Almond milk and oat milk are a staple in most diets and continues to garner more weight-conscious enthusiasts over the years. But what about them contributes to their widespread appeal, and how do they stack up in the context of weight loss?
Today, we compare almond milk vs oat milk for weight loss to see which one really stands out as the best choice.
Plant-Based Milks And Weight Loss
Embracing plant-based milk alternatives can offer various advantages for those pursuing weight loss goals. These alternatives, like almond milk, oat milk, and unsweetened soy milk, typically boast fewer calories compared to traditional dairy milk. This caloric reduction aligns with the goal of creating a calorie deficit, an essential factor in effective weight loss strategies.
Additionally, plant-based milks tend to have lower saturated fat content than their dairy counterparts, promoting heart health while aiding weight loss endeavors. These alternatives are also often cholesterol-free, contributing to a more heart-healthy diet overall. Plant-based milks provide diverse options to cater to individual preferences and dietary restrictions, supporting weight loss journeys with their lower-calorie profiles and beneficial fat composition.
Oat Milk vs Almond Milk Nutrition
Almond Milk Nutrition
Almond milk, derived from the nutrient-rich almond, has garnered attention as one of the leading dairy milk alternatives. Its subtle nutty flavor and versatility in culinary applications have contributed to its widespread adoption. Compared to protein-rich cow’s milk, almond milk contains significantly fewer calories, making it an attractive choice for those seeking to reduce their calorie intake.
Here is a breakdown of its nutritional composition1:
- Calories: Almond milk is relatively low in calories, with around 30-40 calories per 1 cup (240 ml)1, depending on the brand and whether it’s sweetened or unsweetened.
- Protein: Almond milk is lower in protein compared to cow’s milk, providing about 1 gram of protein per cup.
- Fat: Unsweetened almond milk typically contains around 2-3 grams per cup, mainly from healthy unsaturated fats.
- Carbohydrates: Almond milk contains around 2-3 grams of carbohydrates per cup, most of which are dietary fiber.
- Vitamins and Minerals: It is often fortified with vitamins such as vitamin E, calcium, and vitamin D to match the nutritional content of cow’s milk.
Oat Milk Nutrition
In the oat milk versus almond milk debate, oat milk has emerged as a contender with its unique nutritional profile. Made from whole oat grains, oat milk boasts a creamier texture and slightly sweet taste, making it a favored addition to coffee, cereal, and various recipes. Oat milk, while higher in calories compared to almond milk, offers a more substantial protein content.
Here’s a closer look at its nutritional profile2:
- Calories: Oat milk has a calorie content ranging from 120 to 150 calories per cup, depending on the brand and whether it’s sweetened.
- Protein: Oat milk contains around 3-4 grams of protein per cup.
- Fat: Oat milk has about 2-4 grams of fat per cup, mostly unsaturated fats.
- Carbohydrates: Oat milk’s carbohydrates are around 16-20 grams per cup, and it also offers dietary fiber.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Oat milk is often enriched with nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 to enhance its nutritional profile.
Positive Effects On Health
Almond Milk Benefits
Almonds are notably rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells and tissues from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. This protection helps prevent chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer3.
Almond milk is often fortified with calcium and vitamin D, supporting bone health4 and ensuring you receive these crucial nutrients, especially if you are avoiding dairy.
Low Glycemic Index
Unsweetened almond milk typically has a low glycemic index5, which means it has a minor impact on blood sugar levels.
Oat Milk Benefits
Oat milk is a standout for heart health due to its beta-glucan content. Beta-glucans are soluble fibers that have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases6. This heart-protective property makes oat milk a wise choice for those concerned about their cardiovascular well-being.
The soluble fiber in oat milk not only aids heart health but also promotes a healthy digestive system. It can help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation7.
Oat milk is often enriched with calcium and vitamin D, vital elements that support bone strength and help prevent conditions such as osteoporosis8. This enrichment amplifies its nutritional content and extends its advantages beyond its inherent composition.
Almond Milk vs Oat Milk For Weight Loss
Oat and almond milk can serve as valuable assets for individuals pursuing weight loss goals. Their lower calorie content relative to cow’s milk and dairy alternatives provides a strategic advantage for those aiming to manage their caloric intake. Furthermore, the dietary fiber in both almond and oat milk contributes to feelings of satiety, potentially aiding in portion control and overall appetite regulation.
However, to provide a comprehensive illustration of their relative comparison, here’s a concise list of the key differences between almond milk and oat milk when it comes to their potential impact on weight loss:
- Calorie Content: Almond milk has fewer calories per cup compared to oat milk, making it a lighter option for those aiming to reduce calorie intake.
- Carbohydrates: Almond milk generally contains fewer carbohydrates than oat milk, which can be beneficial for individuals following low-carb diets.
- Protein: Almond milk has a lower protein content compared to oat milk, which might be a consideration for those seeking to increase their protein intake to support weight loss.
- Satiety: While almond milk does contain dietary fiber, its lower protein content might result in slightly less pronounced feelings of fullness compared to oat milk.
- Nutritional Fortification: Almond milk brands often fortify their products with vitamins and minerals, enhancing their nutritional value without significantly increasing calories.
