physical and mental health by taking magnesium.
It helps your nerves, muscles, energy production, and much more. While having your magnesium levels temporarily drop too low may not cause symptoms, it increases the risk of some serious diseases if the levels stay low for too long.
Phosphorus also does many things for your body, especially maintaining your bones and teeth. It also supports your nervous system and kidneys.
Phosphorus is needed to remove waste from your body and repair damaged cells. Most but not all people get enough phosphorus in their diet.
Copper is good for your immune system, blood vessels, bones, and nerves. Like iron, it is a metal your body needs to make blood cells. It also helps your body absorb iron instead of letting it pass through the body unused.
Copper might (according to animal rather than human studies) treat arthritis. It also helps produce collagen, which can make your face look younger and healthier.
Serious copper deficiencies are linked to cardiovascular disease and other diseases. You might get osteoporosis if your copper levels are chronically low.
Oat milk also contains thiamin, manganese, zinc, and folate.
Fortified oat milk may contain additional vitamins. You might find a lot of vitamin A, vitamin D, potassium, and riboflavin. You can improve your hea
lth by drinking oat milk.
Does Oat Milk Help You Lose Weight?
Oat milk might be good for weight loss. It can fill your stomach plus nourish you properly, preventing hunger.
However, it is not very low in calories. If you are trying to lose weight, try oat milk without a lot of sugar in it.
Is Oat Milk Good If You Have Lactose Intolerance?
Yes, oat milk is a great alternative if you have lactose intolerance. It is completely lactose-free.
Does Oat Milk Contain Preservatives?
Yes, a lot of it does, and at least some preservatives are bad for you. Oat milk from Elmhurst is free of preservatives as well as gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Oat Milk And Nut Allergies
Oat milk is generally safe for people with nut allergies. Usually, there are no nut ingredients in oat milk.
However, check the ingredients as some brands could possibly include nuts. Cross-contamination is also possible.
Are Some People Intolerant To Oats?
Yes, some people are intolerant to oats, oat milk, and oat flour. Oats contain a protein called avenin, which some people are allergic to. You may get a runny nose, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or at worst anaphylaxis.
It is important not to ignore the relatively mild sensitivity to oats. If you eat oats even though they make you sick, the symptoms might become chronic. The same is true for gluten - you can wreck your digestive health by eating gluten even though you are intolerant to it.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker