Why is there oil in some oat milks?
When you imagine oat milk, oil is probably not one of the first ingredients to come to mind. Although whole grain oats and water are the foundation of any healthy oat milk, many oat milks also contain oil to give it a creamy consistency. In Willa’s Creamy Oat Milk, oil makes up less than 2% of the total ingredients. And in our Willa’s Unsweetened Original OatMilk, we don’t use any oil at all.
The Importance of avoiding Canola or Rapeseed Oil
The type of oil (and therefore the health benefits and risks) varies. Many consumers are blissfully unaware of the difference that this one ingredient can make in the nutritional profile of an oat milk.
Willa’s Creamy Oat Milk contains an organic, non-GMO sunflower oil that has a nutrition profile similar to that of avocado oil with lots of good, mono-saturated fats. Willa's Unsweetened Original Oat Milk is perfect for dairy-free diets that are also conscious about oil and sugar intake. The Unsweetened Original contains no oil and minimal sugar.
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. This refined vegetable oil is also known to cause inflammation. Canola oil is a relatively new product, only introduced to the market in the twentieth century. Since its conception, its use has grown to be included in a variety of products, both edible and inedible. It is used to make tires, in pesticide, and even in engine lubricant and diesel.
Along with the use of canola oil in food products has come concern about its health effects. Canola oil is produced from the rapeseed plant, a 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.
Despite all of the known dangers of canola oil, it is still used in many “healthy” and even those claiming to be organic, because it is cheap to produce. Some brands contain as much oil in one serving as a side of french fries.
Not only is canola oil genetically modified and chemically enhanced, but it can also disrupt functions of organs in the body. Some have even referred to it as “battery acid for your heart.” Erucic acid is found in canola oil, a compound which has been linked to heart damage, growth stunts in babies and increased risk of certain types of cancer.
The Willa’s Difference
Willa’s oat milks are made with high oleic sunflower oil, staying true to our commitment to simple, unprocessed ingredients. Nutritionists and functional doctors note that oleic sunflower oil’s nutritional profile is similar to avocado oil. It is high in “good” monounsaturated fats, which can help protect against heart disease in addition to many other benefits. It is also known for its favorable impacts on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol.
The use of high oleic sunflower oil offers healthy omega-3 fatty acids as opposed to linoleic oils, which contain inflammation-causing omega-6 fatty acids. The high oleic composition of this oil makes it a stable, neutral and heart-healthy addition to Willa’s products.
Our commitment to simple and honest ingredients can be tasted in each sip or splash of our oat milk. Packed with sustainably-sourced organic ingredients, protein, prebiotic fiber and the cleanest oil possible, you can enjoy Willa’s Oat Milk without worrying about nutrition.
Looking for healthier oat milk recipes? Check out our recipes page. We have everything from coffee, to cocktails, to desserts.