Vegan Substitutes- Are They Better For You?

A young woman with brown hair is wearing a face mask and is carrying a shopping basket. She is reaching for a lemon from a fruit store

Following a plant-based diet high in fibre and reducing red meat intake can have many beneficial effects for our health and wellbeing – reducing risks of bowel cancers and other chronic diseases. However, as more people are adopting a vegan diet, there are now many more plant-based alternatives on the market.

Vegan products are not always healthier!

Of course for ethical reasons, choosing the plant-based option may be preferred however it’s important to know what to look for when choosing a suitable alternative.

Why do we need dairy?

Recommended daily intake of dairy products varies between 2-3 serves per day depending on the individual. Dairy provides our bodies with many important nutrients including calcium and vitamin D. Dairy is also a great source of protein! It also contains a small number of saturated fats which is something to consider reducing if you have elevated cholesterol levels.

Vegan cheese and Dairy cheese are being compared against one another in terms of protein, sat fat, and sodium

As you can see

the vegan alternative has almost no protein, no calcium, and a whopping 19g of saturated fat! It is also much higher in sodium. Not something you would expect from a plant-based product however vegan dairy often uses coconut oils which are surprisingly very high in saturated fats.

Compared to regular low-fat cheese, it doesn’t provide many nutritional benefits aside from satisfying that cheesy flavour.

You can definitely achieve adequate nutritional intake through a vegan diet, though it’s important to make sure you are getting the right nutrients elsewhere in the diet.

Who can help me to achieve a sustainable vegan diet?

A trusted and qualified Dietitian can! There is so much information out there but it is always best to speak with a qualified Dietitian. They know best when to comes to implementing dietary changes as well as what will be best for YOU! Because not all diets suit everyone’s health and wellbeing needs.

Finds your nearest Sports & Spinal Dietitian HERE and see how they can help you 💙

 

Written By Dietitian, Georgia Volz