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What Is Rice Milk and Is Rice Milk Good for You?

Fitday Editor
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Rice milk is a dairy free milk made from rice. Like soy milk and almond milk, rice milk is safe for those who suffer from lactose intolerance. Rice milk is also low in fat, which makes it a good milk substitute for baking. Add rice milk to your diet and use FitDay to keep track of your nutrition and calories as you work toward weight loss.

What is Rice Milk?

Rice milk is made from boiled rice, brown rice syrup and brown rice starch. Manufacturers often add thickening agents to commercial rice milk. Rice milk may be sweetened with sugar and some manufacturers use vanilla to make rice milk taste more like cow's milk. Rice milk generally tastes sweeter than cow's milk.

Rice milk is popular with vegetarians and vegans because it contains no animal products or by-products. Rice milk is also good for people who are lactose intolerant.

The Nutritional Value of Rice Milk

Rice milk contains more carbohydrates than cow's milk. However, unlike cow's milk, rice milk doesn't contain lactose or cholesterol. This makes it healthy for your heart as well as safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

Rice milk doesn't contain as much calcium or protein as cow's milk. Since rice milk doesn't contain a lot of protein, those who use rice milk as a milk substitute must plan to include more protein in their diet through other means. Most commercial brands of rice milk, however, are fortified with calcium. This is why a serving of fortified rice milk provides the same amount of calcium as a serving of cow's milk. Rice milk is also often fortified with niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and iron.

One cup of rice milk contains about 140 calories, compared to 185 calories in a cup of whole cow's milk, and 97 calories in a cup of skimmed cow's milk. Rice milk contains about three grams of fat per cup, while whole cow's milk contains about 11 grams per cup. However, rice milk still contains more fat than skimmed cow's milk, which contains less than half a gram of fat per one cup serving.

Replacing Cow's Milk with Rice Milk

Rice milk can be a tasty, low fat way to replace cow's milk in your diet, especially if you're lactose intolerant or adverse to consuming animal products. Rice milk is also a tasty alternative for vegans and vegetarians who are allergic to soy. While rice milk doesn't offer the health benefits of soy, but it's still healthy.

Many people make their own rice milk at home. While rice milk is easy and inexpensive to make, homemade rice milk doesn't have the benefit of being nutritionally fortified. If you're replacing cow's milk in your diet with rice milk, choose a variety of rice milk that's fortified with calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D. Unfortified rice milk doesn't contain much of these vitamins and minerals, so drinking fortified rice milk will ensure that a cup of rice milk gives you the same vitamins and minerals that a cup of cow's milk does.

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