Leslie Beck does an interesting article, What you need to know about 'other' milk, on the Toronto Globe and Mail website.
She focuses on the nutritional aspects of soy, rice, and nut milks.
Whether soy helps prevent heart disease or guards against cancer remains to be proven. But this popular milk alternative, made from whole soybeans or soy protein concentrate, is considered a nutritionally adequate alternative to cow's milk thanks to its protein content. A 250 ml serving of soy beverages supplies six to nine grams of protein, depending on the brand (250 ml of milk provides 8.5 grams of protein).
Choose a soy beverage with at least eight grams of protein per serving.
Many flavoured soy beverages have protein numbers at the lower end of the range since adding sugar -- evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, maltodextrin, et cetera -- dilutes the protein content.
More sugar also means more calories.
If instead you choose the chocolate-flavoured version, you'll consume 160 calories and 24 grams (six teaspoons) of sugar.
Soy beverages labelled "original" or "plain" aren't sugar-free; they contain five to 10 grams of sugar per 250 ml serving. Unsweetened soy beverages contain no added sugars.
Fortified rice beverages have a slightly sweet taste and are largely a source of carbohydrates.
They're made from filtered water, brown rice and sunflower oil and are typically fortified with vitamins and minerals. Rice beverages are low in protein so they aren't a nutritional replacement for milk. If you use rice beverages as a substitute for dairy, be sure to get protein from a wide variety of other foods.
Almonds are a good source of magnesium, vitamin E and monounsaturated fats -- all of which may benefit the heart.
But the actual amount of almonds used in almond-based beverages is small.
Don't expect to lower your blood cholesterol by drinking this milk alternative.
Most brands supply two grams of protein per serving, so be sure to get it from other foods.
There is also a short chart on the page that compares calories, protein, fat, and saturated fat for generic versions of these alternative "milks." She gives a source of "MANUFACTURERS AND CANADIAN NUTRIENT FILE, 2005." However, not only will these numbers vary from brand to brand, but most brands have several or even dozens of varieties of products, with deliberately different characteristics. Don't go by this chart, but be sure to check the nutrition labeling on individual products.