Cup of oat milk next to oats on a blue background
Nutrition

The 5 Healthiest Oat Milk Brands, According to a Registered Dietitian

The best (and worst) options on grocery store shelves.

Our product recommendations are selected by editors, tested first-hand, or expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site.

Step aside dairy, soy, and almond milk—oat milk is revered as being the creamiest “milk” option on the block. This plant-based milk substitute is slightly sweet, mixes well in coffee, and froths just like dairy milk. And arguably one of the tastiest options for people with nut or dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. But is oat milk good for you? Here’s everything you need to know, including the healthiest oat milk options available on grocery store shelves.

How to Choose the Healthiest Oat Milk

Some oat milks are healthier than others. Here’s what to look for:

Low in added sugar

Since oats are made up of long chains of carbohydrates that ultimately break down into sugar, oat milk typically contains several grams of total sugar. During processing, some brands also use enzymes to break down their oats—a process that creates even more sugar. These sugars are listed as added sugars; which is why some oat milks have added sugars listed on the label, but no sugar listed in their ingredients list. 

In addition, some companies will add even more sugar—typically in the form of cane sugar—to oat milk for added sweetness and flavor. It’s these added sugars you want to look out for—they’ve been linked to everything from inflammation to obesity (12). 

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends men consume no more than 36 grams of added sugar a day (3). Oat milk with zero grams of added sugar is best; however, if your only options contain added sugar, steer clear of sweeteners in the ingredients list if possible. Aim to keep total sugar (or sugar in any form) under eight grams per serving.

No added oils

Many oat milks have seed oils—like canola or sunflower oil—added to them to improve the texture and mouthfeel of the milk. While these oils are not innately harmful, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. 

Sunflower oil and canola oil are rich in omega-6 fatty acids and research shows that most Americans consume far too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3 fatty acids—a combo that can lead to inflammation (4). 

If you consume oat milk regularly, choose a product without added plant oils to prevent a higher intake of omega-6 fatty acids.

Fortified with nutrients

One of the main issues with plant-based milk is that compared to dairy milk, vegan milk is often very low in vitamins and minerals. Oat milk is no exception. Some oat milk brands will add calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin B12 to their products to make them comparable to dairy milk, but it’s the exception, not the rule. 

If you eat a balanced, varied diet, you probably don‘t need to worry about the lack of nutrients in plant-based milk. However, if you have a fairly limited diet, it is important to look for oat milk that is fortified with nutrients.

Glyphosate free

Glyphosate is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world (5). In recent years, the company that created the herbicide known as RoundUp—which uses glyphosate as its main ingredient—has been sued for its role in causing harmful diseases such as cancer. 

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) named glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans (6). According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, glyphosate has been found in numerous types of cereal, particularly oat-based products (7). 

In response to glyphosate concerns, a third-party testing agency known as The Detox Project offers a Glyphosate Residue Free certification for products that have been tested and proven to be glyphosate-free. It’s worthwhile to look for glyphosate-free products if you drink oat milk daily; however, if you are only an occasional oat milk drinker, you probably don’t need to worry.

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5 Healthiest Oat Milk Brands

Taking all of the above into consideration, here are the healthiest oat milk brands on the market.

Elmhurst Unsweetened Oat Milk

Per 8 fl oz (1 cup) serving: 100 calories, 17g carbs, 3g fiber, 1g total sugar (0g added sugar), 3g protein, 2g fat

Made from three ingredients—water, whole grain oats, and salt —Elmhurst keeps its oat milk simple. This oat milk features many certifications including Glyphosate Residue Free, gluten-free, and non-GMO verified, to name a few. Unlike other oat milks on the market, this product only contains one gram of sugar per serving and includes a good amount of fiber (three grams per serving). It might be a bit pricier than most big-name oat milk brands, but it’s definitely worth the cost if you can swing it.

Planet Oat Unsweetened Original Oat Milk

Per 8 fl oz (1 cup) serving: 45 calories, 8g carbs, 1g fiber, 0g total sugar (0g added sugar), 1g protein, 0.5g fat

Planet Oatmilk’s unsweetened oat milk is a straightforward option for oat milk drinkers that’s free of added oils and sugars. According to the Detox Project’s website, Planet Oatmilk is glyphosate residue-free. Plus, it’s also gluten-free and non-GMO verified. On the nutrition front, Planet Oatmilk fortifies this product with vitamins A, D, B2, and B12. However, it’s low in protein (only one gram per serving).

Califia Farms Organic Oat Milk

Per 8 fl oz (1 cup) serving: 80 calories, 14g carbs, 1g fiber, 4g total sugar (4g added sugar), 3g protein, 1g fat

Califia Farms is a standout in the non-dairy milk category, and its oat milk is no exception. Made from water, organic oats, and salt, this is a solid no-frills option. One serving provides some protein (three grams) and only four grams of total sugar. While we love that this product features simple, organic, ingredients, it does not provide much from a vitamin and mineral standpoint.

Rise Brewing Co. Original Oat Milk

Per 8 fl oz (1 cup) serving: 130 calories, 17g carbs, 0g fiber, 8g total sugar (8g added sugar), <1g protein, 6g fat

Rise Brewing Co.’s Original Oat Milk is a creamy, flavor-packed oat milk option. We love that this drink is glyphosate residue-free, non-GMO, and organic. However, it is slightly higher in calories and fat compared to some of the other products on this list because of the addition of organic sunflower oil. It’s also slightly higher in total grams of sugar (eight grams per serving) and contains zero grams of fiber and protein. For this reason, this oat milk should be used as a creamer for coffee or the occasional base of a smoothie, not as a daily primary source of “milk.”

Oatly Super Basic Oatmilk

Per 8 fl oz (1 cup) serving: 80 calories, 16g carbs, 2g fiber, 7g total sugar (7g added sugar), 3g protein, 1g fat

As one of the OG oat milk brands, Oatly doesn’t miss. The brand’s Super Basic Oat Milk is glyphosate-free and non-GMO. Compared to their original oat milk, they ditched most of the ingredients and only kept the water, oats, sea salt, and citrus fiber in this product. As with some of the other simple oat milks, this drink is free of additives, oils, and gums but it is also free of added vitamins and minerals. Note both added sugars and total sugars are an even 7 grams, and there isn’t any sugar in the ingredients list—this is likely thanks to enzymes being added during processing.

Unhealthy Oat Milk Brands to Avoid

The worst oat milk brands simply contain a high amount of added sugar in a single serving. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a flavored option that doesn’t have added sugar. For instance, Planet Oat Chocolate Oat Milk contains 11 grams of added sugar, and Chobani Vanilla Oat Milk contains 9 grams. But even plain versions can contain a sneaky amount of sugar. Pacific Foods Organic Oat Milk, for example, contains 17 grams of added sugar in one serving.

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