Rice Milk vs. Milk: Which Is Healthier?

Rice milk falls short of meeting other milk varieties nutritional contents. Dairy milk has a superior caloric composition when compared to the rice alternative. Many people select rice milk for its lactose and soy free nature, not because it has great nutrition that provides health benefits.

Rice and Dairy Varieties

Like other milk alternatives, those that come from rice and dairy both have several differences based on a per product basis. Many companies add flavoring, sugars and other nutrients to enhance their milk products. This helps these groups sell more by making a tastier or healthier option for consumers.

Dairy milk also has multiple fat varieties, which satisfy a wide spectrum of consumers. These types range from the whole fat variety all the way down to a fat free version.

With a wide variety of product choices, comparing rice milk and the dairy option seems difficult. However, in their purest forms, rice and cow’s milk show very few similarities from a nutritional stand point.

Rice and Dairy Similarities

Both of these milk options contain calcium and iron, two valuable nutrients that our bodies need. Most dairy and rice milk choices fall short of 200 calories per each one cup serving.

Rice and cow’s milk mix well with foods like hot and cold cereals, plus both get used in baking recipes as well. The sugars in both milk options do not disrupt our blood sugar levels. The low glycemic nature of the carbohydrates in rice and dairy milk generally get metabolized and used as energy rather than stored as fat.

Major Nutritional Differences

The following list provides many of the nutrients found in most dairy milk choices, all of which rice milk does not contain:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus

This variety of vitamins and minerals work separately and together in order to provide us with numerous health benefits.

Unlike dairy milk, rice milk also lacks protein. Each one cup serving of dairy milk contains around 8 grams of protein, while rice milk has 1 or 2 grams at best.

Rice milk also lacks the high amount of calcium found in nearly all other milk options including dairy, soy and almond milk. At only 2% of our recommended daily value per each one cup serving, rice milk does not provide an adequate amount of either calcium or iron.

Choosing Dairy over Rice

For those seeking the most health conscious milk choice, the rice variety will not provide you with the nutrients that other options will. The only reason that rice milk might get chosen over dairy or another milk variety usually has something to do with a lactose or soy allergy.

The main concern with rice milk stems from its high carbohydrate content. Although made from healthy sugars, these carbs tend to cause weight gain when consumed at a daily rate. Our bodies store some of the sugars that we eat as a source of potential and available energy, while some turns into fat over time.

Eating rice milk with other foods, especially other sugar or starchy carbohydrate sources, generally further decreases the nutritional value of the rice liquid as well.


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