Rice milk will always be one of my favorite beverages, but I have to admit that I have not had it in quite some time. However, I cannot attribute this to the taste and rather force of habit. About a year back or so I started drinking almond milk on a regular basis. It was something that both my mom and sister recommended and it was very well received by my son who feels that it is his favorite beverage, especially if it is vanilla flavored. I was pleased that it was not soy based, since I have been trying to cut back on that as we tend to eat it a lot, but I began wondering if it was better than rice milk. To find out I decided to do a nutrition comparison of Rice Dream Original Flavor Rice Milk and Almond Breeze Original Flavor Almond Milk.
Rice Milk and Almond Milk Have in Common
Having previously looked at non-dairy beverages’ nutrition facts I figured there would quite a few things in common for rice milk and almond milk. Both the rice milk and the almond milk I looked over contained the same amount of total fat, saturated fat and trans fat. Additionally both showed no milligrams for cholesterol and only one gram for protein. I have always been disappointed with the limited amount of protein that some non-dairy drinks come with so this was not surprising to me. In the minerals and vitamins section there were more similarities. Both offer 0% for vitamin C, 4% for iron, 10% for vitamin A and 25% for vitamin D.
Rice Milk and Almond Milk Differ
Despite having so much in common I definitely noticed some differences between the two beverages after analyzing the nutrition facts of both of them. The rice milk contained twice as many calories but five calories less from fat. It contained 50 milligrams less of sodium as well. Additionally the rice milk contained five grams more of total carbohydrates and three grams more of sugars. The almond milk had 50% more calcium than the rice milk, but the rice milk listed 13% more than almond milk for phosphorus.
What Rice Milk Has that Almond Milk Does Not
One of the first things that I noticed that was listed on the nutrition facts of the rice milk that was not on almond milk nutrition facts was polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat, however it is likely that the almond contains these but does not list them. To be honest there was nothing that the rice milk lacked that the almond milk did not as well with the exception of vitamin B12. The vitamin B12 was listed with 25% for the rice milk but not mentioned on the almond milk.
What Almond Milk Has that Rice Milk Does Not
The almond milk listed potassium at 180 milligrams, a significant amount, while the rice milk does not list potassium at all. It also listed one gram of fiber while the rice milk lists no grams. The almond milk also listed several nutrients in the minerals and vitamins section that were not listed in the rice milk. These were vitamin E, riboflavin, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese. The vitamin E list 50%, the manganese listed 6%, the magnesium listed 4% and the riboflavin, zinc, and copper each listed 2%.
As far as these two brands go there are some definite factors determining which is better for you. Assuming that taste is not an issue I think that each one has some unique strengths. For instance this particular brand of almond milk does not offer any vitamin B12. This is a very special nutrient, especially for vegetarians. However, the almond milk did offer significantly more calcium making it a better choice for anyone hoping to increase their calcium intake without drinking traditional milk. However, if low sodium foods and beverages were a must for someone’s diet that person may want to stick with the rice milk as it has nearly half as much sodium than the almond milk. Which is best is up to you and what you need in your non-dairy drink. If you are interested in what other almond milks have to offer I would consider reading the Silk Pure Almond Original Flavor Almond Milk Review.