- Calorie Content: Oat milk has a higher calorie count compared to almond milk, which could be a concern for those closely tracking their calorie consumption.
- Carbohydrates: Oat milk has a higher carbohydrate content, including dietary fiber, which can contribute to feelings of fullness and sustained energy levels.
- Protein: Oat milk contains more protein than almond milk, which can aid in preserving lean muscle mass and supporting the body’s metabolic rate during weight loss.
- Satiety: Oat milk’s higher protein and fiber content may lead to increased feelings of fullness, potentially assisting in appetite control.
- Beta-Glucans: Oat milk contains beta-glucans, which, as mentioned is a type of soluble fiber linked to lower cholesterol levels. This might indirectly contribute to weight loss efforts by supporting overall well-being.
- Creaminess: Oat milk’s creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor can add satisfaction to beverages and dishes, potentially reducing the need for added sugars or flavor enhancers.
Considerations And Drawbacks
While almond milk and oat milk offer numerous benefits, some aspects warrant attention:
- Low Protein Content: Almond milk’s protein content is generally lower compared to cow’s milk, which might not provide as much satiety or muscle support without proper protein supplementation.
- Nutrient Variability: The nutrient content of homemade almond milk can vary significantly from store-bought versions, especially if the homemade version isn’t fortified with essential nutrients.
- Allergies: Almond milk poses a risk for individuals with nut allergies. Cross-contact during production and processing could lead to severe allergic reactions.
- Environmental Concerns: Commercial almond milk production requires a considerable amount of water, leading to potential environmental concerns in regions prone to water scarcity.
- Phytic Acid Content: Almonds naturally contain phytic acid, which can hinder the absorption of minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium if consumed in excess. Soaking almonds before making almond milk can help reduce phytic acid levels.
- Potential Additives: Flavored or sweetened almond milk might contain added sugars or flavoring agents that can contribute to extra calories and potential health concerns.
- Calorie Content: Oat milk can be higher in calories compared to some other milk alternatives, which might not be ideal for those closely watching their calorie intake.
- Carbohydrate Levels: Oat milk is naturally higher in carbohydrates, including sugars, which could potentially impact blood sugar levels for individuals with diabetes or those following low-carb diets.
- Gluten Sensitivity: While oats are naturally gluten-free, cross-contamination can occur during processing, making some oat milk products unsuitable for those with severe gluten sensitivity.
- Nutrient Imbalance: Oat milk doesn’t naturally contain as much calcium and protein as cow’s milk, so choosing a fortified version or balancing it with other sources of these nutrients is important.
- Potential Thickeners: Some commercially produced oat milks may contain added thickeners and stabilizers, which could affect the texture and potentially lead to digestive discomfort in sensitive individuals.
6 Oat Milk And Almond Recipes For Weight Loss
Tantalize your taste buds and supercharge your weight loss journey with these six delectable recipes:
- Almond Milk Oatmeal
- Cook ½ cup of rolled oats with 1 cup of almond milk for a creamy and hearty oatmeal base.
- Top with sliced almonds, mixed berries, and a drizzle of honey for natural sweetness.
- Almond Milk Chai Latte
- Heat 1 cup of almond milk with a chai tea bag for a comforting and spiced beverage.
- Opt for unsweetened almond milk to keep the calorie count in check.
- Almond Milk Green Smoothie
- Blend 1 cup of almond milk, a handful of kale or spinach, half a banana, a small apple, and a tablespoon of almond butter.
- This nutrient-rich smoothie is a great way to kickstart your day.
- Milk Smoothie
- Blend 1 cup of oat milk, a frozen banana, a handful of spinach, a tablespoon of chia seeds, and a teaspoon of honey (optional).
- This smoothie is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals to keep you full and energized.
- Overnight Oats with Oat Milk
- Mix ½ cup of rolled oats with ½ cup of oat milk in a jar.
- Add fruits like berries, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a teaspoon of almond butter.
- Leave it in the fridge overnight for a quick and nutritious breakfast.
- Oat Milk Chia Pudding
- Combine ¼ cup of chia seeds with 1 cup of oat milk and a touch of vanilla extract.
- Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight until it thickens.
- Top with sliced almonds and fresh fruit before serving.
The Bottom Line
In the battle of almond milk versus oat milk for weight loss, the winner will largely depends on your individual dietary needs and preferences. Almond milk’s low-calorie, low-fat content can aid in calorie reduction, while oat milk’s fiber content can help control hunger.
Both present distinctive health benefits surpassing weight loss, positioning them as valuable elements within a well-rounded dietary approach. As you choose between these two, consider your calorie goals, taste preferences, and overall nutritional requirements for a milk alternative that complements your weight loss journey.
6 Onning G, Wallmark A, Persson M, Akesson B, Elmståhl S, Oste R. Consumption of oat milk for 5 weeks lowers serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in free-living men with moderate hypercholesterolemia. Ann Nutr Metab. 1999;43(5):301-9. doi: 10.1159/000012798. PMID: 10749030.
8 Rosen, H. (n.d.). Patient education: Calcium and vitamin D for bone health (Beyond the Basics). UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/calcium-and-vitamin-d-for-bone-health-beyond-the-basics/print