Although some kinds of milk are not keto-friendly, several varieties are compatible with a keto diet. So, is oat milk keto? Yes and No. Let's find out more.
People have switched to alternative milk for a while now. Soy, almond, and skim milk have all had their time in the sun and our latte. Recently there has been a new alternative that's winning hearts: oat milk.
In a short span of time, oat milk has gone from being served at select coffee shops in the US to over 2000.
Oat milk's taste and health benefits are the reason behind its rise in demand and popularity. Unlike other plant-based milks, oat milk is much creamier and makes a better foam. So it's perfect for tea, coffee, etc.
But is oat milk keto friendly? No.
Oat milk contains a lot of carbs, so it is not suitable for keto. However, some low-carb varieties of oat milk are present in the market, which can be keto friendly.
Continue reading to learn more about whether oat milk is keto or not and how you can incorporate it into a keto diet.
What is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is milk prepared from oats. Making oat milk is super easy. All you have to do is soak oats in water overnight. Blend the mixture and then strain it. That's it!
Oat milk has a very different protein, fat, and vitamin content than traditional milk. Just because it is considered milk, people should not assume that it holds the same nutritional value as dairy milk. But it is a great alternative for those with a dairy or milk allergy. So, if you have celiac disease or are lactose intolerant, oat milk is 100% safe for you.
Oat milk is one of the best milk alternatives compared to other milk alternatives. Oat milk has more protein than other plant-based milks like hemp, flax, coconut, almond, cashew, rice, etc.
Moreover, in comparison to whole milk or cow's milk, oat milk has more fiber. Oat milk contains beta-glucan, a super dietary fiber found in oats. Beta-glucan is celebrated for its cholesterol-lowering properties.
Is Oat Milk Keto?
Studies illustrate that people on low-carb and keto diets lose more weight faster than those on fat diets. The Keto diet is a diet high in fats and low in carbs with moderate protein. So, people who want to follow a ketogenic lifestyle should eat high-fat and low-carb foods.
There is very little room to incorporate carbs into a keto diet. As a general rule of thumb, carbs should be limited to 5-10% of your total daily calories. This is 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates in a day.
Therefore, keto dieters should avoid all kinds of milk that contain moderate or excessive amounts of carbs. For instance, all sweetened milks, including sweetened versions of keto-friendly milks, should be avoided because they are high in carbs from added sugar.
Keto-friendly milks include soy milk, flax milk, and nut milks like almond milk, coconut milk, and cashew milk. So, does oat milk fit into keto? Is oat milk keto-friendly?
The answer: No.
Oat milk is overall low in calories, but it is high-carb milk. Oat milk is suitable for people who want to follow a plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and lactose-free diet. However, it is not recommended for keto.
There are 16 grams of carbohydrates in one cup of homemade oat milk [Source: USDA]. Pairing this with other essential carb sources is enough to kick you out of ketosis.
Note that carb count will vary significantly between different brands due to varying ingredients and formulations. So, some low-carb oat milk can be used on keto. Be sure to carefully read the nutrition facts on the label to assess whether the oat milk is truly keto friendly.
Oat Milk: Nutritional Profile
Let's take a close look at the nutritional profile of oat milk to learn more about it.
As stated earlier, the nutritional profile of oat milk varies by brand. However, here is the general nutritional information provided by the USDA about 1 cup of oat milk (240 ml):
Total Calories: 120 calories
- Protein: 3 grams
- Carbs: 16 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Sugar: 7 grams
Clearly, one cup of oat milk has a significant amount of carbs. People who are following a strict keto diet and whose goal is to stay in ketosis 24/7 should not consume oat milk.
If you are more flexible with your carb intake and do not want to be strictly in ketosis 24/7, then you can get away with half a cup of oat milk in your beverages.
Keto and Oat Milk
Keto and oat milk is not an ideal combination. If you want to add keto-friendly milk to your diet, go for oat milk alternatives. Here are a few reasons why it is best to avoid oat milk on a ketogenic diet:
- High Carbs: Wondering why oat milk seems creamier than other non-dairy milks? That's the higher carb count working its magic. Oat milk is generally higher in carbohydrates than other milk alternatives. The carbs come from the oats themselves. Even though these are healthy, slow-digesting carbs, they can still kick you out of ketosis.
- Added Sugar: Oat milk is not considered a significant source of protein compared to traditional animal milk. Some brands fortify their oat milk with calcium and Vit D to support bone health. Just like all food products, read the label before it's on the table. Some varieties sneak in unnecessary added sugars and oils during the manufacturing process to maintain structure and viscosity. Note that it is just a small quantity and should not deter you from using oat milk at all.
- Contains Anti-Nutrient: Oat milk also contains a small amount of an anti-nutrient called phytic acid. Phytic acid is an active storage form of phosphorus typically found in plant seeds such as nuts, legumes, and oats. As a whole, the more phytic acid in the diet, the harder it is for the body to absorb healthy nutrients. If you eat a balanced diet, phytic acid should not be a problem for you. Plus, a small amount of phytic acid actually has protective effects on the heart.
Keto Friendly Oat Milks
If you enjoy the taste of oat milk in your coffee or tea, here are a few keto-friendly low-carb oat milks you can try:
- Dream Oat Milk Beverage: It is unsweetened and only contains 8 grams of carbohydrates per serving of 1 cup.
- Organic Oat Milk Powder: This clean formula oat milk powder contains only 10g of carbohydrates per two tablespoons.
- Minor Figures Barista Oat Milk (Light): This is carbon-free oat milk with zero added sugars and only 12 grams of carbohydrates per 200 grams of serving.
Keto Friendly Oat Milk Coffee Recipe
Starbucks is the go-to coffee place for most of us now. Thanks to Instagram and Tik Tok, every day, a new Starbucks drink is going viral and taking over the internet. One of the most popular ones in recent times is the Starbucks Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso.
Well, now you can make it at home. Here is a keto-friendly recipe for Starbucks' Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso at Home:
List of Keto-Friendly Milks
The carb content in each type of milk is different for every brand. So, whenever you buy keto-friendly milk, always check the label for total calories.
Here are a few keto-friendly milks you can use on keto:
- Heavy cream: Heavy cream is not really milk, but it is a great alternative for whole milk on keto as it is high in fats.
- Coconut milk: Coconut milk is one of the best options for keto followers. Just make sure you opt for a low-carb, sugar-free one.
- Almond milk: Almond milk is another keto-friendly option used by keto followers.
- Cashew Milk: Cashew milk is made of cashew nuts and is a good option for keto.
- Flax milk: Flax milk is a lesser-known alternative for milk on keto. It is super healthy and works great for keto followers.
Undoubtedly nutritionally, the best milk is cow's milk. However, cow's milk is very high in carbs, so it's not suitable for keto. Fortunately, there are many keto-friendly milk alternatives you can try.
Many assume oat milk to be keto-friendly, but it is not. In fact, when it comes to milk alternatives, oat milk is the least recommended for a keto diet. This is because oat milk is high in carbs.
The high carb content makes oat milk a dangerous choice for keto. Instead, use other milk alternatives with a low-carb profile.
Some low-carb keto-friendly milk alternatives for oat milk are coconut milk, almond milk, macadamia nut milk, and flax milk.