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Vegan Cheese Substitutes

Are artificial cheese substitutes healthy. The ingredients list looks dubious.

Sorry if this isn't the correct forum for the question.

mneola
Many vegan cheese substitutes

Many vegan cheese substitutes can have a long list of ingredients, lack fiber, and be heavily processed making them poor choices when it relates to nutrient-density. They can be used in small amounts to help replace regular cheese as a transition food while getting used to not having dairy-based cheese. However, there are a number of cheese substitutes now on the market that are made with more recognizable ingredients like cashews that can be used in small amounts keeping in line with a low-fat diet. For more cheese swap ideas, you might enjoy reading Dr. Barnard's new book "The Cheese Trap" available on amazon and our online store at pcrm.org/shop

Hope that helps!
Maggie Neola, RD
Physicians Committee

Maggie Neola

auntieCarrot
Vegan Cheese Substitutes

Thank you Maggie, that helped. I've been vegan almost 2 years now--with no dairy. But, lately I've been seeing so many products offered at local health stores and, although I've avoided them, wondered if they were worth trying. After seeing the list of ingredients, it just didn't seem worth it. Things like starch and different oils, plus xanthan gum, tricalcium phosphate confuse me. I don't know if xanthan gum is even healthy although I see it a lot even sold alone. (Is it?)

mneola
A good general rule of thumb

A good general rule of thumb is if it has a long list of ingredients that most people wouldn't recognize, then it's likely a highly processed food that shouldn't make up the bulk of one's diet. Whole foods are more nutrient-dense and healthful. Xantham gum is simply an emulsifier often used in gluten-free baking, salad dressings, ice creams, etc. I'd be more concerned with the large amounts of oil and highly refined ingredients in processed foods. Thanks for asking!

Maggie Neola, RD
Physicians Committee

Maggie Neola

auntieCarrot
Vegan Cheese Substitutes

Oh yes, I agree that the shorter the ingredient list, the more reliably healthy the item. So, I'm guessing that with all the "vegan" choices in the dairy case, there are no good choices available for a cheese substitute. It's always a learning process. I will continue to use the nutritional yeast.

mneola
You may be surprised and find

You may be surprised and find some that are made with just a few ingredients like almonds or cashews! Even so, be mindful of serving size since they're often a little high in fat. When in doubt, nutritional yeast is a great choice!

Maggie Neola, RD
Physicians Committee

Maggie Neola

Jane C
Just starting diet

HI, I am just starting out on this journey. I have been vegetarian for sometime now I am ready to take the leap to be a Vegan.

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