Is Vegan Cheese Healthy?
This probably isn’t the answer you wanted, but here it is:
Most vegan cheese is not healthy at all. This is because most vegan cheeses are very high in saturated fat and contain little or no protein.
Where Does this Saturated Fat Come From?
Most of the unhealthy vegan cheeses rely on coconut oil to give them a nice creamy texture or to facilitate melting. Coconut oil has levels of saturated fat as bad as, or worse than butter fat or lard.
Another source of saturated fat that is used in some vegan cheeses is palm oil (also euphemistically called “palm fruit oil”). Not only is palm oil bad for human health, its production is very damaging to the environment and is responsible for the destruction of natural habitats in many countries. The pitiful photos of orangutans dying due to loss of their home forests are just the tip of the iceberg of habitat destruction.
What’s Wrong with Saturated Fat?
Saturated fat is one of the leading causes of cardio-vascular diseases. Cardiologists recommend severely limiting it in your diet - no more than 20 g per day.
But Isn’t Coconut Oil Good for You?
It is a common misconception that coconut oil is good for you because it elevates “good cholesterol.” But it also elevates “bad cholesterol.” The bottom line is that cardiologists at leading hospitals including the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and Harvard Medical School recommend limiting your intake of coconut oil for the sake of cardiovascular health.
What About Protein?
Many vegan cheeses are made with a combination of modified food starch and coconut oil. This means they provide no useful amount of protein. Some manufacturers add protein in the form of chick pea powder, pea protein or protein isolates. These tend to cause less than ideal flavors with very small gains in protein content. Treeline on the other hand is made from cashews, which taste great and have loads of protein - as well as being low in saturated fat.
Does Vegan Cheese Provide any Calcium?
By now you’ve probably guessed it. Most vegan cheeses, particularly those made from coconut oil and modified food starch, are not a useful source of calcium. Treeline has a decent amount of calcium. But I would still recommend that you eat a lot of kale, broccoli and spinach, which are crammed with the stuff.
What’s Alternatives Are There to Vegan Cheese Made from Coconut Oil and Food Starch?
Cashew nuts are a great alternative as a base for vegan cheese. They are low in saturated fat, taste great, and are a good source of protein. High oleic expeller pressed sunflower oil can be used for added creaminess in place of coconut oil. This oil is highly renewable, has a low carbon footprint and its high levels of monounsaturated fats make it a favorite among cardiologists.
What Vegan Cheese has Protein and Low Saturated Fat?
Treeline’s cheeses are all made from cashews and have low saturated fat. All Treeline products have a good amount of protein and calcium. Several of Treeline’s cheeses contain high oleic expeller pressed sunflower oil. They are all cultured using probiotic bacteria which are good for gut health. Best of all they taste great and have been named best vegan cheese by tasting and