Is oat milk or almond milk healthier?

Both oat milk and almond milk have become popular plant-based milk alternatives. But which one is healthier? Here’s a quick look at some of the key differences between oat milk and almond milk when it comes to nutritional value, sustainability, and flavor.

Nutritional Value

Oat milk tends to be higher in fiber and iron compared to almond milk, but lower in protein and calcium. Almond milk provides more vitamin E. Here’s a more detailed overview of the nutritional profiles:

Calories and Macronutrients

Oat milk and almond milk have a similar calorie count. An 8-ounce glass of oat milk has about 120 calories, while the same amount of almond milk has about 60 calories. Both contain 2-3 grams of protein per cup.

The main macronutrient difference is that oat milk provides more carbohydrates, thanks to its oat base. An 8-ounce serving has 16 grams of carbs, including 2 grams of fiber. Almond milk only has 1 gram of carbs and 1 gram of fiber per cup.

Vitamins and Minerals

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, almond milk is a better source of vitamin E, providing up to 50% of the Daily Value. Oat milk has little to no vitamin E. However, oat milk tends to be higher in iron, containing up to 10% of the Daily Value per cup compared to just 2% in almond milk. Neither milk is fortified with a significant amount of vitamins and minerals.

Almond milk also contains more calcium than oat milk. One cup provides 451 mg of calcium, meeting 45% of the Daily Value. Oat milk only contains about 2% of the Daily Value for calcium. However, many brands enrich oat milk with calcium and vitamins.

Healthy Fats

The type of fats in plant-based milk can impact health. Oat milk has small amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Almond milk is low in saturated fat and contains healthy fats like omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In an 8-ounce serving, almond milk provides over 10% of the Daily Value for ALA.


Both oat milk and almond milk are more eco-friendly choices compared to dairy milk. But oat milk has a smaller environmental footprint overall.

Almonds are grown in areas like California, which requires extensive water irrigation. It takes an estimated 15 gallons of water to produce just 16 almonds. The almond trees also occupy large amounts of land that could otherwise be used to grow other crops.

Oats have a lower environmental impact. They require less water and can be grown in colder climates, opening up more land areas for production. Transportation and packaging costs may also be lower for oats compared to almonds.

However, there are some concerns around sustainability for both milk types. More research is needed comparing their full life cycle analyses.


In terms of taste, oat milk tends to have a richer, creamier mouthfeel compared to almond milk. It’s naturally sweet with an oat-y, cereal-like flavor. Almond milk has a lighter and more watery consistency.

For coffee drinks, many people prefer oat milk because it froths well and adds smoothness. The flavor of almond milk can separate from the coffee, while oat milk combines more seamlessly. However, almond milk may be better for smoothies since it has a more neutral taste.


Oat milk also tends to be more budget friendly. A quart of oat milk costs $4 to $5 on average, while almond milk costs around $6 to $7. However, prices can vary depending on brand, formulation, and location.

Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

Almond milk is safe for people with gluten sensitivities, while oat milk is not. Oats contain gluten. Almond milk is also dairy-free and vegan. However, almonds are among the most common tree nut allergens.

People who need to avoid nuts due to allergies or follow a paleo diet that excludes legumes can drink oat milk. Those with oat sensitivities or celiac disease should avoid oat milk.

Added Sugars

Flavored varieties of both almond milk and oat milk often contain added sugars. Opt for unsweetened or original versions to limit added sugars. You can sweeten them yourself at home with a touch of honey, maple syrup, dates, or vanilla extract if desired.


Since plant-based milks have lower protein and calcium compared to dairy milk, many brands enrich them with extra nutrients. Check the label and select fortified versions to get more protein, calcium, vitamin D or vitamin B12.


Overall, oat milk tends to edge out almond milk in a few categories. Oat milk is higher in fiber, iron, and carbohydrates. It’s more sustainable for the environment and costs less. Oat milk also has a richer, creamier texture that makes it better for coffee drinks. Almond milk, on the other hand, is lower in calories and carbs. It contains more vitamin E and calcium compared to oat milk.

