“When it comes to alt-milks, one isn’t necessarily better than the others; they’re just different,” says nutritionist and registered dietitian Maya Feller, RD. In other words, it depends on what you’re going for. There is, however, one ingredient that’s universally looked down upon: sugar. Since sugar occurs naturally in oats, even unflavored oat milk can have about eight grams per cup.
But Feller isn’t wildly concerned with that. In fact, she says oat milk packs some great benefits other alt-milks don’t. “It’s been shown that it can reduce LDL-cholesterol because of the beta-glucans” (naturally occurring, immune-system-boosting polysaccharides), she says.
Regardless of what alt-milk you reach for, Feller says if you’re looking for one with a robust nutritional profile, your best bet is to go for one that’s been fortified, meaning its been enriched with vitamins. “With alt-milks, what most people want is what’s found in cow’s milk, which is calcium and vitamin D,” she says. “To get that from something plant-based, it needs to be fortified.”