It is well known that plant-based milks are very nutritious but there are questions about how wholesome they are when compared to dairy milks. One such often questioned comparison is oat milk versus cow milk.
As a nutritionist, in this blog let me share with you all the essential details you must know about oat milk and cow milk before choosing the best option.
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A Quick Comparative Analysis Of Oat Milk Versus Cow Milk
In the below table I compared oat milk with cow milk on 13+ criteria which is essential to understand their similarities and differences.
Rolled oats & water
Sweet & creamy
Morning & Night
Morning & Bedtime
|ORAL HEALTH OUTCOME
|TUMMY HEALTH OUTCOME
|BODILY COOLING EFFECT
|BODILY HYDRATION EFFECT
*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 1 cup
I hope the above table gave you a basic idea about oat milk and cow milk. Let me explain each criterion for a detailed understanding.
Oat Milk Vs Cow Milk: What Are They Made Of?
Oat milk is grain-based milk. rolled or steel-cut oats are blended with cold water to make oat milk. This does not require any straining since oats are binding in nature. It is best to blend the milk only for a few seconds to avoid a gluey consistency.
Cow milk comes from mature cows raised on the farms. The whole milk from cows is mostly pasteurised before it hits the shelves.
Which Has A Better Taste Between Oat & Cow Milk?
Many people describe oat milk’s taste and texture as similar to cow’s milk. It is sweet and has a rich texture. Oat milk maintains a neutral flavour which makes it suitable for many recipes.
Cow’s milk naturally has a silky texture with a sweet and creamy flavour. Apart from whole milk, there are many variations like skimmed milk, low-fat milk etc. The texture of these varieties will differ from whole milk. When we compare oat milk vs cow milk taste, cow milk has a better appeal.
How Much Consumption Works Well For Oat Milk And Cow Milk?
Oat milk is a powerhouse of essential minerals like zinc and magnesium. 1 cup of oat milk a day helps in fulfilling your everyday nutrient needs.
1 cup of cow milk provides essential energy and takes care of our many essential nutrient needs. Young kids and older adults can have up to 2 cups of milk per day based on their growth requirements. As for oat milk vs cow milk for toddlers, cow milk is more beneficial as it meets the essential growth needs unless your child is lactose intolerant.
Oat Milk Vs Cow Milk: Which Is The Best Energiser?
Oat milk is low in calories compared to cow milk. Its diverse nutrient profile helps in energising the body without adding more calories. It is also a great option for people to consume after a run or an intense workout to refresh.
Cow milk is naturally high in calories. Consuming a cup of milk on a tiring day makes you energetic due to its diverse nutrient profile. However, if reducing calorie intake is your goal, oat milk is a good choice.
Which Has A Healthy Fat Profile Between Oat Milk And Cow Milk?
Oat milk is considered a wonderful source of beta-gluten, a soluble fibre which is very beneficial in reducing cholesterol and reducing heart risks. Oat milk is comparatively low in fat to cow milk. It is a better option as far as fat is concerned.
Cow milk is known for its rich fat content. This can be both beneficial and harmful based on the quantity of consumption. If your question is about oat milk vs cow milk for weight loss, oat milk is a better option. It is also good to explore low-fat milk and skimmed milk in cow milk to enjoy the benefits without worrying about weight.
Oat Milk Vs Cow Milk: Which Is A Better Source Of Protein?
Like most plant-based milks, oat milk is low in protein. However, they are good sources of amino acids, the building blocks of our body. Amino acids are helpful in building the body and strengthening muscles.
Cow milk is considered to be one of the best foods and is also a good source of protein. They contain all 9 essential amino acids for the proper functioning of the body. The protein in cow’s milk also helps keep away many lifestyle diseases and increases muscle mass.
Which Can Contribute Better To Your Bone Health Between Oat And Cow Milk?
Oat milk has lower levels of calcium in comparison to cow milk. But the fortified versions of oat milk are rich in calcium. Besides this, oat milk is also a good source of magnesium and manganese that helps in keeping the bones stronger.