For optimal health and sustainability, variety and moderation are key. Incorporating both oat milk and almond milk as part of a balanced diet can provide the best nutrients from each. Drink oat milk more often for its sustainability, nutritional benefits, and affordability. Enjoy almond milk occasionally for a light, dairy-free alternative with healthy fats. Listen to your body, personal taste preferences, and lifestyle needs when deciding between these two popular plant-based milk options.

Nutrient Oat milk (per 1 cup) Almond milk (per 1 cup)
Calories 120 60
Protein 3g 1g
Carbs 16g 1g
Fat 5g 2.5g
Calcium 2% DV 45% DV
Vitamin D 25% DV 25% DV
Vitamin E 0% DV 50% DV
Vitamin B12 0% DV 0% DV

DV = Daily Value. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is oat milk gluten-free?

No, oat milk contains gluten because it is made from oats. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid drinking oat milk.

Is almond milk high in calories?

No, almond milk is actually low in calories. An 8-ounce glass only has about 60 calories. It’s much lower in calories than dairy milk.

Does almond milk have lactose?

No, almond milk is dairy-free so it does not contain lactose, the sugar found in milk. This makes it safe for people with lactose intolerance.

Is oat milk high in carbs?

Oat milk does contain more carbohydrates than almond milk, with about 16 grams per cup. The carbs in oat milk are naturally-occurring from the oats rather than added sugars.

Which milk is better for the environment?

Oat milk has less environmental impact compared to almond milk. Almond production requires substantial amounts of water. Oats have lower water needs and can be grown in more areas.

Which milk alternative tastes most like dairy milk?

Oat milk provides a richer, creamier taste and texture that is closer to dairy milk. Almond milk tends to be lighter and more watery.

Can you make oat milk at home?

Yes, it’s easy to make homemade oat milk. Simply blend oats with water then strain out the oat pulp through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Add flavors like vanilla or dates if desired.

Does almond milk curdle in coffee?

Yes, almond milk can curdle and separate when brewed with coffee. The acidity of coffee can cause the proteins in almond milk to clump. Oat milk is less likely to curdle in hot coffee.

Is almond milk healthy for you?

Almond milk can be a healthy dairy-free milk alternative in moderation. It’s low in calories and carbs but high in vitamin E and healthy fats. Just watch out for added sugars in flavored varieties.

Can you bake with oat milk?

Yes, oat milk can be used for baking. It may affect texture and moisture slightly compared to dairy milk. But oat milk works well in cookies, cakes, muffins, and quick breads.

Does almond milk cause inflammation?

Almonds contain healthy fats that are considered anti-inflammatory. However, some people may experience inflammation if they have a food sensitivity or allergy to almonds specifically.

Is oat milk healthy for toddlers?

Oat milk can be included as part of a healthy diet for toddlers in moderation. Check with your pediatrician to ensure your child does not have an oat allergy. Introduce oat milk slowly and opt for unsweetened varieties.

Does almond milk cause constipation?

Almond milk is low in fiber, so drinking large amounts could potentially contribute to constipation in some individuals. Make sure to also eat plenty of high fiber foods and stay hydrated when drinking almond milk.

Is almond milk good for weight loss?

Almond milk can be included as part of a weight loss diet since it’s low in calories and carbs. But it’s not a magic bullet for weight loss. Focus on creating an overall calorie deficit through diet and exercise.

How long does oat milk last once opened?

Once opened, oat milk will stay fresh for 5-7 days when refrigerated. Make sure to check the expiration date and store it in the fridge after opening. Oat milk can also be frozen for longer storage.

Does almond milk help you sleep?

There’s no evidence that drinking almond milk before bed will help you sleep. However, almond milk is rich in magnesium which plays a role in sleep. A cup provides about 15% of the Daily Value for magnesium.


When it comes to oat milk versus almond milk, both have unique nutritional benefits and differences. Oat milk tends to edge out almond milk in a few categories thanks to its higher fiber, iron, sustainability, and creamier texture. But almond milk is lower in calories and contains more vitamin E and calcium. Overall, incorporating both into your diet can provide the advantages of each type of plant-based milk.

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