Oat Milk Ice Cream VS Regular Ice Cream | The Pros And Cons

Oat milk ice cream vs regular ice cream

As we’ve discussed countless times in previous articles, there is no shortage of plant-based milk alternatives to dairy milk. Not only do they mimic dairy milk in taste and consistency, but they can also be used in many of the same ways. One such example would be when making ice cream. Oat milk would be one of the more popular choices, and in this article we’ll be having a look at oat milk ice cream vs regular ice cream so you can compare and decide for yourself.

In short, the difference between oat milk ice cream vs regular ice cream is that the oat milk variety is vegan, lactose-free, and contains no cholesterol because it is made with oat milk rather than dairy-based milk. The tradeoff, however, is that it contains just as much added sugar as regular ice cream and significantly less protein.

That said, let’s have a closer look at these factors to truly understand the differences.

What’s The Deal With Oak Milk Ice Cream?

Oat milk ice cream is a type of ice cream that is made using oat milk instead of the usual dairy-based milk.

Oats in milk

The benefit of substituting a plant-based milk for ice cream is that it offers an alternative that doesn’t come with some of the troubling elements of dairy-based milk.

Typical dairy-based milk tends to be high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and contains lactose as well. Opting to substitute with oat milk, for example, eliminates two of those three while significantly reducing the third.

Additionally, since dairy has been eliminated from the equation, oat milk ice cream does not contain any animal products, making it a vegan-friendly dessert.

Taste & Texture

The challenge when making ice cream with plant-based milk alternatives is matching the creamy consistency of regular ice cream. This is one area where oat milk ice cream excels, according to reviews of the Oatly brand of vanilla ice cream– the most-reviewed oat milk ice cream on Amazon.com.

Oat milk ice cream has a rich flavor and creamy texture that mimics regular ice cream quite well, according to some reviews.


It’s always good to know what’s in your food, and this is also true when comparing oat milk ice cream vs regular ice cream.

According to the nutrition label, Oatly’s brand of vanilla-flavored oat milk ice cream contains:

  • Oat milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Dried glucose syrup
  • Low erucic acid rapeseed oil
  • And more

Be sure to check their website for the full list of ingredients.

Oat Milk Ice Cream VS Regular Ice Cream: Nutrition

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of oat milk ice cream, let’s have a look at how it compares to regular ice cream that is made using dairy milk.

Oat Milk Ice Cream Is Lactose-Free

One of the biggest benefits of opting for oat milk ice cream over the regular kind is that it does not contain lactose– a type of sugar found in milk.

Those with lactose intolerance are unable to properly digest this sugar, leading to gas, bloating, and more, according to Mayo Clinic.

Opting for oat milk ice cream is a great way to avoid the lactose found in regular dairy-based ice cream.

Oat Milk Ice Cream Is Vegan

Another big selling point of oat milk ice cream is that it isn’t made with animal products, making it a vegan-friendly option for those who cannot eat regular ice cream due to the dairy it contains.

Nutrition Facts

Let’s have a look at some of the nutritional differences between regular ice cream and ice cream made with oat milk.

The table below compares a 2/3 cup serving of Oatly vanilla ice cream with an equal serving size of Haagen-Dazs vanilla-flavored and Ben & Jerry’s vanilla-flavored ice cream.

These brands for chosen as they are three of the most recognized brands among consumers.

Item Oat Milk Ice Cream Haagen-Dazs Ben & Jerry’s
  Oatly vanilla Haagen Dazs vanilla Ben & Jerry's vanilla
Serving Size 2/3 cup 2/3 cup 2/3 cup
Calories 210 320 330
Total Fat 13g 21g 21g
Saturated Fat 8g 13g 13g
Trans Fat 0g 1g 1g
Cholesterol 0mg 95mg 120mg
Total Carbohydrate 25g 26g 28g
Dietary Fiber 1g 0g 0g
Total Sugars 18g 25g 27g
Added Sugar 18g 18g 21g
Protein 1g 6g 6g
Sodium 40mg 75mg 65mg
Potassium 0mg 220mg 160mg
Vitamin D 0% DV 4% DV 6% DV
Calcium 0% DV 10% DV 15% DV
Iron 0% DV 0% DV 2% DV
Sources linked in item names

As you can see, oat milk ice cream does share some traits with regular ice cream. For example, it has just as many carbohydrates and nearly as much added sugar.

Oat Milk Ice Cream Has Fewer Calories

One distinct advantage oat milk ice cream has over the regular kind is that it contains roughly 30% fewer calories per serving.

This means that if you’re trying to restrict your caloric intake, then opting oat milk ice cream will afford you a greater volume of food for less calories.

It Also Contains Less Fat

Possibly the biggest nutritional advantage that oat milk ice cream has to offer is that it doesn’t contain as much fat as the regular kind does.

Not only does it contain less total fat, but it also has less of the “bad” fats too, such as saturated fat and trans fat.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), saturated fat is a “bad” type of fat that is solid at room temperature and can raise LDL cholesterol levels.

Trans fats, on the other hand, might be even worse. They too can raise LDL levels, but while also lowering HDL levels, according to the AHA.

Oat milk ice cream contains roughly 38% less saturated fat per serving than regular ice cream, and it contains no trans fats whatsoever.

Oat Milk Ice Cream Is Cholesterol-Free

Another perk to enjoy when choosing oat milk ice cream is that it does not contain dietary cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in animal-based foods. The human liver produces its own cholesterol, so it isn’t necessary to consume it in the diet.

It was once believed that cholesterol consumption negatively impacts blood cholesterol levels, but the narrative on that appears to have shifted.

That said, cholesterol remains a contentious topic, with different experts having varying opinions. Those who choose to play it safe and avoid cholesterol regardless will find oat milk ice cream to be more compatible with their preferences.

Regular Ice Cream Packs More Protein

The greatest nutritional advantage that regular ice cream has to offer over the oat milk variety is that it packs much more protein, clocking in at 6 grams per 2/3 cup serving.

Oat milk ice cream, on the other hand, has a meager 1 gram for a similar serving size.

It Also Contains More Vitamins & Minerals

Finally, regular ice cream does have another nutritional advantage in that it contains more vitamins and minerals than oat milk ice cream, including:

  • Potassium, an essential electrolyte and mineral responsible for managing fluid balance in the body.
  • Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.
  • Calcium, which helps build strong bones.
  • Iron, which helps transport oxygen in the blood.

The Bottom Line

In short, there are many differences between oat milk ice cream vs regular ice cream, but the advantages appear to favor the former.

Not only is it lactose-free and lower in some of the bad fats, but it also has fewer calories and even a little bit of fiber too.

That said, if protein is your priority, then the regular old dairy-based ice cream may be the better option for you.

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    This post was contributed by a member of the PBF writing staff. PlantBasedFAQs.com is an online publication for learning about plant-based food and nutrition.

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