The market is vast for plant-based products.
So, it was only a matter of time before someone came along and conducted a nutritional comparison of a cool new addition to this product line…
And with all the hoopla over plant-based everything, it IS important to understand WHAT we’re actually consuming when we choose these products.
Let’s see how plant-based yogurt stacks up against dairy-based varieties…
“More popular” doesn’t mean healthier
The plant-based food market is growing rapidly.
And plant-based yogurts are raking in $1.6 billion in annual sales… a profit that’s expected to quintuple by 2030!
Of course, that’s likely due to marketing. As you and I both know, especially in America, marketing is what makes many dietary options more popular.
But just because something is more popular… or more heavily advertised… doesn’t mean it’s healthier. Which is exactly what this new study helped reveal.
The study was exhaustive—looking at nutritional information for over 500 different types of yogurt. (Why do we even need that many varieties of YOGURT in the first place?)
Here’s the breakdown:
- 159 were full-fat dairy-based
- 202 were low- and non-fat dairy-based
- 61 were coconut-based
- 44 were almond-based
- 30 were cashew-based
- 15 were oat-based
(I’m exhausted just typing that.)
Now, bear with me as the results are somewhat skewed to reflect current nutritional dogma… you know, the one that states things like saturated fat and sodium are bad for you.
More protein, please
Researchers analyzed the yogurts based on ingredients they would encourage or limit.
For example, protein, fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamin D are given the “green light” whereas saturated fat, total sugar, and sodium are given a “yellow light.”
Ultimately, they emphasized how plant-based yogurts contain less sugar, less sodium, and MORE fiber.
But what’s really important when deciding which foods to consume is nutrient density.
So while plant-based yogurts had two strikes FOR them (less sugar, more fiber), they also had way more strikes AGAINST them. (Notably, they contained less protein, potassium, and calcium than dairy-based yogurt.)
Now, before you start making assumptions here… if you’re someone who likes eating a plant-based diet or who wants to incorporate more plans into your diet, I’m all for that.
The biggest problem I have is that most plant-based foods have an utter lack of protein—or lack of complete proteins, which our bodies NEED for optimal functioning.
(Yes, beans, legumes, nuts, and more ARE sources of protein… but they don’t have enough protein.)
So while you go and enjoy your sugar-free almond yogurt, I’ll be cutting into a nice, juicy, grass-fed and -finished steak straight off the barbie.
To learn more about nutrition and the importance of complete proteins, order yourself a copy of my book, The A-List Diet.
Until next time,
“That’s not nuts: Almond milk yogurt packs an overall greater nutritional punch than dairy-based.” ScienceDaily, 05/30/2023. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/05/230530173851.htm)