Oat Milk vs. Almond Milk: Which Is Healthier for You?

Turkey breast (white meat, no skin)Chicken breast  (white meat, no skin)
Iron0.7 mg (4% DV)0.45mg (2% DV)
Sodium99 mg (4% DV)360mg (26% DV)
Zinc1.7 mg (16% DV)0.9 mg (8% DV)
Magnesium32 mg (8% DV)28 mg (7% DV)
Phosphorus230 mg (18% DV)229 mg (18% DV)
Potassium249 mg (10% DV)359 mg (14% DV)
Copper0.063 mg (7% DV)0.047 mg (5% DV)
Selenium30.2 mcg (55% DV)30.6 mcg (55% DV)
Turkey breast  (white meat, no skin)Chicken breast (white meat, no skin)Turkey (dark, meat, no skin)Chicken (dark meat, no skin)
Calories147 calories161 calories173 calories178 calories
Protein30 g30 g27.7 g23.2 g
Total Fat2.1 g3.5 g6 g8.7 g
Saturated Fat0.6 g0.75 g1.8 g2.4 g
Sodium99 mg (4% DV)360mg (26% DV)104 mg (4% DV)95 mg (4% DV)
Niacin11.8 mg (74% DV)10.3 mg (63% DV)7 mg (44% DV)6 mg (38% DV)
Vitamin B60.8 mg (62% DV)0.87 mg (67% DV)0.44mg (34% DV)0.3 mg (23 % DV)
Zinc1.7 mg (16% DV)0.9 mg (8% DV)3.5 mg (32 % DV)2.1mg (19% DV)
Cholesterol80 mg (27%)98 mg (33% DV)128 mg (42% DV)75 mg (25% DV)

Plant-based milk is a popular item at grocery stores and coffee shops. People with food allergies, those who are lactose intolerant, or individuals who follow vegan diets enjoy the variety, but which is better for your health? Compare oat milk vs. almond milk to understand the pros and cons of both options and know which one would better support your health goals.

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Almond Milk Pros and Cons

Almond milk nutrition is no different than any other food. It has pros and cons because no food is solely good or bad. These are the most pressing factors you should consider before your next trip to the grocery aisle.


  • Almond milk’s vitamin D levels are higher than cow’s milk. It has 63.3 international units (IU) of vitamin D2 and D3 in every 100-gram serving.1 Comparatively, cows’ milk has 38.4 IU per 100 grams when fed a standard diet.2 Experts recommend adults get 15 micrograms (μg) daily.3
  • Anyone seeking a low-calorie milk can drink almond milk. There are roughly 19 calories per 100 grams, although checking the carton’s nutritional label will give you more accurate information regarding your purchase.1
  • Almond milk is healthy for your bones because it contains 158 milligrams (mg) of calcium per 100 grams.1 Cow’s milk contains double the amount of calcium in almond milk,4 making both a healthy source of the bone-supporting mineral.


  • A single almond needs one gallon of water to grow, requiring much of the limited natural resources to make each carton. People switching to alternative milk to avoid the carbon footprint of dairy farms will still rely on significant amounts of water usage to make their beverage possible.
  • Almond milk can contain carrageenan because the ingredient thickens and stabilizes the product.5 It’s a legal additive but can cause gut inflammation and uncomfortable gut-related side effects like gas or diarrhea.6
  • Companies manufacturing almond milk may process it around other nuts7, cross-contaminating their products unknowingly.

Oat Milk Pros and Cons

If you’re curious about trying oat milk, read about these factors that could influence your diet. It’s important to know any food’s potential positive and negative effects before relying on it for meals, snacks, or beverages.


  • A plant-based diet makes weight management easier because the food contains fewer processed ingredients and sugars.
  • Oat milk is gluten-free and may be a great alternative for those with nut allergies and celiac disease.
  • Oat milk contains 146 mg of calcium per 100 mg serving, so your bones will benefit from your continued intake.8
  • Although oats need farmland to grow, they require the least land to produce milk and are as eco-friendly as soy milk.9 Cows' milk comparably requires much more land for grazing.


