Oat Milk vs Soy Milk: Which Is Healthier?
In this article, we are going to compare oat milk and soy milk to see how they compare in many aspects including calories, nutritional content, taste, usage, effects on weight loss, and environment.
To make this comparison as fair as possible and get a realistic picture of how oat and soy milk compare, we’ve used USDA’s date on products that are unsweetened and that aren’t fortified or that are minimally fortified if the completely unfortified product isn’t available.
Both oat and soy milk are dairy-free, and therefore suitable for vegans and people that stick to a plant-based diet for a variety of reasons, but there are also many differences between these plant-based drinks.
Let’s see what oat and soy drinks are, how they are produced, and finally how they compare in various ways.
This post is part of the broader article series, plant-based milks comparisons.
What is Oat Milk and How It’s Made?
Oat milk is one of the plant-based milks that is gaining popularity at the fastest pace.
It is naturally lactose-free and nut-free, but there are also gluten-free oat milk products, produced from gluten-free oats, and these products are suitable for people who have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive.
Although oats do not contain gluten by nature, the major source of exposure to gluten is cross-contamination caused by the wheat processing equipment.
Oat milk is a very popular choice for coffee, and many ‘barista’ plant-based milks are actually based on oat milk.
It is naturally higher in carbs than most other plant-based milks, so you should always try to choose products without added sugar, as it is already a relatively sweet drink.
Due to its creamy texture it’s often used in different dishes, such as curries, and is also available in its flavored versions. Oat yogurts are also available.
Similarly to other similar products, most oat milk products are fortified with different vitamins and minerals, most commonly with vitamins B-12 and D, as well as calcium.
What is Soy Milk and How It’s Made?
Soy is a legume that originates from Asia and is very popular to be consumed today. Soy milk is a milk derivative made from soybeans.
Since it is plant-based and offers various health benefits, soy milk has an important place, especially in plant-based nutrition. It’s often used as a dairy-free alternative for coffee, breakfast oatmeal or cereals, rice puddings, baked goods, curries and so on.
Along with almond and oat milk, soy milk is one of the most popular plant-based nut milks.
Soy milk is prepared by combining soaked soybeans into the water and filtering off the particles to leave a clear, milk-like fluid. It is considered a whole soy food.
Both sweetened and unsweetened varieties are available.
Unsweetened variants are typically made up of solely filtered water and soybeans, while certain brands may additionally include vitamins, salt, or/and minerals.
Oat vs Soy Milk Nutrition and Calories
Plant-based milks mostly consist of water, and oat and soy milks are no exceptions.
3.5 oz or 100 g of oat milk contains 48 calories, and consists mostly of carbs (5.1 g), followed by fat (2.75 g) and protein (0.8 g).
Speaking of soy milk, the same amount contains 38 calories, and consists mostly of protein (3.55 g), followed by fat (2.12 g) and carbs (1.29 g).
The table below compares the nutrition of a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of oat milk to the same amount of soy milk.
Fiber is important for our health as it keeps us feeling full, prevents constipation, lowers sugar spikes and regulates sugar levels, lowers total and LDL cholesterol, and provides many other benefits.
When it comes to dietary fiber, oat milk is a better choice. It contains 0.75 g per 3.5oz (100g), while soy milk is lower in dietary fiber with 0.45 g.
|Oat Milk||Soy Milk|
|Energy||48 kcal||38 kcal|
|Total Fat||2.75 g||2.12 g|
|Carbs||5.1 g||1.29 g|
|Fiber||0.75 g||0.45 g|
|Sugars||2.32 g||0.56 g|
|Protein||0.8 g||3.55 g|
What about micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in oat and soy milk?
The table below shows the most important vitamins and minerals in unfortified or minimally fortified plant-based drinks available in the market. Some of these nutrients are hard to get on a vegan diet.
|Vitamin B-12||0.51 mcg||0.39 mcg|
|Calcium||148 mg||101 mg|
|Vitamin D||68 IU (0.68 mcg)||27.2 IU (0.68 mcg)|
|Iron||0.26 mg||0.54 mg|
|Magnesium||5.9 mg||21.5 mg|
|Phosphorus||89 mg||69 mg|
|Potassium||148 mg||158 mg|
|Vitamin A||85 mcg||58 mcg|
|Sodium||42 mg||34 mg|
If you’re trying to lose weight, you probably want to know whether oat or soy milk is better for you.
With 48 calories per 3.5 oz (100 g), oat milk is higher in calories than soy milk which contains 38 calories.
Oat vs Soy Milk Taste and Uses
Some people find oat milk preferable to almond milk because of its creamy consistency, classical oat aftertaste, and hint of sweetness. It is without a doubt the best alternative to nut-based milk.
Oat milk has high nutrient density. It can also promote satiety after consumption because of its high protein and fiber content.
Oat milk makes the best creamer for coffee and tea due to its consistency and texture.
Additionally, it is the finest plant-based option for baking due to its perfect viscosity. Its slight oaty flavor can complement your cakes, brownies, and muffins.
You can also use unsweetened oat milk for making soups and puddings. Oat milk can maintain the consistency and enhance the taste of your broccoli, squash, or tomato soups. Oat milk can add creaminess to your mashed potatoes recipes.
If you have allergies, make sure that you read about nut and gluten-free labels when buying commercial oat milk.
Soy milk has a mild beany taste. Some people may find it bitter and weird when trying for the first time.
While you may still have a slightly beany under-taste, the bitterness goes away during pasteurization in the commercially available soy milk. You may get a hint of vanilla in many commercial soy milk brands.
Soy milk has a creamy texture and a high nutritional density. It is high in protein and rich in healthy fats (PUFAs).
It can be used in pancakes, baked items, and smoothies. Home-made oat milk may add extra bitterness to your coffee. If you don’t like the taste, you can use commercially available sweetened soy milk.
Oat milk and soy milk are both plant-based, non-dairy beverages, suitable for vegans.
Oat milk and soy milk have their similarities and differences, but both are nutritious and a healthful addition to your diet. When available, always choose unsweetened, fortified products or try making them at home.
Plant milks, including oat and soy milks are easy to add to a diet, and can be used in varieties of recipes and dishes.
Fortified products will help get different nutrients, including micronutrients that are usually hard to get on a plant-based diet, such as vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium and others.
Other Oat Milk Comparisons
Other Soy Milk Comparisons
- Almond Milk vs Soy Milk
- Barley Milk vs Soy Milk
- Cashew Milk vs Soy Milk
- Coconut Milk vs Soy Milk
- Macadamia Milk vs Soy Milk
- Pea Milk vs Soy Milk
- Rice Milk vs Soy Milk
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- It's regularly updated.
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