A growing number of health-conscious consumers are taking advantage of the many benefits of nutritious, calcium-fortified beverages – like soy and rice milks – as alternative sources to dairy milk.
Derived from soybeans, soymilk has almost as much protein as dairy milk and is a comparable source of calcium, but without the cholesterol and fat you’ll find in dairy milk. Soymilk is also a good source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and E, and is rich in minerals, such as magnesium. An added benefit is that soymilk delivers many nutrients that you won’t find in dairy milk such as iron, essential omega-3 fatty acids and soy protein.
Rice milk is one of several grain milks used as a substitute for cow’s milk. It does not contain as much protein as soymilk, but provides carbohydrates and is often fortified with essential vitamins. It is slightly sweet and works best in dessert recipes.
Both soy and rice milks can easily be incorporated into your diet. Since they are completely lactose-free they are safe for those with sensitivities to dairy. Soy and rice milks offer the vitamins and minerals of dairy milk, but without the unpleasant side effects… so you don’t have to give up all the food you love. They are also considered a great alternative for vegans and vegetarians since no animal products, by-products or derivatives are used during production.
From a nutritional perspective, both soy and rice milks are a smart choice for total wellbeing. Soymilk offers an easy, convenient way to improve your diet, reduce heart disease risk, encourage bone health and promote overall wellness. To get the hearthealthy benefits of soy protein, the FDA recommends that consumers incorporate four servings of at least 6.25 grams of soy protein into their daily diet – a total of at least 25 grams of soy protein each day.
Soymilk can serve as a milk substitute in any recipe and is great with everyday breakfast favorites. For example, try using soymilk over cereal, combining soymilk with waffle and pancake ingredients, and mixing soymilk with coffee and tea. Since rice milk is sweeter, it is ideal as a coffee creamer and in ice creams.