Skim Milk vs. Rice Milk: Which Is Healthier?

Skim milk has far more nutrients when compared to rice milk. The fat free dairy milk contains essential vitamins and minerals that many other milk alternatives do not. Rice milk has a fraction of the calcium and iron provided by the dairy option, making it less beneficial to most consumers who choose the product.

Similarities – Skim and Rice Milk

Both skim and rice milk contain low cholesterol and low levels of sodium. Skim milk was produced in order to provide a fat free version of dairy milk, making it an acceptable choice by those on low fat diets.

Skim milk and rice milk contain less than 15 grams of sugars. Both choices have low levels of iron. The sugars in these milk options have low glycemic loads, meaning they have little effect on our blood sugar levels. This helps regulate metabolic function while limiting the chance of fat storage.

Skim milk and rice milk do not contain soy.

Minor Differences – Skim and Rice Milk

The skim choice has slightly higher levels of sodium per serving at 130 grams compared to 100 grams in rice milk. Skim milk has about 5 mg of cholesterol per every one cup serving, while rice milk has none.

The dairy option has no fat content while rice milk contains 2.5 grams of healthy fats.

Major Nutritional Discrepancies

Skim milk has a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and moderate levels of other key nutrients that help us achieve health benefits. Rice milk contains only traces of calcium and iron, two nutrients that carry high percentages in the skim option.

This list contains nutrients found in skim milk:

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

With the exception of calcium and iron, rice milk contains none of these nutrients. All of these vitamins and minerals work together to provide our bodies with the proper tools to build healthy tissue in bones, teeth, skin and muscles.

Health Benefit Differences

The B Vitamins provided by the protein in skim milk helps us grow, repair and maintain muscle fiber. We also benefit from the vitamin groups’ ability to metabolize food into energy, giving us the strength to carry out physical activity. Rice milk contains no more than 1 gram of protein per serving compared to skim milk’s 8 grams for every one cup.

Skim milk has beneficial properties that help us grow and develop bones. Calcium, along with magnesium, prevents bones from growing brittle throughout aging while helping young children develop a supportive frame.

Skim Milk and Rice Milk Cautions

Although skim milk serves as a much more nutritionally dense option, many people suffer from lactose intolerance. This limits their ability to enjoy the benefits of most dairy products. The sugars in milk come mostly from lactose.

If you do decide to choose rice milk instead of skim or any type of dairy choice, consume the beverage in moderation. Rice milk has a much higher carbohydrate content compared to most other milks since the liquid comes from a grain. Too many carbohydrates usually puts us in weight gain mode. Use moderation when adding rice milk to cereals and consuming the beverage during sedentary parts of your day.


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