Almond Milk vs. Rice Milk: Which Is Healthier?

The comparison of rice milk to almond milk almost serves as an unfair debate. Almond milk drastically outweighs the rice variety in nearly every category regarding health benefits. The milk derived from almonds naturally contains more nutrients in higher levels.

Nutritional Similarities

Almond milk and rice milk contain no soy or lactose. Both of these dairy and soy milk alternatives have no cholesterol, trans fats or saturated fats. These choices do have healthy fats and limited amounts of protein as well.

Rice milk and almond milk have low sodium.

Nutritional Differences

Almond milk has slightly less sugars than the rice alternative.  Each has a low amount of sodium, but almond milk has slightly more with 150 mg compared to 100 mg in rice milk.

Both almond and rice milk have iron, except almond milk has a 2% higher level at 4% of our recommended daily value.

The Big Differences

The following list shows all of the nutrients that almond milk has an abundance of, while rice milk has none of or a very limited amount.

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin D
  • B Vitamins
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium

This data alone shows why rice milk falls short as a dairy milk alternative.

Rice milk also contains double the calories of almond milk. One cup of the rice option has 120 calories compared to 60 provided by the almond choice.

Health Benefit Issues

Since rice milk lacks several key nutrients provided by nearly every other milk variety, we do not gain any significant positive health benefits from drinking the beverage.

One major benefit that rice milk does not provide involves bone and teeth formation and health. The calcium found in almond milk works in sync with Vitamin D and magnesium, in order to increase bone density and proper growth.

This benefit becomes especially important in young children, infants and the elderly who tend to encounter bone deterioration.

The Carbohydrate Difference

Since rice milk comes from a grain, the carbohydrate content of the beverage climbs far beyond that of the almond option. Almond milk has about 8 grams of carbs per serving with 1 coming from fiber. Rice milk, on the other hand, has nearly 25 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

Usually, people consume their beverage of choice to quench thirst and fight off hunger, not to gain weight. Drinking rice milk, which has a high calorie and carbohydrate content, generally causes more weight gain than almond milk.

Our bodies have the ability to store a certain amount of food energy. Consuming too many carbohydrates will result in an energy surplus, in which we store simple sugars as fat around the body. If you thought about adding rice milk to an already carbohydrate rich cereal, think again.

Since rice milk has such a high carbohydrate content, it becomes less practical for nearly every purpose. Adding rice milk to a hot or cold breakfast cereal will further increase your carb consumption. Drinking rice milk before bed will more than likely cause unwanted weight gain.

Almond milk provides a light drink or food additive during all times of the day because of its low calories and carbohydrate content.


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