Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Is Oat Milk Gluten-Free?

Health + Wellness
Is Oat Milk Gluten-Free?
Cartons of vegan dairy-free oat milk are seen in a branch of the Planet Organic healthfood store on Jan. 3 in London, England. Leon Neal / Getty Images

By Anne Danahy, MS, RDN

Oat milk is quickly becoming one of the more popular plant-based milks for everything from breakfast cereal to baking.


Plant milks made from nuts, seeds, coconut, rice, and soy are largely gluten-free, so you might expect the same from oat milk. However, if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, oat milk may not be the best choice.

This article explains whether oat milk is gluten-free.

Many Brands Are Contaminated With Gluten

Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley.

While it's safe for most people to eat, it inflames and damages the lining of the small intestine in people with celiac disease and possibly those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Thus, anyone with these conditions must strictly avoid gluten.

Oats are naturally gluten-free. However, because they're often grown near wheat and processed in facilities that also handle wheat products, they're frequently cross-contaminated with gluten.

Thus, oat milk is likewise susceptible to contamination.

A Canadian study in 133 oat samples discovered that 88% were contaminated with more than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten — the general cutoff for a food to be considered gluten-free.

That said, one of the varieties was certified gluten-free and tested negative for gluten.

When researchers in the United States assessed 78 foods labeled gluten-free, 20.5% had gluten levels over 20 ppm.

Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't analyze foods for gluten content. Instead, it's up to manufacturers to test the products themselves.

Some manufacturers use third-party testing labs to ensure that their products are under the threshold for gluten. These have a certification — usually shown as a small stamp on the packaging — that ensures the product is indeed gluten-free.

If you can't consume gluten, you should only buy oat milk that's certified gluten-free.

Summary

Although naturally gluten-free, oats are frequently cross-contaminated with gluten. Therefore, there's a good chance that your oat milk isn't gluten-free unless it's certified as such.

Gluten-Free Oat Milk Options

If you don't have a health reason that requires you to avoid gluten, any kind of oat milk is safe to drink.

However, if you follow a gluten-free diet, you should read labels carefully to find products that are certified gluten-free.

Oatly is one oat milk brand whose U.S. products are certified gluten-free. Planet Oat, Califia Farms, and Elmhurst all state that their oat milk is gluten-free but don't have third-party certification.

Homemade Version

Gluten-free oat milk is also easy to make yourself, using only two ingredients — certified gluten-free oats and water. Here's a basic recipe:

  1. Soak 1 cup (80 grams) of certified gluten-free oats in water — enough to cover them — for about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the oats and blend with up to 4 cups (945 mL) of water for about 30 seconds. Use less water if you prefer a thicker beverage.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.
  4. Chill before serving.

Summary

Several brands offer gluten-free oat milk. Nonetheless, if you can't find certified products, you can make your own oat milk with certified gluten-free oats and water.

How is Oat Milk Made?

Oat milk is made by soaking whole oats in water, milling the softened mixture, and straining the liquid from the solids. The manufacturer may add other ingredients like sweeteners or vitamins before the drink is homogenized to make it creamy and milk-like.

Oats are a particularly good source of beta glucan, a soluble fiber that gives oat milk its thick consistency and may boost heart health by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol. Notably, studies suggest that oat beverages have this same effect.

A 1-cup (240-mL) serving of oat milk provides:

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Carbs: 16 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams

Summary

Oat milk is made by soaking and milling oats, then separating the liquid. Oat milk's creamy texture is owed to its beta glucan, a healthy type of soluble fiber.

The Bottom Line

While oats are a gluten-free grain, many are cross-contaminated with gluten — meaning that not all oat milks are gluten-free.

If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you should only buy oat milk that's certified gluten-free by a third-party organization.

Otherwise, you can make this thick, creamy plant-based milk at home using certified gluten-free oats and water.

Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.

Milkyway from Segara Anak - Rinjani Mountain. Abdul Azis / Moment / Getty Images

By Dirk Lorenzen

2021 begins as a year of Mars. Although our red planetary neighbor isn't as prominent as it was last autumn, it is still noticeable with its characteristic reddish color in the evening sky until the end of April. In early March, Mars shines close to the star cluster Pleiades in the constellation Taurus.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda, Ph.D.

Despite a journey to this moment even more treacherous than expected, Americans now have a fresh opportunity to act, decisively, on climate change.

The authors of the many new books released in just the past few months (or scheduled to be published soon) seem to have anticipated this pivotal moment.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Marsh Creek in north-central California is the site of restoration project that will increase residents' access to their river. Amy Merrill

By Katy Neusteter

The Biden-Harris transition team identified COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as its top priorities. Rivers are the through-line linking all of them. The fact is, healthy rivers can no longer be separated into the "nice-to-have" column of environmental progress. Rivers and streams provide more than 60 percent of our drinking water — and a clear path toward public health, a strong economy, a more just society and greater resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A Brood X cicada in 2004. Pmjacoby / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fifteen states are in for an unusually noisy spring.

Read More Show Less
A creative depiction of bigfoot in a forest. Nisian Hughes / Stone / Getty Images

Deep in the woods, a hairy, ape-like man is said to be living a quiet and secluded life. While some deny the creature's existence, others spend their lives trying to prove it.

Read More Show Less