Saturday, July 20, 2024

UK Vegan Cheese brands High in Salt, Study Finds

Today’s news unveils a surprising find from the UK research group Action on Salt: plant-based cheeses are packing more salt than their dairy counterparts. Delving into the salty depths of over 600 cheeses from ten UK retailers, the group discovered that vegan cheese averages contain about 1.91g of salt per 100g, edging out traditional cheddar’s 1.78g.

Specifics and Comparisons of Vegan Cheese Brands

Particularly salty was Tesco’s Plant Chef Alternative to Mature Cheese, which boasts 2.5g of salt per 100g. Even Saputo, the name behind Cathedral City and vegan Sheese, is on the higher end with an average of 1.83g per 100g, though they’ve kept mum on the matter.

Retail Insights and Health Implications

Interestingly, supermarket brands tend to be less salty than their branded counterparts, showing a slight edge in health consciousness. Despite years of research, Action on Salt points out that cheese’s salt content has barely budged since 2012, suggesting that the UK’s health targets might be too lenient and calling for stricter regulation, especially for plant-based options.

Voices from the Field

Sonia Pombo of Action on Salt didn’t mince words, emphasizing the urgent need for reduced salt in our diets to ward off health risks. Yet, Dairy UK’s Dr Judith Bryans defends the industry, highlighting salt’s crucial role in cheese production and its relatively minor contribution to our overall sodium intake. She argues that pushing the salt content too low could compromise both the taste and safety of cheese, underscoring a tension between health advocacy and traditional food production practices.

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