Rice Milk vs Oat Milk: What’s better for CKD

Which Milk Is Good For Kidney Patients?

Now that you are on a renal diet, you are advised to choose your dairy wisely.

I found dairy to be one of THE HARDEST or most challenging food groups to avoid when you are on a renal diet.

Luckily today, we live in a world where there are numerous alternative dairy products available. They are made out of soy, almond, oats, rice, potatoes, or coconut, and the list goes on and on.

I want to focus on two of the most common dairy alternatives in the renal diet, RICE MILK and OAT MILK.

They both are considered safe because compared to whole milk, rice milk and oat milk have less potassium and phosphorus that Chronic Kidney Patients (CKD) struggle to get rid off.

Choosing the right milk alternatives helps keep potassium and phosphorus under control. You don’t want to have a risk of cardiac arrest if your potassium is TOO HIGH or weak bones when your Phosphorus TOO HIGH.

Let’s compare the nutrition content between Rice Milk and Oat Milk.

Nutritional Comparison

ALWAYS READ NUTRITION LABELS. Each year, products are developed.

There is always a change in the nutrition content of a product. If a company decided to not fortify a product for example, they might add fortification in the following year. 

Here is the data I gather from the USDA today:

(per approx. 8fl ounces)RICE MILK (unsweetened)OAT MILK (OATLY)
Total Sugar12.7g7.01g

As you can see above, Rice milk has lower potassium and phosphorus content, which makes it a better dairy alternative compared to oat milk in the Renal Diet.

Additionally, OAT MILK from OATLY! Brand listed different phosphorus additives which are harmful in CKD such as “ DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE.”

Potential benefits and drawbacks of each milk alternative

PRO: Rice milk is generally low in sodium and low in cholesterol. This is another great option for people with cardiovascular issues and obesity.

Additionally, they are fortified with B-vitamins, such as B12 that CKD patients and vegetarians need. 

CONS: Most rice milk is high in carbohydrates and sugar, so I wouldn’t recommend them for diabetics. 

PRO: Oat milk has a significantly high amount of protein and fiber. If you are not on Renal diet, and looking to add protein and fiber to your diet, I would go ahead with the Oat Milk.

CONS: Certain Oat Milk are sweetened with artificial flavoring that can spike your blood sugar. So stay within the unsweetened and natural version.

Additionally, some Oat Milk are not certified  Gluten Free so read the label carefully if you are following a Gluten Free Diet.

Taste and Texture

Due to lower cholesterol, Rice Milk has a lighter, natural taste.

The texture of Rice Milk is lighter compared to Oat Milk. Because of the lightness, Rice Milk is perfect for baking or mixing delicate bakes such as sugar cookies, adding to smoothies or to your coffee.

The taste of Rice Milk will not overpower other ingredients. 

Oat Milk has a darker beige white color compared to Rice milk. Oat milk is creamier with a hint of nuttiness after taste. It has a slightly thicker texture, and very close to oatmeal taste for some people.

Availability and Cost

Both Rice Milk and Oat Milk are pretty much available nowadays at local grocery store like KeyFood, Publix, Whole Food. They are plenty of brands out there. 

I will include the link below to my Amazon link for purchasing Rice Milk and Oat Milk. (As an Amazon Associate, I earn commission from qualifying purchases). I only recommend products that I would personally use and recommend to my family and friends.



Practical Tips and Recommendations for CKD 

To recap, nutrition label reading is really important in choosing the right dairy product for your renal diet.

Always use a measuring cup when you are drinking any fluids to help you stay within your fluid allowance. Consider dairy alternatives such as almond milk, rice milk, or coconut milk if rice milk or oat milk are not for you. 

Individual nutritional needs can vary, and a registered dietitian with expertise in renal nutrition can provide personalized advice based on your specific health condition, stage of kidney disease, and dietary preferences.

Leave a comment below for any questions.

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