Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 23, 2024 ·  4 min read

Is Oat Milk a Scam?

Oat milk is a non-dairy alternative that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Recently, however, questions have arisen about its nutritional value and whether it’s actually good for you. Let’s look at what oat milk is, how it’s made, why it exists, and the pros and cons of drinking it. Then, you can decide for yourself if you should pass on oat milk or not.

What is Oat Milk?

Oat milk is a plant-based milk made by blending oat grains with water and then straining the liquid. The resulting milk is creamy and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that makes it suitable as a milk substitute. It can be used in various recipes such as smoothies, coffee, or cereal. (1)

How It’s Made

To make oat milk, whole oats or steel-cut oats are soaked in water for a few hours. After soaking, the mixture of oats and water is blended until smooth. The mixture is then strained through a cheesecloth or fine-mesh sieve to remove the pulp and any excess water. Some manufacturers also add emulsifiers, thickeners, and sweeteners to improve the texture and taste of the final product.

Why It Exists

Oat milk was created as a dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free alternative to cow’s milk. It’s also a more sustainable milk option compared to traditional dairy milk as it uses fewer resources to produce. Additionally, oat milk has a low environmental impact as oats can be grown in various climates without causing harm to the environment.

Pros and Cons

As with everything, there are pros and cons to drinking oat milk. Among the pros of oat milk include (2):

  • Low-fat and low-calorie content compared to dairy milk.
  • Suitable for people with dairy, nut, or soy allergies.
  • Rich in beta-glucans, a soluble fiber that links to lower cholesterol and cardiac disease risk.
  • A suitable alternative for vegans and vegetarians.
  • Contains essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and vitamin D.

However, some cons of oat milk include:

  • Added sugars or artificial sweeteners that can increase sugar levels.
  • The process of making it can alter its natural nutrients.
  • Added emulsifiers, thickeners, and preservatives may contain unwanted chemicals.
  • Little amount of protein per serving compared to dairy milk.
  • Gluten content for some brands may cause digestive problems for some people.

Is Oat Milk a Scam?

In recent years, oat milk has been receiving some backlash, with people saying it is not the healthy milk alternative that others have claimed it to be. Many people are now questioning it, and have raised concerns on whether oat milk is a scam or not. Critics argue that the marketing campaign’s claim that oat milk is a nutritious, game-changing beverage is misleading, and it’s just another drink. They further criticize that oat milk’s ingredients, such as the added rapeseed oil in some brands, raise concerns of blood sugar spiking and poor nutritional value. (3)

However, there is evidence that suggests that oat milk is good for health. A study published in the journal Food Chemistry: X found that oat milk has a low glycemic index and is safe for people who want to regulate their blood sugar levels. The article also notes the various health benefits of oat milk, including improved bone density, cardiovascular health, and reduced risks of type 2 diabetes.

The Best Brands to Buy

If you are drinking oat milk, like all products, not every brand is made equal. When purchasing, you need to read your ingredient labels thoroughly to avoid unwanted additives, sugars, and other unnecessary ingredients. Choose ones that have vitamin D and calcium added, and avoid “barista blends”. These are made for steaming and tend to have high amounts of oils added for a creamier, more milk-like texture. Look for unsweetened options as opposed to ones with added sugar. Brands to look for include:

  • Elmhurst Unsweetened
  • California Farms Original Protein Oat Milk
  • Oatly Original
  • Planet Oat
  • Silk Unsweetened
  • Malk Oat Milk

Brands to avoid include:

  • Pacific Foods Oat Organic Original
  • Oatsome Barista Blend
  • Oatly Chocolate Oat Milk

Again, reading your ingredient label (the ingredient list and the nutrition panel) will help you determine friend from foe. 

The Bottom Line

Oat milk is a plant-based milk substitute that has both benefits and drawbacks. The reality is that whether or not it is right for you is an entirely personal choice. You must decide what is best for you based on your personal nutritional needs, likes and dislikes, values, and personalized recommendations from either your doctor or a registered dietitian. While there are some valid concerns on its nutritional value and added ingredients, research shows that the drink is generally safe and does not pose serious health risks. Nevertheless, consumers should exercise caution, read labels thoroughly, and be mindful of their dietary restrictions and preferences when selecting any dairy alternative.


  1. The 9 Best & Worst Oat Milk Brands to Buy, Say Dietitians.” Eat This. Kelsey Kunik, RDN. August 3, 2023
  2. Oat milk analogue versus traditional milk: Comprehensive evaluation of scientific evidence for processing techniques and health effects.” NCBI. Yonghui Yu, Xinping Li,a Jingjie Zhang, Xiao Li, Jing Wang and Baoguo Sun. October 30, 2023.
  3. How Oat Milk Scammed The Entire World.” Delish. Allison Arnold. February 5, 2024.