The benefits of drinking either of these alternatives to cow’s milk is due to the fact that they are plant based. Plant-based milks will not contain cholesterol and will usually have little saturated fat. The almond milk should also contain the nutrients found in whole almonds, like vitamin E and magnesium.
On the other hand, because they are plant based, they will not contain vitamin B12, they are low in protein, and have little calcium unless fortified. Even when they are fortified with calcium it will not be absorbed as well as the calcium found in dairy. The nutrient and calorie content will vary widely according to manufacturer, so be sure to check the nutrition facts. If you are consuming a vegan diet, be sure to look for milks that are fortified with B12, vitamin D and calcium.
You may want to check the ingredient label to see what they’ve put into the milks. Manufacturers may add sweeteners to enhance the flavor, and if you are a person with diabetes you should look at the total carbohydrates in a serving. Rice milk tends to have more carbohydrates than almond milk. Both should work well in cooking, though you shouldn’t use a sweet or flavored product with savory dishes like mashed potatoes.
The best way to compare these two products is to look at the nutrition facts labels side by side and see which one packs the most nutrients in per serving for the amount of calories. You should also consider the taste of course, and the price.
-Aurora Buffington, MS,RD