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Is Oat Milk Healthy or Stealthy?

Dairy free milk alternatives are quickly gaining traction in the health community. While nut milk has been around for years, other milk alternatives, like oat milk, are now becoming increasingly popular. While some options are “healthier” than others, how do we know which ones are healthy or stealthy? 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but more often than not, oat milk is a stealthy substitute. Despite common belief, this milk alternative is not the healthiest option available. But, why?

 

Why Oat Milk isn’t Necessarily Healthy

Sure, most oat milks are free of dairy, gluten, and sugar, but many are packed with ingredients that are anything-but-nutritious. And there is one highly inflammatory ingredient that stands out above the rest: canola oil. First and foremost, canola oil is a genetically modified product. It’s a man-made replacement for natural oils, like olive or coconut. This hydrogenated oil is known to increase overall inflammation, which only hinders health. The negative health effects of canola oil are endless, but the short list includes: increased risk of heart disease, liver toxicity, and chronic inflammation. 

Additionally, most oat milk products contain various filler ingredients, like preservatives, gums, additives, artificial sweeteners, and binders. For example, dipotassium phosphate is an inorganic emulsifier that has been shown to be a health hazard.  Gums and artificial sweeteners are known to be hard on the digestive system, causing GI distress, such as stomach pains, diarrhea, and bloating.

To take it a step further, I have yet to find an oat milk made from organic and sprouted ingredients, which is of the utmost importance. Sprouted grains, nuts, and seeds offer nutrients that are increasingly available to the body. When sprouting takes place, anti-nutrients, like phytic acid, are broken down and nutrients are easier to absorb and digest. Grains, nuts, and seeds that are not organic or sprouted can be difficult to digest and absorb any of the beneficial nutrients, like omega fatty acids, zinc, and magnesium. 

 

Healthy Milk Alternatives

Even though oat milk might not be the most nutritious option, there are many other alternatives: 

Raw Milk

If you can tolerate it, raw milk, this is the preferable option. Raw milk, as opposed to pasteurized milk, is unpasteurized. Meaning, it still contains beneficial bacteria and nutrients that processed milk does not. I highly recommend looking for local, raw milk in your area through the Real Milk website. 

Malk

The brand, Malk, is leaps and bounds ahead of any other dairy-free milk alternative. If you need proof, just check out the ingredient list. It’s short and sweet- at most, containing 6 ingredients. These ingredients include nutrient-dense ones, like sprouted nuts, filtered water, vanilla beans, and Himalayan salt. 

Homemade Nut Milk

When all else fails, making your own dairy-free milk is an excellent option. It may sound intimidating, but I’m here to reassure you that it’s easier than you think. The Wellness Mama provides an easy-to-follow recipe for homemade almond milk. Be sure to use organic almonds, filtered water, and sea salt for the most nutritious milk!

 

At the end of the day, it’s important to read the ingredient list on all food products and milk is no exception. Even seemingly “healthy,” dairy free milk may be deceiving. Remember: the shorter the ingredient list, the better. And it’s important to stick to milks that don’t contain filler ingredients, like the ones listed above.

What’s your favorite milk alternative? Have you tried making your own?

 

HIGH-QUALITY & PASTURE-RAISED MEAT

I gave up eating meat in late 2009, not for any moral or ethical reason, but because it just started to gross me out.  I guess my decision to stop eating meat was more for health reasons than anything.  The more I read about veganism, the more I began to believe that the human body is not designed to digest animal protein.  Not only that, but learning about all of the hormones and antibiotics animals are fed made me give it up cold-turkey (no pun intended).  I would still eat the occasional piece of fish or raw goat cheese, but I considered myself “vegan-ish.”  I really thrived off a plant-based diet.  Because animal protein is much harder to digest, I had all that extra digestive energy to use.

 

photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram

 

But then a few months ago, I started craving meat again, so I gave in here and there.  Some days I can’t get enough meat, and other days I feel grossed out by it again.  I’m listening to my body!  And most recently, because I’m dealing with some gut issues (SIBO – more on this another time!), meat is one of the only foods I can handle.  I still am eating a mostly plant-based diet, but I do want to make sure that the animal protein I am eating is of the highest-quality – organic, pasture-raised, free of hormones/antibiotics/drugs, and fed it’s natural diet.

 

photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram

WHY?

  • To avoid harmful toxins, antibiotics, hormones and other drugs that can disrupt your hormones and immune system, and put you at higher risk for cancer and heart disease.
  • Pasture-raised animals are lower in overall fat, lower in Omega-6 fats, higher in Omega-3 fats, and higher in CLA – making them more heart-healthy.
  • Higher in vitamins and minerals.
  • Decreased risk of food poisoning.
  • Better for the environment, because it decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

I’ve compiled a list of a few companies that I love and trust, that I’ve been sourcing my meats from.  Not only do I trust that I’m getting the healthiest meats around, but they taste so much better than anything you’d pick up at the grocery store.

 

photo courtesy of Primal Pastures via Instagram

US WELLNESS MEATS

US Wellness Meats has a wide range of grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, duck, organ meats, wild seafood, bone broths, fats, and even snacks.  I recently ordered a whole chicken, chicken gizzards, beef liver, and bone broth from them, and everything was delicious!

PRIMAL PASTURES

I first found this company on Instagram, where I saw their animals roaming around, looking so happy and free!  You can also take a tour of their farm, in California.  A wide range of meats, organ meats, and broths, as well.

BUTCHER BOX

This company creates a curated box of high-quality beef, chicken, or pork.  They also give you the option to customize, which is great!  Last year, I bought a box for my sister and her husband, who loved it!

 

Do you eat meat?  Where do you buy your animal products from?

 

 

 

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