Rice Milk vs Soy Milk: Which Is Better For You?
In this article, we are going to compare rice milk and soy milk to see how they compare in many aspects, including calories, nutritional content, taste, usage, effects on weight loss, and environment.
To make this comparison as fair as possible and get a realistic picture of how rice and soy milk compare, we’ve used USDA’s date on products that are unsweetened and that aren’t fortified or that are minimally fortified if the completely unfortified product isn’t available.
Both rice and soy milk are dairy-free, and therefore suitable for vegans and people that stick to a plant-based diet for a variety of reasons, but there are also many differences between these plant-based drinks.
Let’s see what rice and soy drinks are, how they are produced, and finally, how they compare in various ways.
This article is part of the non-dairy milk comparison series.
What is Rice Milk and How It’s Made?
Rice milk is a beverage that is frequently used as a plant-based substitute for milk made from dairy animals.
In spite of the fact that it is widely referred to as “rice milk,” the name “milk” may technically only be utilized to refer to a dairy beverage that originates from cows, in accordance with the requirements set by the FDA.
In the event that you go to the grocery in search of rice milk, you will most likely come across packets that are labeled as “rice non-dairy beverage” or “rice drink”.
Thanks to its composition, rice milk is not only a good option for vegans and lactose intolerant but also provides a rich mineral and nutritional supplement, while at the same time it has low fat and energy value.
Rice, either brown or white, combined with water may be used to manufacture one’s own rice milk.
Brown rice, sweeteners, brown rice syrup, plant-based oils, or flavorings like vanilla are often included in industrial ones. Brown rice may also be the primary ingredient.
The vast majority of varieties of rice milk are supplemented with additional minerals. Rice milk often has increased quantities of B vitamins, calcium, iron, vitamin D, and vitamin A in order to make it nearly similar to cow’s milk.
What is Soy Milk and How It’s Made?
Soy is a legume that originates from Asia and is very popular to be consumed today. Soy milk is a milk derivative made from soybeans.
Since it is plant-based and offers various health benefits, soy milk has an important place, especially in plant-based nutrition. It’s often used as a dairy-free alternative for coffee, breakfast oatmeal or cereals, rice puddings, baked goods, curries and so on.
Along with almond and oat milk, soy milk is one of the most popular plant-based nut milks.
Soy milk is prepared by combining soaked soybeans into the water and filtering off the particles to leave a clear, milk-like fluid. It is considered a whole soy food.
Both sweetened and unsweetened varieties are available.
Unsweetened variants are typically made up of solely filtered water and soybeans, while certain brands may additionally include vitamins, salt, or/and minerals.
Rice vs Soy Milk Nutrition and Calories
Plant-based milks mostly consist of water, and rice and soy milks are no exceptions.
3.5 oz or 100 g of rice milk contains 47 calories, and consists mostly of carbs (9.17 g), followed by fat (0.97 g) and protein (0.28 g).
Speaking of soy milk, the same amount contains 38 calories, and consists mostly of protein (3.55 g), followed by fat (2.12 g) and carbs (1.29 g).
The table below compares the nutrition of a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of rice milk to the same amount of soy milk.
Fiber is important for our health as it keeps us feeling full, prevents constipation, lowers sugar spikes and regulates sugar levels, lowers total and LDL cholesterol, and provides many other benefits.
When it comes to dietary fiber, soy milk is a better choice. It contains 0.45 g per 3.5oz (100g), while rice milk is lower in dietary fiber with 0.3 g.
What about micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in rice and soy milk?
The table below shows the most important vitamins and minerals in unfortified or minimally fortified plant-based drinks available in the market. Some of these nutrients are hard to get on a vegan diet.
|42 IU (0.68 mcg)
|27.2 IU (0.68 mcg)
If you’re trying to lose weight, you probably want to know whether rice or soy milk is better for you.
Rice and rice are very similar in calories.
Rice milk has 47 calories per 3.5 oz (100 g), while soy milk has 38 calories, so speaking strictly about calories, there’s no much difference.
Rice vs Soy Milk Taste and Uses
Rice milk has a subtle rice-y and sweet aftertaste with a watery consistency.
The slightly sweet taste of rice milk is because of the fermentation process. Rice milk complements many sweet and savory dishes without overpowering them.
It is an excellent choice for baking, working with thickening agents like cornstarch. Its watery consistency makes it easier to mix it with cornstarch without lumping.
You can use rice milk to make light sauces and soups. You can also use it in fruit and vegetable smoothies.
Rice milk can be also used to make vegan ice-creams. You can also add it to coffee and oatmeal. Sweet and fruity flavors go well with rice milk.
Soy milk has a mild beany taste. Some people may find it bitter and weird when trying for the first time.
While you may still have a slightly beany under-taste, the bitterness goes away during pasteurization in the commercially available soy milk. You may get a hint of vanilla in many commercial soy milk brands.
Soy milk has a creamy texture and a high nutritional density. It is high in protein and rich in healthy fats (PUFAs).
It can be used in pancakes, baked items, and smoothies. Home-made oat milk may add extra bitterness to your coffee. If you don’t like the taste, you can use commercially available sweetened soy milk.
Rice milk and soy milk are both plant-based, non-dairy beverages, suitable for vegans.
Rice milk and soy milk have their similarities and differences, but both are nutritious and a healthful addition to your diet. When available, always choose unsweetened, fortified products or try making them at home.
Plant milks, including rice and soy milks are easy to add to a diet, and can be used in varieties of recipes and dishes.
Fortified products will help get different nutrients, including micronutrients that are usually hard to get on a plant-based diet, such as vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium and others.
Other Rice Milk Comparisons
Other Soy Milk Comparisons
- Almond Milk vs Soy Milk
- Barley Milk vs Soy Milk
- Cashew Milk vs Soy Milk
- Coconut Milk vs Soy Milk
- Macadamia Milk vs Soy Milk
- Oat Milk vs Soy Milk
- Pea Milk vs Soy Milk
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- We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
- It's regularly updated.
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