  • It still requires water to grow and soak oats. Every 2.85 kilograms (kg) of oat milk requires 2.7 kg of water.10
  • Oat milk is relatively low in protein. It has 1.25 grams of protein per 100-mg serving.8 Cows’ milk has 3.28 grams in the same amount.11
  • Due to the more expensive agricultural manufacturing costs, you’ll likely pay more for oat milk or any plant-based milk. The average price of plant-based milk was $7.87 per gallon in 2022, while cows’ milk cost $4.34 per gallon.13,14

Oat vs. Almond Milk: Nutrition Facts

The nutritional values of oat and almond milk can vary depending on the brand. Businesses have to make slightly different products. Otherwise, there would only be one company for each type of milk.

The slightly different production processes or oat and almond sources can lead to minor differences in each milk’s nutritional content. Here are the general nutrient guidelines for a 1-cup serving of almond milk and oat milk:4

Almond Milk Oat Milk
Calories 37 cal 120 cal
Carbohydrates 1g 16g
Fat 3g 5g
Fiber 0g 2g
Protein 1.5g 3g
Sugar 0g 7g

The nutrition of oat milk and almond milk also depends on their production processes. Manufacturers must choose which type of oats or almonds they’ll grow. They also need to process their harvests with specific steps to add the fortified nutrient profiles that set their products apart for consumers.

Glycemic Index

Blood glucose monitoring is essential for maintaining your health as someone living with diabetes or an individual with weight loss goals. While things like your exercise routine and medications can affect your daily glucose range, your diet also directly impacts your blood sugar.

Almond milk has a glycemic index (GI) of 30, and oat milk has a GI of 69 due to its higher caloric content.15,16 The higher glycemic index of oat milk will cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels; however, each individual has different reactions to foods, so we recommend experimenting to see if oat milk or almond milk causes significant spikes for you. 

Vitamins and Minerals

While determining if almond or oat milk is better for you, you must consider the micronutrients (e.g., vitamins and minerals) available in each type of milk. Check out the specific nutrients in each type below before checking nutrition labels at your local grocery store. Below is the micronutrient content of 1 cup of oat milk and almond milk.4

Almond Milk Oat Milk
Calcium 422mg 350mg
Roboflavin 0.6mg 0.08mg
Vitamin B-12 0.8ug 1.2ug
Phosphorus 269mg 73mg

Different brands will use varying ingredients and may fortify their blends with additional nutrients not normally available in oats or almonds. These companies may also add unwanted ingredients to the milk, such as added sugar, gums, and fillers, so checking the nutrition label before purchasing is crucial. Most plant milks also contain seed oils, like soybean oil and canola oil, to give the finished product a smooth, creamy texture. 

Buying Tips for Oat and Almond Milk

While deciding if almond or oat milk is healthier, you might also wonder if there are other ways to make your purchase more beneficial. These are a few tips you should keep in mind when considering your options:

  • Look for unsweetened versions of your preferred milk because it’s more blood-sugar friendly than sweetened almond or oat milk.
  • Almond milk has vitamin D, so you may be able to stop buying vitamin D supplements if your daily consumption matches what you previously got from your daily supplement intake.
  • Some manufacturers fortify their oat or almond milk with extra vitamins to make up for the difference compared to cows’ milk. Buying fortified plant milk could make it easier to reach specific health goals if you’re not getting the difference from whole foods.
  • Plant-based milk may last longer than cows’ milk because it has fewer animal-based bacteria.12 You might not need to buy as much milk as usual after switching.

Oat vs. Almond Milk: Which Is Better?

