If you are exploring alternative milk options as part of a plant-based diet while sticking to the low FODMAP journey, you need to know – ‘is oat milk low FODMAP?’
In this blog, we will discover what oat milk is, whether it is low FODMAP, and discuss the benefits of oat milk as an alternative to cow’s milk.
What is oat milk?
Oat milk is a plant-based, dairy-free milk alternative made from oats. It has gained popularity as a vegan or lactose-free substitute for cow’s milk.
Oat milk is made by soaking and blending oats with water, then straining the mixture to extract the liquid, leaving behind the oat pulp.
It has a naturally sweet flavor with a creamy texture, making it a popular choice for coffee, cereals, baking, and general use in recipes.
Is oat milk low FODMAP?
Monash University has tested the FODMAP content of oat milk and found that it is low FODMAP up to ½ cup (140g).
As cow’s milk is only low FODMAP in quantities up to 1 tablespoon (20g; 1), you may find more uses for oat milk (e.g., in your coffee).
However, oat milk is unlikely to be suitable as your primary alternative milk choice on the low FODMAP diet.
Other alternative milk may be more suitable for cereals, milkshakes, or sauces, for example, where you will likely need larger quantities.
You can read more about low FODMAP milk alternatives in our blog post: Does Low FODMAP milk exist?
Which FODMAPs are found in oat milk?
After ½ cup (140g), oat milk is no longer low FODMAP due to its fructan and galactooligosaccharide (GOS) content.
Both fructans and GOS are oligosaccharides (the ‘O’ in FODMAP) and can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine and lead to gastrointestinal symptoms in sensitive individuals.
The tolerance to FODMAPs varies among individuals, and some people might be able to handle different amounts.
Benefits of using oat milk
Alternative milks are growing in popularity, with an extensive range of options available on the market.
Oat milk lasts several months when unopened and stored at room temperature, similar to UHT cow’s milk.
However, once opened, it typically needs to be refrigerated and consumed within a week to ten days, depending on the brand and specific instructions on the package.
Where some plant-based milk splits in a hot drink, oat milk froths well for coffees and doesn’t cause unwanted curdling.
Most pertinently, oat milk is considered more eco-friendly compared to dairy milk due to its lower environmental impact in terms of water and land usage (1).
It also can be a suitable option for those looking to reduce their saturated fat intake, which has been linked to improved heart health (2).
5 tips for how to choose the best oat milk
Choosing the best oat milk involves considering various factors like taste, ingredients, nutritional content, and personal preferences.
Choose oat milk fortified with essential nutrients. For example calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 for a more nutritionally balanced alternative to cow’s milk.
Choose unsweetened varieties if you’re looking to limit sugar intake. Sweetened versions may also be higher in calories.
Taste can vary between brands. Experiment with different brands to find one that suits your preferences, especially if you plan to use it in coffee, cooking, or baking.
Shelf-stable oat milk can be convenient for storage and transportation, but refrigerated versions might taste fresher. Consider your usage and storage needs.
Some brands prioritize sustainability, using environmentally friendly practices or packaging. If this aligns with your values, you might consider choosing such brands.
Suitable oat milk brands for people on the low FODMAP diet
Specific oat milk brands officially certified as low FODMAP might not be prevalent or easily identifiable.
Some brands that offer fortified oat milk are:
Oat milk is an alternative, lactose-free, vegan alternative to cow’s milk that is growing in popularity.
Oat milk is low FODMAP in small quantities (up to ½ cup). Therefore, you can use it sparingly in the restriction phase of the low FODMAP diet.
A fortified oat milk can provide the same health benefits as cow’s milk, with a higher cost to your wallet but a lower cost to the environment.
Annabelle is a registered dietitian who has a special interest in the complex interplay between gut health and mental health. In her NHS role, Annabelle specialises in mental health and learning disabilities, seeing patients in hospital for their mental health as well as supporting people in the community. Annabelle has also been working with the Food Treatment Clinic as one of our writers since she was a dietetics student.