Oat milk is the best dairy milk alternative on the market, period. It’s the tastiest, the most versatile, and by far the most environmentally friendly.
And being that dairy milk isn’t always a suitable option for keto dieters, you’re likely considering replacements as we speak.
The question is, can you drink oat milk on the keto diet? Well, technically, yes, but it’s probably not the best course of action if you want to eat well throughout the day.
Want to know why that is? Stick with us, and we’ll give you the skinny on this not-so-skinny milk alternative.
An Introduction To Oat Milk
The concept of oat milk seems a little strange when first encountered, so let’s quickly run through the production process to provide a more complete understanding of what it actually is.
In simple terms, oat milk is water enriched with the goodness of oats. It’s produced over the course of multiple steps including soaking, blending, and filtration, and once complete, looks an awful lot like milk, sometimes with a slightly creamier hue.
Can You Make Oat Milk At Home?
While it can be quite time-consuming, you can absolutely make oat milk yourself at home. You’ll begin by soaking lots of oat seeds overnight. When morning comes, blend the seeds, adding even more water.
When you feel you’ve ground the seeds as finely as possible, filter the liquid through fine gauze or perhaps a bit of cheesecloth, and voilà; you’ve got oat milk!
If you’re not happy with the taste, you can augment it with vanilla essence or seeds, or a very small amount of salt. However, as mentioned earlier, if you’re giving keto a go, you probably shouldn’t bother.
Is Oat Milk Keto-Friendly?
The reason you should steer clear of oat milk on keto is that, as great as it is, it contains quite a lot of carbohydrates and proteins, both of which you’re trying to minimize in your diet.
That’s not to say it doesn’t have plenty of fats in there too, because it does, but the carb-to-fat and protein-to-fat ratios are significantly imbalanced in favor of carbs and protein.
The Nutritional Value Of Oat Milk
Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the nutritional value of oat milk based on 240 ml (8 Oz) of an unsweetened formulation:
- Calories: 79.2 kcal
- Fat: 1.49 grams
- Protein: 4.01 grams
- Carbohydrates: 14 grams
- Fiber: 1.92 grams
- Net Carbs: 12.08 grams
Is Oat Milk A Healthy Milk Alternative?
While the nutritional breakdown above doesn’t paint an overwhelmingly healthy picture, there are still some things left unsaid about oat milk.
For one, it’s incredibly filling and leaves you and your belly feeling very satisfied. It’s also rich in beta-glucan, an insoluble fiber that has a myriad of health benefits including but not limited to lower cholesterol, controlled appetite, and a more robust immune system.
The stacked protein levels are also fantastic for muscle and joint health, particularly for those who work out and need lots of protein to aid in recovery during downtime.
Oat milk also boasts plenty of riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12, the latter of which is extremely important to cellular and blood health.
Combined with the B2 content (riboflavin), B12 can lift our mood, improve the quality of our skin, hair, and nails, and combat oxidative stress — Thanks, B vitamins!
Granted, oat milk isn’t quite as beneficial as whole oats are themselves, as it’s derived from oat seeds, but most oat milk brands make up for this by supplementing their formulations with micronutrients… We’re talking iron, more calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and D.
So, yes, oat milk is indeed healthy when consumed in moderation; it’s just not suitable for the keto diet.
Can Keto Dieters Drink Oat Milk?
Okay, so here’s the deal. Technically, you can drink oat milk when keto-ing, but considering there are 12 net grams of carbs in only 240 ml (about the volume you’d pour with your cereal), even this small amount would account for more than half of your daily carbohydrate allowance.
Granted, that only applies to the strictest of keto dieters, with a more lenient carb ceiling falling around the 50 grams per day mark, but even so, you may want to spread your carb intake more evenly over the course of your meals.
If you still plan on drinking it, use it sparingly, perhaps only once every other day, and be sure to monitor your carb intake closely on the days you do.
Remember, though, it’s not just the carbs you need to be wary of when indulging in this milk substitute. The ketogenic diet also calls for low protein and low-calorie foods and drinks, both of which oat milk has in spades.
In light of this, drinking oat milk while dieting is going to complicate your nutrition tracking a great deal, meaning, though it’s delicious and healthy, it’s probably not the best option for you.
Keto-Friendly Oat Milk Substitutes
Whole dairy milk isn’t a bad option for keto in moderation, but unsweetened almond milk is a healthier alternative, as it contains tons of calcium. Soy milk isn’t quite as healthy, but is often more affordable,
Hazelnut milk is another one you could try, as is cashew milk, or if you want to go a little off the beaten track, why not give rice milk a shot?
Is oat milk a keto-friendly drink? Strictly speaking, no. Those who are following the principles of the ketogenic diet religiously will avoid this milk like the plague, as only 240 ml of the stuff accounts for over 50% of their daily carb allowance.
A swig here and there isn’t the worst thing in the world for those keeping to a higher carb ceiling, but it’s still not really an appropriate milk on this particular diet.
You’ll be much better off choosing one of the more keto-friendly alternatives listed above, as accidentally imbibing too much oak milk may completely derail your efforts.