Flavor might be your first consideration when comparing oat milk vs. almond milk, but it’s not the only thing influencing your overall well-being. If you’re switching milk products to achieve any of these goals, check out the option that will best support your desired outcome:

  • Better for Your Health: Oat milk contains more fiber — a nutrient that regulates your digestive system and blood sugar — than almond milk.8 Its slightly higher nutritional content may support your overall health more effectively.
  • Better for Weight Loss: Unsweetened almond milk has fewer calories than oat milk, which supports a healthy calorie deficit necessary for weight loss.1 However, sweetened versions of either milk will create insulin spikes and can work against health goals.
  • Better for Blood Sugar Management: Unsweetened almond and oat milk are equally beneficial for blood sugar management. However, the lower carbohydrate content in almond milk makes it a better option because fewer carbs lead to fewer blood sugar spikes.1
  • Better for Sensitive Stomachs: Oat milk’s higher fiber content may irritate sensitive stomachs. Almond milk could be better for individuals with sensitive stomachs if the almond oil doesn’t trigger gas or bloating in their unique digestive systems.
  • Better for Beverages: The answer to this question depends on your preferences. Some think oat milk is better for coffees and smoothies because it doesn’t add a nutty flavor. Others prefer almond milk for its slightly thicker consistency. Both are great cow’s milk alternatives for any beverages you typically put milk in.

Learn More About Nutrition and Healthy Eating With Signos’ Expert Advice

Reading about oat milk vs. almond milk is the first step in making an educated decision in the dairy aisle. Once you know what nutrients each milk contains and their general effects on blood sugar levels, you can pick whichever one is better for your body. 

If you’re ready to learn more about the science of blood sugar and weight loss, Signos experts can answer your questions regarding all things glucose monitoring. You could also take a quiz to see if the Signos program is the best way to achieve your health goals. Whether you want to read free articles about all things nutrition or start your glucose-monitoring journey, Signos is here to help.

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  1. FoodData Central. (2022). Almond Milk, Unsweetened, Plain, Refrigerated. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2257045/nutrients
  2. FoodData Central. (2019). Milk, Whole, 3.25% Milkfat. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/746782/nutrients
  3. Polzonetti, V., Pucciarelli, S., Vincenzetti, S., & Polidori, P. (2020). Dietary Intake of Vitamin D from Dairy Products Reduces the Risk of Osteoporosis. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061743.
  4. Walther, B., Guggisberg, D., Badertscher, R., Egger, L., Portmann, R., Dubois, S., Haldimann, M., Kopf-Bolanz, K., Rhyn, P., Zoller, O., Veraguth, R., & Rezzi, S. (2022). Comparison of Nutritional Composition Between Plant-Based Drinks and Cow’s Milk. https://doi.org/10.33389/fnut.2022.988707.
  5. Eshonturaev, A., & Salikhanova, D. (2023). Study of Physical and Chemical Properties of Almond Milk. https://ijisrt.com/assets/upload/files/IJISRT23JUN903.pdf
  6. Borsani, B., De Santis, R., Perico, V., Penagini, F., Pendezza, E., Dilillo, D., Bosetti, A., Zuccotti, G. V., & D’Auria, E. (2021). The Role of Carrageenan in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Allergic Reactions: Where Do We Stand? https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103402
  7. Charm. (2020). New Processing Challenges with Plant-Based Beverages. https://www.charm.com/new-processing-challenges-with-plant-based-beverages/.
  8. FoodData Central. (2019). The Original Oat-Milk. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/719016/nutrients.
  9. Geburt, K., Albrecht, E. H., Pointke, M., Pawelzik, E., Gerken, M., & Traulsen, I. (2022). A Comparative Analysis of Plant-Based Milk Alternatives Part 2: Environmental Impacts. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148424
  10. Yu, Y., Li, X., Zhang, J., Li, X., Wang, J., & Sun, B. (2023). Oat Milk Analogue Versus Traditional Milk: Comprehensive Evaluation of Scientific Evidence for Processing Techniques and Health Effects. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fochx.2023.100859
  11. FoodData Central. (2020). Milk, Whole. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1097512/nutrients.
  12. Giugliano, R., Musolino, N., Ciccotelli, V., Ferraris, C., Savio, V., Vivaldi, B., Ercolini, C., Bianchi, D. M., & Decastelli, L. (2023). Soy, Rice and Oat Drinks: Investigating Chemical and Biological Safety in Plant-Based Milk Alternatives. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15102258
  13. Agricultural Marketing Service. (2020). Retail Milk Prices Report United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service Dairy Programs Market Information Branch. https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/RetailMilkPrices.pdf
  14. Nguyen, J. (2023). Why does oat milk cost more than dairy milk? https://www.marketplace.org/2023/11/17/why-does-oat-milk-cost-more-than-dairy-milk/
  15. Glycemic Index Guide. (2021.) Almond milk: Glycemic Index (GI), glycemic load (GL) and calories per 100g. https://glycemic-index.net/almond-milk/.
  16. Glycemic Index Guide. (2021). Oat milk (raw): Glycemic Index (GI), glycemic load (GL) and calories per 100g. https://glycemic-index.net/oat-milk-raw/.
  17. Glycemic Index Guide. (2023). What Is the Glycemic Index? https://glycemic-index.net/what-is-the-glycemic-index/.
  18. American Diabetes Association. (2021). The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Glucose. https://diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-care/checking-your-blood-sugar.

