While its popularity has been on a steady rise in the past few years, oat milk has been around for about three decades. The recent rise in popularity is mostly credited to Oatly, a leading oat milk company that started out by offering samples in New York coffee shops. People slowly got hooked on the thick texture and nutty flavor, and soon, the product was in demand in supermarkets as well.
What about nutrition?
Looking into it, growing fields of oats is a lot more sustainable and environmentally friendly than raising cows for their milk. This grain is a lot more cost-effective and uses less water even compared to other non-dairy milk crops. After cultivating and harvesting the oats, they need to be soaked, blended and strained. Sadly, this process eliminates a part of the oats’ natural nutrients. Still, even that process leaves the drink with protein, some fiber, and just the right amount of fat. It even helps reducing cholesterol levels!
Always read the label
The oat milk you get at the store can contain more sugar than you think. While the sugar levels are significantly lower than in cow’s milk, they are higher than most non-dairy types of milk. That being said, different brands have different nutritional values. Also, some oat milk brands contain gluten. This means you should always read the labels to know what you’re buying and whether your purchase is gluten-free.