It is universally known that cow milk is an excellent source of calcium. The natural calcium content in cow milk is a big boon for strengthening the bones. Cow milk is an excellent option for fulfilling calcium needs. In case you opt for plant-based milk, make sure you consume a balanced diet to match the calcium requirement.
Oat Milk Vs Cow Milk: Dawn Or Dusk Works Well For Better Outcome?
Oat milk consumed in the morning is a great start to the day. The fact that so many people opt to consume oatmeal for breakfast supports this fact. It nourishes the body and keeps one full for a long time. When consumed at night it helps to get good sleep.
Cow milk can be consumed both in the morning and night. Cow milk consumed in the morning energises the body with essential minerals and vitamins. It is very satiating and prevents cravings. When consumed at the night, it calms the system and promotes good sleep.
Oat Milk vs Cow milk Environmental Impact & Sustainability
Oat milk is a more sustainable choice. Though it consumes more water than other plant milks, it is still very less compared to dairy. It has very low greenhouse gas emissions and a low carbon footprint.
Cow milk on the contrary is one of the biggest threats to the environment. A glass of cow milk has at least three times more emissions than plant-based milks. Grazing by cows leads to more water usage, and soil damage and increases the carbon footprint.
Oat Milk Vs Cow Milk: Can They Be Vegan Allies?
Oat milk is one of the most opted vegan milk on the market. It is easily available and is completely plant-based. If you are new to veganism, oat milk can be an easy start.
Cow milk is not vegan. It is animal-based milk and many people substitute dairy with plant-based milks due to many reasons including environmental sustainability, lactose intolerance and other ethical issues.
Which Has Better Advantages For Oral Health, Oat or Cow Milk?
Oral health depends on many other micronutrients apart from calcium. Since we have already discussed the calcium content of both the milks, let’s see how the other nutrients in oat milk and cow milk help in oral health.
Both oat milk and cow milk are wonderful sources of minerals like phosphorus and magnesium. These minerals play a significant role in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Whichever milk you choose, it is good to look out for the level of sugar as it might damage the teeth.
What Can Be More Beneficial For Tummy Health Oat Milk Or Cow Milk?
Oat milk is fibre-rich, lactose-free, nut-free and gluten-free which makes it a desirable choice for many. When opting for a market version look for certified ones as some of the factories that process wheat also process oats which can increase the probability of gluten infection.
Research supports and warns of the impact of milk on the tummy. On a balanced consumption, it can aid in the growth of good bacteria and improve metabolism. It also has lactose which is dangerous to people with lactose intolerance.
Oat Milk Vs Cow Milk: Which Can Contribute To Balanced Heat In The Body?
Oat milk is one of the very few plant-based milk which has a natural cooling capacity. It is cold food and is best consumed in summers. A chilled glass of oat milk on a hot summer day brings down the body heat and cools the system.
Cow milk also works great for summers. Chilled milk in many different forms including options like rose milk is the most sought-after drink in the summer months.
Which Is Better For Hydration Between Oat Milk And Cow Milk?
Oat milk and cow milk are good sources of electrolytes like sodium and potassium that help in maintaining the fluid levels of the body. Both the milk has skin nourishing properties and helps to keep it moisturised and healthy.
A major portion of cow milk is made up of water. Oat milk too is blended with adequate water. Hence consumption of either of these milks can help in hydration.
Oat Milk Vs Cow Milk: The Versatility
Oat milk can be taken with flavours like vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon and even coffee. It is blended with fruits to make smoothies, used in baking and eaten with breakfast cereals.
Cow milk is one of the most versatile milk and can be used and consumed in many ways. Cow milk goes well with fruits for smoothies, flavours like vanilla and cocoa in shakes. It is used in tea, coffee and baking. Cow milk is consumed with turmeric at night to keep the cold away. Thus it can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
As our discussion comes to an end, I hope you are clear now about oat milk vs cow milk nutrition and their benefits. In case you are still wondering, Is oat milk better than normal milk? The answer lies in your requirements for a wholesome diet and lifestyle.
You can use this blog as a guide to making an informed choice whenever you come across oat milk and cow milk.