Karimi, E., Yarizadeh, H., Setayesh, L., Sajjadi, S. F., Ghodoosi, N., Khorraminezhad, L., & Mirzaei, K. (2021). High Carbohydrate Intakes May Predict More Inflammatory Status Than High Fat Intakes in Pre-Menopause Women With Overweight or Obesity: A Cross-Sectional Study. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-021-05699-1.

Frequently Asked Questions

People often ask the below questions before trying oat or almond milk. They’re good to know before going on your next grocery run. You’ll better understand which milk will support your health goals and feel confident in the check-out aisle.

Is oat milk easier on the stomach than almond milk?

Carrageenan and nut oils are the primary ingredients that cause people to feel more comfortable digesting one milk over another. Manufacturers add carrageenan to oat milk to stabilize and thicken the thin oat slurry during production.5 It may cause minor digestive upset for anyone with a sensitive stomach.6

However, almonds don’t always settle easily for some people. Almond milk may irritate the stomach lining of individuals who are more sensitive or allergic to nuts. Reflect on your health history or try small amounts of both to determine what your body prefers.

Is oat milk healthier than regular milk?

Anyone interested in long-term weight management might check the calories in oat milk vs. almond milk before anything else on the nutrition labels. Although a minor calorie deficit boosts long-term weight loss, the nutrients in your preferred milk will make one healthier than the other.

Oats also contain beta-glucan fiber, which reduces cholesterol when consumed daily. It’s a fiber specific to oats, but almond milk has a small amount of fiber as well.1 If your family has a history of heart disease, oat milk might be the better option for you.

Is almond milk healthy even without beta-glucan fiber? Absolutely. Sweetened and unsweetened versions contain nutrients like calcium and vitamin D to strengthen your health. Choose a fortified almond or oat milk to get a bigger health boost. It all comes down to your personal health goals, like monitoring your blood sugar spikes after drinking each milk.

Which milk is best for an anti-inflammatory diet?

Diets high in carbohydrates are known to create more elevated inflammatory markers in individuals who eat that way long term.19 Almond milk will be a better option if you want to choose a plant-based milk option that’s best for an anti-inflammatory diet. It has fewer carbs per serving than oat milk due to almonds’ natural composition.

Is oat milk better than almond milk for weight loss?

Weight loss requires many factors specific to each individual’s body type and health history. Maintaining a slight caloric deficit in the long term is important, which makes low-calorie almond milk a great alternative to cows’ milk.

Eating whole almonds balances and reduces blood sugar levels that would normally spike after an alternative processed snack. Their blood-sugar-friendly quality means almond milk supports weight loss goals centered around lowering and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

Oat milk nutrition vs. almond milk nutrition can also make one better than the other for weight loss. If your weight loss plateaued due to limited nutrients in your diet, the comprehensive nutrient profile of your milk might be your primary concern. Check the nutrition labels of each and compare them with your weight loss goals to pick the best choice for your body.

Is almond milk or oat milk better for you?

Deciding if almond or oat milk is healthier depends on your health history and future goals. You’ll need to compare things like calories in oat milk vs. almond milk in addition to their total nutrient profiles and how they affect your blood sugar. A nutritionist or doctor can help you decide if you’re unsure.

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