When I graduated and moved out into the world and was purchasing my own groceries I decided to get rice milk, the brand Rice Dream, instead of milk because of a mild allergy that I have. To be completely honest though I never have been a big fan of the taste of milk and was eager to try something different of means to get my Calcium. There came a time however that I went back to drinking milk, when I was pregnant. After having my son I decided to discontinue drinking milk but wanted to make sure that I was getting enough calcium in my diet because I was nursing. I decided to analyze Rice Dream and see if when compared to the milk I had been drinking if it was a good beverage to choose to get my Calcium. Here is what I found.

Rice milk, well at least Rice Dream rice milk offers the same amount of calories as 2% milk of the brand of milk that I use to drink, however has less than half of the calories from fat than the milk. That being sat it is not surprising that there is zero grams of saturated fat in rice milk. Rice milk does not have cholesterol where 2% milk has 12 grams, 4% of your daily needed intake. The sodium amount is only 80mg where there is 125mg in 2% milk. Now the amount of total carbohydrates that are found in 2% milk are actually half of what you would find in rice milk, which has 8% of what you need daily. Like 2% milk rice milk doesn’t have any dietary fiber and has 2 grams less sugars, unfortunately while milk offers you 8 grams of protein rice milk only offers you 1 gram. The minerals and vitamins that rice milk offer that have the same daily value as 2% milk are Vitamin A at 10%, Vitamin D at 25% and Calcium at 30%. Now both rice milk and milk offer Phosphorus but at 25% milk has two fifths more than rice milk. Rice offers 4% iron but no Vitamin C and milk offers 2% Vitamin C but no iron.

As a vegetarian I decided that I needed a beverage that I could get my calcium and a good amount of protein from, especially since I am nursing. Although I occasionally still drink rice milk it is not the main replacement for my calcium beverage.

If you are looking for a beverage other than milk to get your calcium and you don’t want to drink rice milk click on the author’s name for an article about A nutrition comparison of milk and soy milk.