A Guide to Plant-Based Vegan Alternatives
The health benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet are immeasurable. It can not only help you lose excess weight and improve kidney function but protect against health concerns, such as heart disease and cancer. Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, a nutrition-focused cardiologist and advocate for heart care in Tampa, strongly supports the incorporation of plant-based vegan alternatives into your diet for these reasons. This article will serve as a general overview for plant-based vegan alternatives and how you can make the switch to a plant-based vegan diet.
According to market reports, the global non-dairy milk market is projected to exceed revenues of $38 billion by 2024. This surge in availability and promotion of plant-based options makes for a diverse range of vegan alternatives to traditional dairy products like milk, yogurt, frozen desserts, creamers, and cheese.
Milk: There is a wide variety of plant-based alternatives to milk, such as soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, and macadamia milk. A few popular brands include Califia Farms, Silk, and Ripple Foods.
Cheese: Vegan cheese brands have come a long way from their roots as highly processed products. They are now able to deliver the texture and taste of real cheese in a wide variety of products, including hard cheese blocks, spreadable soft cheese, and grated Parmesan style cheese. This is made possible by ingredients like seeds, nuts, coconut oil, and rice, just to name a few. Popular brands include Daiya Foods, Miyoko’s Creamery, and Kite-Hill Artisan Vegan Cheese.
Coffee Creamer: Adding regular soy or almond milk directly to your coffee is a surefire way to cause curdling due to the acidity and heat of the coffee. Thankfully, there are alternative vegan coffee creamers which blend perfectly without any issue. Original half & half and dairy-free creamers can be found with brands like Califia Farms, Silk, Ripple Foods, and Forager.
A recent Gallup Poll found that nearly one in four Americans have cut back on their consumption of meat products, with the majority citing health as the main reason behind the change. If you are curious about the health benefits of switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet, contact the best heart specialist in Tampa, Dr. Popat.
Tofu: Tofu is a traditional Asian food made from coagulated soy milk pressed into blocks. It comes in firm, medium, and soft varieties and is relatively easy to prepare. High in protein and calcium, tofu can be used in any number of dishes from stir-fry to veggie bowls.
Tempeh: Tempeh is another popular vegan meat alternative made from cultured soybeans that bind together to form a thin sheet. It has a unique nutty taste and, like tofu, is able to easily soak up marinade and seasoning flavors.
Seitan: Seitan is a meat alternative made out of wheat gluten, salt, spices, and water. It’s one of the cheapest sources of protein and is incredibly versatile, able to be spiced and thinly sliced, crumbled and fried, or cut into chunks.
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