Is Oat Milk Good For You?
At Willa’s, we are on a mission to change the plant based milk category for good and forever. Taste, health, and sustainability guide every decision we make about the ingredients we choose.
We started with our Grandmother Willa’s delicious recipe, using real, organic ingredients.
As we got to work bringing her recipe to the world, we learned a lot about how plant based milk is normally made, and realized that there’s a better, more honest, more sustainable way to make great tasting oat milk.
That’s why Willa’s uses the whole entire oat, not just the oat sugar. Using the whole oat creates a richer flavor, means our oat milk maintains all the benefits of the oat (protein and prebiotic fiber), and Willa’s has just 1 g of sugar from the oats per cup!
Willa’s uses organic ingredients because they’re better for sustainability reasons like improved soil health, as well as our own health. Many of the most popular oat milks on the market contain glyphosate, the active ingredient in the chemical-heavy herbicide, RoundUp. That is not something our Grandmother Willa would have wanted in her oat milk!
Science researchers have found that exposure to glyphosate can have serious health effects on humans like an increased cancer risk, celiac disease, accelerated endocrine disruption, and more.
Willa's oats are organic, which confirms they are not grown with any pesticides, including glyphosate. Our oat partners test our ingredients and products thoroughly to ensure there is no trace of glyphosate or other harmful chemicals in the production of our oat milk.
The whole entire oat
When we set out to make an oat milk, we were shocked to find out other oat milk brands toss 20-30% of the oat to landfills, using only the oat starch and wasting the most nutritious part of the oat.
At Willa’s, we use the whole entire oat, aiming for zero food waste and ensuring all of the oat’s protein and prebiotic fiber are in Willa’s Oat Milk. As a grain, oats are a great source of plant-based protein. All Willa’s Oat Milks contain 4g of natural protein from the oat in every 8oz cup.
Oats are also a great source of soluble beta glucan fiber, which has been found to promote heart health, support the immune system, and regulate blood sugar levels. Prebiotic fiber, another naturally occurring fiber found in oats, can help nurture and balance of your gut microbiome. Prebiotic fiber is important in maintaining the balance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria in your gut. A close relative of probiotics, prebiotics contain non-living nutrients that feed the bacteria responsible for helping digestion in the gastrointestinal tract. All Willa’s Oat Milks contain 2g of natural fiber from the oat in every 8oz cup.
Oil in oat milk
The issue with oils in plant based milk is that some brands use too much oil, or they use highly processed varieties of oil associated with inflammation. Canola oil is a common oil found in some oat milks. But it is also one of the least desirable oils when it comes to your health. Also known as rapeseed oil, canola oil is a highly-processed oil containing trans fats. There has been rising concern about canola oil’s health effects for a few reasons. Canola oil is produced from the rapeseed plant, which is toxic in its natural state and requires significant processing to be transformed into an edible product. The potential dangers of canola oil are numerous – it contains GMOs, has been linked to heart damage, and can cause inflammation.
Oat milk with no oil, or less oil
With Willa’s unique whole oat process, we are able to achieve rich, creamy oat milk with no oil at all! Willa’s Unsweetened Original and Dark Chocolate Oat Milks contains zero oil.
Willa’s Barista Oat Milk uses organic cold-pressed high-oleic sunflower oil, and it makes up less than 2% of the total ingredients. Note that high oleic cold pressed sunflower oil is distinct from other seed oils!
Nutritionists and functional doctors note that high-oleic sunflower oil’s nutritional profile is similar to avocado oil - which means it is high in good monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids and has favorable impacts on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or good cholesterol.
Sugar in oat milk
The industry’s leading oat milk products are made from an oat sugar base, meaning the milk is made from the starchiest part of the oat rather than the whole grain oat, and then processed heavily. This processing makes the oat milk even sweeter, elevating the sugar content and glycemic index while leaving out the nutrients including protein and fiber that actually lower the glycemic index. The glycemic index is associated with that sugar spike and crash we all want to avoid!
The most popular brands add a minimum of 5 to 15 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, are even worse, sneaking in as much as 18 grams of sugar per one-cup serving.
Willa’s Organic Oat Milk, made with the whole entire oat rather than just oat starch, and has just 1 g of sugar from the oats. Willa’s 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. Willa's Barista contains 3g of sugar per serving and Willa’s Dark Chocolate contains 11g of sugar per serving - 1g from the oat and 10g of organic maple sugar, which has a lower glycemic index.
Are there added vitamins in oat milk?
Since we aim to use the cleanest ingredients possible in Willa's Unsweetened Original, Willa's Dark Chocolate, and Willa’s Barista, we don't add calcium. We often hear from Willa's fans that they look to leafy greens and other plant-based foods for their calcium intake as research has shown these forms can be easier for the body to absorb than added calcium in foods.
That said, we understand that some people are looking for added nutrients in their plant-based milk, which is why Willa's Barista is fortified with calcium.
At Willa’s we are committed to creating an oat milk that is as good tasting as it is for people and the planet. This is why we use only the simplest, cleanest organic ingredients for an oat milk you can feel good about!
To learn more about topics discussed here, check out these blog posts: Fiber, Oil, Sugar, Organic Ingredients, The Whole Oat
For delicious ways to use Willa’s at home, visit our recipes page here!
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