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dairy-free cheese

Is Vegan Cheese Good For You?

Is cheese stopping you from being vegan? We all heard about vegan cheese or dairy-free cheese, but what exactly is that? How is vegan cheese made of? Is it better than dairy cheese?

Repots presented in Vegconomist and abillions depicted that the demand for plant-based cheese has risen through the last few years. Vegan cheese does not contain animal milk, thus is free from lactose and casein, an animal-based protein. As a result, it gained popularity among vegan diet, health-conscious consumer, as well as those lactose-intolerant and casein-allergic people.

vegan cheese
Photo by NastyaSensei

How Is Dairy-free Cheese Made?

Common ingredients in vegan cheese contain plant-based milk like soy milk or coconut milk, nuts and seeds like cashews, starchy flour like tapioca, and other ingredients like aquafaba, nutritional yeast, etc. They also shared a very different cheese culture than dairy cheese. On the other hand, dairy cheese includes animal milk, enzymes, salt.

Dairy cheese is often made from casein, a protein obtained from animal milk. Bacteria and enzymes are used to curdle the milk into cheese. As a result, whey is separated. Salt is added to the casein, heated for some time and pressed, and left to age.

Vegan cheese is also prepared in the same way, but the protein is obtained from plant-based milk or nuts rather than animal-based. Oils, emulsifiers, and lactic bacteria are used to separate the proteins. Thickeners are added to get the required texture.

vegan cheese
Photo by Jez Timms

The Benefit of Vegan Cheese:

Dairy cheese is high usually high in protein and calcium, but the level of saturated fats and cholesterol, which leads to cardiovascular disease, has raised our concerns over time. So, should you shift to dairy-free cheese? Here are some benefits or nutrition of vegan cheese:

  • Less Cholesterol and Saturated Fats: Plant-based cheese or vegan cheese has little to no cholesterol as compared to animal-based cheese. Moreover, it has a very minute amount of saturated fats, making them a healthier diet.
  • Suitable For Lactose-intolerant People: Lactose-intolerant people can’t digest animal-derived dairy, thus they couldn’t enjoy dairy cheese. It increased the demand for dairy-free products, including vegan cheese, as it does not contain lactose.
  • Lower Cholesterol level and blood pressure: A study has found that plant-based food helps us to lower cholesterol and blood pressure level, as well as the risk of getting cardiovascular disease. Most of these food can be found in vegan cheese ingredients, including nuts and soy products. 
  • Fortified with Nutrients: Vegan cheese is often loaded with many fortified nutrients. For instance, brands like most of the Violife Cheese and Daiya’s dairy-free Cheddar Style Slices are fortified with vitamin B12; Go Veggie Cheese and most of the Daiya Cheese contained a considerable amount of calcium.
  • Offer Fewer Calories: Vegan cheese contains very few calories. It can provide 40 calories per ounce, while dairy-based cheese provides 90 calories per ounce.
  • Offers Melty Texture: most of the vegan cheese offers you the same melty and stretchy texture, just like you want.

Final Words:

Vegan Cheese is dairy-free, gluten-free, and most of them are fortified with nutrition like Vitamin B12 and Calcium. It also contains ingredients that able to reduce the chance of getting cardiovascular disease. Not only suitable for people who opt for a vegan diet, but also for lactose-intolerant and casein-allergic people. Needless to say, it is also a best cheese alternative for people who is watching their cholesterol level.

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