Rice milk dangers are mostly attributed to the presence of arsenic in trace amounts. Leaf through this article to get an insight about probable side effects of this liquid.
The name, rice milk itself suggests that it is a liquid product derived from rice grains. It is pure white in color, similar to regular milk. In some regions where the use of word ‘milk’ is banned except for animal-based milk, it is sold as a rice drink. While there are no major dangers associated with the homemade version, some of the store-bought products are found to contain traces of chemicals and preservatives. This article presents to you some of the rice milk dangers.
Dangers of Rice Milk
Since this product is formulated with health objectives, brown rice is used as the base ingredient. In the market, you will find both sweetened (containing sugarcane syrup) and unsweetened types of this drink. Accordingly, the nutrition facts vary from one brand to another, and also based on how much you are serving in each time. Taste wise, even the unsweetened drink is mildly sweet, which is because of the enzymatic action that converts carbohydrates into glucose and simple sugar forms.
As compared to dairy milk, this product contains higher amount of carbohydrates, but lesser proteins, calcium, lactose, and other nutrients. So, it won’t be wrong to say that the nutritional value of this drink is inferior to the one obtained from animals. And to make up these nutrients, commercial products are fortified with vitamins and minerals during the production process. Unfortunately, this vegetarian drink contains food additives that cause adverse health effects. Thus, adding preservative is partly responsible for associated dangers.
The nutritional value of this drink that contains no vitamins and minerals, is lower than white bread. This is because, carbohydrate is the only major nutrient found in brown rice. And, if this partially milled rice is further processed, what you get is milk that lacks nutrients, except for carbs. Hence, many people are of the opinion that this drink is not a reliable one.
As per studies conducted, rice grain products contain a low percentage (almost negligible) of arsenic. The drink is toxic and serves as a carcinogenic agent in specific dosage. In a latest study, 60 samples of such drinks were taken to examine the presence of arsenic. Almost all the products contain a very low amount of arsenic in them, but higher than the safe limit.
The contamination of arsenic is linked to usage of pesticides and chemical-based product in the rice field. Considering the presence of arsenic, consuming a large amount of this milk on a daily basis poses a risk for accumulation of this carcinogenic substance. The conclusion is that, it is not safe for feeding young children as a replacement for milk. So, to be on the safer side, consult a dietitian before taking it daily.
Rice milk problems may arise due to sweeteners and vegetable oils (in some brands) added in the products. Even if the sweetening agent is natural (sugarcane juice or sugary syrup), anything related to sweetness increases the calorie count. Also, the sweetened product is not suggested for diabetic patients and people who are predisposed to heart diseases.
For people who are sensitive to lactose, rice drink along with almond milk and other plant-based milk products are considered as excellent substitutes. Also, patients having phenylketonuria and those who cannot digest soy milk rely on this drink to reap the health benefits of milk. As far as the side effects are concerned, selecting a reliable, organic-based product is a simple way to minimize the probable negative effects. Or else, you can consider making homemade rice milk from cooked brown rice.
In an approach to reduce the dangers of rice milk, try homemade rice milk recipe with brown rice. All you need are 1 cup cooked organic rice, 4 cups hot water, and flavoring extract (vanilla or chocolate). Blend cooked rice and water and in a food processor, until you get a slurry form. Allow it to settle down in the mixer for sometime, and separate the top liquid portion carefully, or use a cheesecloth for the purpose. While making this lactose free milk for kids, you can use honey to improve its taste.
Disclaimer: This NutriNeat article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.