Oat milk and oat drink: what’s the difference and is there a catch

ABOUTall milk is often chosen as an alternative to cow’s milk – it is now customary to hang almost all mortal sins on the latter. From a product not suitable only for people suffering from lactose intolerance, cow’s milk has become the main healthy lifestyle taboo. Together with three experts, an endocrinologist and nutritionist, BeautyHack is figuring out whether to drink oat milk and how to distinguish a really healthy drink from a fashionable substitute.

How is oat milk made?

Andrey Nevsky

Certified Nutritionist, Founder of the Comfortable Weight Loss School

Oat drink, as the name implies, is made from oats. To do this, pressed oat grains are soaked in water for the required time (about 8-10 hours, but if oatmeal is used, it takes less time). After this time, the consistency of thick milk is obtained. This drink is filtered and mixed to obtain a homogeneous substance.

As a result, we have a drink that has a neutral taste and a creamy texture. We cannot call an oat drink milk, but it is rich in both protein and fiber.

What are the pros and cons of oat milk?

Oat milk and oat drink: what's the difference and is there a catch

Andrey identifies four main advantages of this drink: it contains no lactose and (ideally) gluten; milk contains calcium, iron, B vitamins, phosphorus; oat milk contains a lot of fiber, which has a good effect on the digestive system; it contains beta-glucan, which helps lower the level of “bad” cholesterol.

Pay attention to the last property and Polina Pelevina, physician-dietitian, Clinical Hospital “Lapino”: “Beta-glucan – increases the time of” emptying “of the stomach, thus increasing the feeling of fullness after eating; lowers blood glucose levels; lowers total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) “.

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But the drink also has disadvantages. It is not suitable for people with an individual reaction to fiber. In addition, oat milk often contains additives: preservatives, sugar and sweeteners, various oils, flavors, thickeners and salt.

When growing oats, in principle, pesticides are very often used in industry. “I am also biased by the possible presence of gluten. Oats themselves do not contain gluten, but they are processed at the same factories where wheat, rye, and barley are processed, ”explains Andrey.

How to distinguish oat milk from oat drink?

When choosing high-quality oat milk, pay attention to the labels on the packaging about the absence of impurities, gluten. High-quality milk will contain oatmeal or oat grains, not flour. Sugar or sweeteners, flavor enhancers, are often added to oat milk, which ultimately reduces its benefits.

It makes sense to replace cow’s milk with oat milk (high-quality, without impurities and harmful additives) for those who suffer from gluten, lactose intolerance, as well as people with cholesterol metabolism disorders. If you do not have these characteristics, it makes no sense to replace cow’s milk with oatmeal.

Should you completely replace cow’s milk with oat milk?

avatar Elena Molokova

Elena Molokova

Endocrinologist, anti-age specialist of the ASTRAMED innovation laboratory

Elena agrees with Andrey and believes that the total rejection of ordinary cow’s milk has nothing to do with a healthy lifestyle: “Cow’s milk contains about 50 useful microelements and more than 20 vitamins, which are necessary for normal functioning of the body. The main ones are calcium, which is responsible for the health of bones and teeth, and protein – a building material for muscles and a source of energy. “

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With regular use of cow’s milk, immunity increases and memory improves, therefore, if you have no contraindications, you should not deny yourself the use of cow’s milk. But to identify the presence of contraindications is quite simple: Elena advises to take a blood test for lactose intolerance and a food panel: “But I advise you to do them after there are obvious problems from taking milk.”

Oat milk and oat drink: what's the difference and is there a catch

It is worth giving up cow’s milk in case of lactose intolerance – if after a glass of milk the belly begins to growl, swells up and comes loose, this is a sign of milk intolerance, which consists in a deficiency of the enzyme lactase that digests milk sugar.

Allergy sufferers also need to give up cow’s milk. From intolerance to milk antigen “A” can cause itching of the skin, rash and even an attack of bronchial asthma.

Cow’s milk is also not suitable for people with a tendency to form phosphate kidney stones, because the product will only contribute to the appearance of kidney stones.

avatar Polina Pelevina

Polina Pelevina

Therapist-nutritionist of the Clinical Hospital “Lapino”

Polina explains that plant and animal milk are two completely different products in terms of chemical composition. This is not to say that one is an alternative to the other. But oat milk can serve as a source of calcium for a person if he is lactase deficient, allergic to cow protein, or high blood cholesterol. “The main thing is to make sure that the plant milk you drink is fortified with calcium.”

And also oat milk is a source of “quality” protein with a good amino acid composition, antioxidants and polyphenols. Therefore, its use can be quite justified even as a supplement to cow’s milk. The main thing is not to diagnose yourself on your own and not make radical conclusions. If the products suit you, you shouldn’t give them up.

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