Most dairy alternatives on Irish shelves have less protein and many have less calcium than their dairy counterparts, a new Safe Food report has found.
Although runt-based alternatives to milk had only one-third the protein content of milk, two-thirds of the products studied were not a protein source.
The calcium content of plant-based alternatives to cheese was also lower.
A study examining the nutritional content of over 200 alternatives to milk, cheese and yogurt found that 1 in 3 adults (33%) consume plant-based alternatives to dairy.
In addition, more than four in ten (44%) between the ages of 15 and 24 consume these products regularly, and one in five (20%) consider them healthier. I also found out that I chose to think that there is.
Just under 1 in 5 (18%) said they chose dairy alternatives because they “wanted variety/variety” and 1 in 7 (14%) said they or their families are dairy-free. I did it for my tolerance.
Half (51%) of those who consume dairy alternatives agree that they are better for the environment.
Safefood advises people, especially vegetarians and vegans, to check food labels before buying and look for products that contain protein sources that are sugar-free and fortified with calcium.
“In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in both the popularity and number of plant-based dairy alternatives available on the market,” said Dr. Aileen McGloin, Director of Nutrition at Safefood.
“Our research found that, on average, the protein content of the plant-based products we examined was lower than that of dairy products. It was the same for dairy products, but lower for cheese.”
“The nutritional content of these products varies, so it’s a good idea to check the label…
“This may be especially important for those transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet.”
According to industry estimates, the UK plant-based alternative dairy market is worth around €284 million, with sales up 299% over the past two years.
In the 12 months from January 2018 to January 2019, sales of plant-based milks such as almond and oat milk in Ireland increased by 40%.