How Much Sugar is in Oat Milk?
The short answer? It depends on the brand.
The sugar content of oat milk varies greatly between brands and it's no secret that a diet too high in sugar can lead to high blood sugar, inflammation, weight gain and other complications.
With so many oat milk brands in the market, it can be hard to cut through the noise and find the highest quality brand. Choosing a reliable, healthy oat milk brand is made even more difficult by the fact that leaders in the industry are among the unhealthiest.
When talking about sugar, it is important to understand the glycemic index, a 0-100 scale that ranks foods and beverages based on their sugar content. This rating can be affected by processing, cooking method and in fresh foods, the ripeness of the product. The lower the glycemic index, the healthier the food. Fiber and protein are found in foods with lower glycemic indexes, while sugar and carbohydrates contribute to a high glycemic index.
The industry’s leading oat milk products are made from an oat sugar base, meaning the milk is made from the carbohydrates in the oat rather than the whole grain oat. This process elevates sugar content and glycemic index, while leaving out the nutrients including protein and fiber that actually lower the glycemic index. The most popular brands add a minimum of 5 to 8 grams of sugar per serving of oat milk. Some have even come under fire for claiming to be low in sugar, when they are not. The flavored variations of oat milk, namely vanilla and chocolate variations, are even worse, sneaking in as much as 18 grams of sugar per one-cup serving.
If that sounds like too much to you, that’s because it is. When sugar is present in this quantity, so is a high glycemic index, which creates adverse effects on digestion and blood sugar levels and can make weight management difficult. Sugar in this quantity also adds extra calories and risk of diabetes.
So by now, you’re probably wondering where all this sugar comes from and how to find low sugar oat milk options. High sugar content is the result of oat milks that are made from an oat sugar base, rather than whole grain oats. This production method strips whole grain oats of their natural nutritional content including protein and fiber. To compensate, sugar is added to the oat milk in place of lost nutrients.
So, which brand is the healthiest?
At Willa’s, we recognize the power of whole grain oats in their most natural, unprocessed state.
Our oat milk, made with the whole entire oat rather than just oat starch, is naturally lower in sugar. Our Unsweetened Original Oat Milk contains only 1 gram of sugar per serving– just enough to deliver the creamy, rich oat milk flavor that people are swapping other milks for. This leaves plenty of room for the naturally-occurring nutrients in for 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber in every serving. This translates to a product that you can be sure is not only good for you, but a sustainable choice with no food waste in Willa’s process (because they use the whole oat).
Taste the whole oat difference for yourself!
Want to better understand what makes whole grain oat milk healthier? Check out our post here.
Wondering what's in your oat milk? Dig into the facts here.
Curious what's so great about whole grain oats? Check out the full list of benefits here.
Photo Credit: Robert Anderson